A Scene from a Crime

So there’s this show on TV called Crime Scenes Investigation, or CSI for short. I was watching the Miami version the other night and observed that the investigators managed to investigate up a single strand of dog hair from the floor of a crime scene in a bathroom.

“Hah!” I thought to myself. Television is not anything like real life. I challenge this team of CSI Miami investigators to come into the bathroom that my three teenage sons use and identify a single strand of criminal dog hair from amongst the billion foreign materials all glommed together on the floor around the bathtub.

Now, in TV-land, it wasn’t hard to find the melodious dog hair because absolutely everything in the apartment — nay, everything in the entire city of Miami if you believe the TV show — is immaculately clean. So when the investigators went into the bathroom crime scene, the single dog hair might as well have had neon blinkers all around it.

Using the premise of the CSI series of shows, this is how a real crime scene would be investigated in my household.

Cue some cool vintage rock music like “The Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. (As a side note, if they ever come out with a CSI name-your-city-here show that opens with this song, I will be contacting you as a material witness for my giant lawsuit against the creators — thank you in advance.)

The handsome lead investigator played by Bruce Willis, or, if he is available, James Bond, enters the bathroom in question. “Huhmm, so this is where the crime took place, eh? What kind of crime was it?”

The secondary lead investigator played by anybody who is available replies, “A criminal crime, one that’s against the law. Shall we look for clues with our official patented crime scenes investigation crime kit, available in most major department stores in name-your-city-here?”

The geeky science-nerd guy, wearing corrective lenses over those weird looking goggles that make everything look green when you look through them, slips on a random sliver of bar soap on the floor. From his new prone perspective, everything still looks green. He removes his goggles, and notes that everything still looks green.

“Aha!” he exclaims. “By swabbing this green goo glommed together on the floor around the bathtub in front of me with this patented cotton swab treated with a mysterious substance that will glow blue in the presence of a crime-related clue, I have concluded that I have ruptured my spleen.”

Back at the crime lab, the three investigators display camaraderie by bantering cheerfully and slapping each other on the back for 12 seconds as is required by the international guild of television crime drama scriptwriters.

The geeky science-nerd guy looks up from his microscope and, with a serious looking furrow on his brow, reflects for a moment before taking another bite from his Hero Sandwich. Then he says to the lead and secondary investigators, “The analysis of the blue glow on this cotton swab from the gas chromatotronic vapour ray instamatic (patent pending) leads me to conclude that we must return to the scene of the crime with haste through the streets of name-your-city-here in our fleet of CSI Humvees to catch the perpetrator in the act of perpetrating another crime in an attempt to cover up the first perpetration.”

Back at the bathroom, the three investigators, backs against the hall wall with tweezers drawn, hear the muted sounds of someone scrubbing the floor.

“They’re trying to get rid of the evidence,” they exclaim in unison and burst through the door in a fury of shields and cotton swabs.

“FREEZE!!!” they all shout.

“Buh??” my teenage son blurts.

As they escort my son away in finger-cuffs, they ask him what made him do it?

He answers, “I was just cleaning the bathroom floor, it was starting to look really gross.”

Bruce Willis, or James Bond if he is available, replies as the closing credits roll across the screen, “Cleaning the bathroom floor without being asked, eh? Now that would be a crime.”

Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and is the principal behind the services of Statistics Courses. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.

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