James Lileks
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Here follows a (possible) transcript of a call to law enforcement last month.

“FBI? I gotta talk to someone about the Ruby Slipper caper.“

“Just a minute, I’ll transfer you to the Prop Crimes Division. Please hold.”

“Hello, Special Agent Peter Gumn. I understand this is about the slippers.”

“Yeah. And don’t try to trace the call, I’m gonna be quick. The slippers are ... ”

“Sir, this is the FBI. We already know you are calling from 2941 Circle Drive in Grand Rapids.”

“What? Uh ... well, I’m calling from the guest room. I don’t live here. Do you want to know about the slippers or not? I know where you can find them. You gotta help me. One of them’s in Minnesota. The other’s in Florida.

“There’s a curse, I tell you! It’s been nothin’ but misery. I ran and ran but at the end they got me, and my little dog, too.”

“Back up, sir. They’re in two different states?”

“Yeah, because if you knocked the box they clicked together and you ended up in some other place. No, not Kansas. Richfield, can you believe it? These must have been a pair they didn’t use in the scene where she goes home. We had to separate the shoes so we didn’t keep ending up at the Best Buy.

“But that wasn’t the worst of it. Ever since we nabbed the shoes, everything’s gone wrong. The apple trees talk, and they aren’t even interesting. They just go on and on about how their roots ache and itch. They throw apples at the kids waitin’ for the bus. I built a new garage, and I find some old lady’s feet sticking out from the foundation. The whole front yard’s full of poppies; the kids who cut through the yard all fall asleep. The cat keeps picking a fight with the biggest can in the recycling bin.”

“Calm down, sir.”

“Really? Calm down? I have to bring in an exterminator once a month to get the flying monkeys out of the attic. They hang from the rafters like bats. You can’t believe the smell.”

“We’ll wear hazmat suits, then. All right, sir, we’ll come and retrieve the shoes. But I need to verify some details to make sure you’re telling the truth. We’ve never released what it says on the underside of the shoes. There’s some writing. Can you tell us what it says?”

“Yeah, yeah. ‘To the fine people of a state I don’t remember at all because I left it when I was a kid, but for some reason because I was born there, the people treat me like I was governor for 10 years. Love, Frannie.’ ”

“OK. Agents will be there any minute. Just stay put.”

“Easy for you to say. You hear those sirens? There’s a twister heading my way.”

james.lileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 • Twitter: @Lileks • facebook.com/james.lileks