A seat. A ferry. A mystery.
An unknown scribe carves a strange message into the plastic seat of the Halifax to Dartmouth ferry, and disappears back into the shadows.
“Geoff Brown eats sandwiches”.
Who left the message? What could it mean? Would Tom Hanks be interested in starring in the movie adaptation? I decided to investigate.
1. Who was Geoff Brown?
I asked around my fellow ferry passengers, but no-one knew of this man. I spotted an overweight, scruffy-looking guy eating a sandwich on the upper deck. “I am not Geoff Brown,” he declared. “Please go away, you are spoiling my lunch.” This investigation was going to be harder than I thought.
There was only one thing for it; summon the God of information, Google. In its wisdom, it responded that Geoff Brown could be a website developer, a snowboard instructor or a stand-up comedian. None of them fitted the profile of a mysterious cross-ferry sandwich muncher. Google, you let me down!
I called the local police to ask if they could check their records. The police lady on the other end of the phone wasn’t very helpful. She just kept repeating “Look madam, is this an emergency or not?” How the hell was I supposed to know? Supposing Geoff Brown was stealing baked goods from Halifax-area cafes, and consuming the evidence on the ferry ride home? This message could be a cry for help from an out-of-control ciabatta criminal, like those serial killers who leave calling cards on their victims’ corpses. Honesty, I try to help the police, and all I get is abuse…
2. What was significant about the eating of the sandwiches?
The identity of Geoff Brown, be he friend or foe, remained a mystery. In the interests of wild speculation, could the next part of the message provide any clues to his identity… and what was so great about these ruddy sandwiches?
Like the idiot who scrawled “TIGGY IS GHEY” on my office’s washroom wall, perhaps the graffiti artist was trying to spread nasty rumours about poor Mr. Brown. But why would his love of sandwiches be such a shameful secret?
Maybe Geoff Brown was a kung-fu wrestling smackdown champ. Rather than gorging on raw meat and tree trunks for lunch, he secretly consumed delicate cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. For a guy who spent his days grappling with sweaty semi-naked men, any claim of effeminacy would be pretty hurtful. Maybe his opponent was conducting a dirty-tricks campaign of psychological torture… by scrawling insults on a ferry seat. Well I don’t frigging know, wrestlers are a strange bunch.
Then I had a breakthrough-supposing the message was incomplete? Perhaps the scribe was caught in the act, and thrown overboard before he could finish his carving. This opened up lots of new possibilities. Maybe it was supposed to read “Geoff Brown eats sandwiches from Tubby Jack’s Sandwich Shack! Try their Beef & Bacon Mega-Sub today!” So the graffiti was nothing more than a cunning advertising campaign? Or perhaps it was one of those stupid subliminal ads, which never actually tell you what it is you’re supposed to be buying.
I think Tubby Jack should ask the ad agency for a refund, to be honest.
3. Why was I spending so much time thinking about this?
Well, aren’t you wondering now?
Despite my thorough investigation, the mystery of Geoff Brown and his sandwich fetish remains unsolved. The scribe will take the secret to his grave, Geoff Brown will continue to consume/steal/advertise his beloved lunchtime treat, and Tom Hanks hasn’t returned any of my phone calls.
I think I might take the bus in future.