It was a dark and stormy night. Well, last night was a dark and stormy night. Tonight it really isn’t that bad. The rain brought in a cold front and took the edge off the heat that had been driving the locals crazy. You know the type, sheltered rich kids attending the most ivy of ivy league schools. I won’t make mention of which school it is, mostly for legal reasons and I can’t afford to get sued right now. But let’s just say that this school invented ivy. And I mean that, they genetically created it in a lab, like some Frankenstein monster, and before anyone knew it the ivy had spread all over the place. The marketing guys, though, took control of the situation and made it sound like a good thing. “Our school is covered in ivy,” they’d say to hopeful touring students, “which gives us the upper hand when dealing with education.” 

If there is anything parents like to hear when buying an education for their children it is some fact that they can’t really validate because they don’t have the education to do so. It makes them feel like they are buying their kids the things they couldn’t have. I digress, however. What was I talking about? Oh…the heat. The heat wave that summer had been killer and caused all these students to lose their sanity in ways one didn’t expect the children of the social elite to behave. That’s right, they wore shorts. It was chaos around here for weeks. Students out of uniform, exposing their legs to the elements and approaching life with a devil may care attitude. You may ask what this has to do with me, Harold. Well, it really doesn’t. I just tend to notice things in the environment around me. That’s my job, you see. Noticing things. Specific things, in fact. Like ivy.

It’s true, I take care of the ivy. Its a thankless job, but someone has to do it. The real secret to handling ivy is to let it do what it wants, because honestly there isn’t anything that can be done about it. The stuff grows like crazy. I think it even gets mad at you when you trim it. I don’t have any proof of this specifically, but the first time I trimmed the ivy my cell phone went missing. I think the ivy stole it, then eventually started making phone calls to some woman in Japan. I still haven’t been able to find that cell phone, and the phone calls keep happening. They are costing me a fortune, which is why I can’t afford to be sued. But that is besides the point, or maybe it is the point, in that I don’t really do anything with the ivy because I’m mostly afraid of what it will do back.

This does leave me time to pursue my hobby, which is that of a local problem solver. It all started one dark and stormy night. Wait, we’ve already done the intro, haven’t we? But this is a new story, within the story I’m already telling you. This could get pretty confusing. I just realized it rains a lot here. What is with that? I wonder if the ivy has something to do with it. I think those scientists who invented the ivy may have gone a bit too far and instilled some evil genius. That’s why the ivy is spreading so fast, it’s trying to take over the world. But that’s a story for another day. Where was I? Oh, raining. But wait, I was sidetracked from something else before then. Oh, how it all started.

A young woman approached me, beautiful only in the way that a mother would love. It’s true, she was not a looker. She said she had a problem, “I’ve got a problem,” she said. I remember it clearly. I can’t help but remember it, she stands out pretty badly in my memory.

“What’s the problem?” I asked, giving her my best tolerating gaze. I knew that this was going to be a challenge that I would appreciate. This could get my mind off that ivy and how hard it fought back against my attempts to curtail its growth.

“I’ve lost my boyfriend,” she went on to explain. Apparently he was the son of a wealthy businessman, which is no shock around here, and he had recently went missing. She wanted me to find the guy because I was the only one who would listen to her problems. I’m not sure how she heard about me, maybe she had gotten a phone call from my cell phone. Looking back now I should have asked her if she had seen it. Anyway, I agreed to take the case. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I wasn’t actually going to look for the guy. She wasn’t paying anything and it’s clear that he was just hiding from her. I sent her on her way and from that day forward I had a name for solving people’s problems. Mostly it was me who told other people that I had the name for solving people’s problems, but that’s how names start, right?

That’s my story. I’m sure I’ll have lots more to tell when I’m not fighting back this awful ivy. Like the time Professor Newton lost her wedding ring.