Announcer. And now Runcible Publishing and Finer Meats, Squirrel Hill’s finest publisher and delicatessen, presents…

(Music: “Washington Post” March, in and under for…)

Announcer. L.C.I.S., the adventures of our brave federal agents in the Library Criminal Investigative Service. Whenever crime strikes our nation’s libraries, L.C.I.S. agents are there.

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Announcer. Tonight we find Agents Cuzzi and Pleasant reporting in on the case of the murdered bookend salesman.

Cuzzi. Great news, boss! We got the victim’s laptop. Now we’ll know every­thing about him.

Capps. Good work, Cuzzi. You got into it yet?

Pleasant. Computers aren’t exactly his thing.

Cuzzi. Shut up, Pleasant. Ha ha! See, boss, this is the kind of witty banter we have all the time.

Capps. But what about the laptop?

Cuzzi. McNeilly’s working on it now.

McNeilly (entering). This is bad.

Cuzzi. What did you find?

McNeilly. Nothing. I can’t get in.

Cuzzi. You mean it’s password-protected?

McNeilly. Worse than that. The battery’s out of juice.

Pleasant. Oh no! Now we’ll have to find a charger!

McNeilly. I looked for one. I couldn’t find one that would fit.

Cuzzi. Did you try a USB-C?

McNeilly. No, it’s like a round hole with a metal pokey thing in the center.

Cuzzi. Like my Toshiba?

McNeilly. I tried that, but the hole’s too small.

Cuzzi. You took my charger without asking me?

Capps. Everyone chill. This is why we have a lab. [DTMF tones.] Dorcas! Get up here now, and bring all your lap­top chargers.

Dorcas. Here I am, boss.

Capps. Always quick. That’s what I like to see. You bring your chargers?

Dorcas. I don’t have any laptop chargers.

Capps. Then what do you have?

Dorcas. Well, I’ve got this mass spectrometer.

Cuzzi. I thought it looked a little big for a laptop charger.

Capps. What do you expect us to do with a mass spec­trometer?

Dorcas. We usually use it to trace minute amounts of dirt on the clue object to some calcar­eous soil found only on one farm in Loudoun County.

McNeilly. But there isn’t any dirt on the laptop!

Dorcas. How do you know until you look at it with the mass spec­trometer? Anyway, we don’t need dirt. Plas­tic can tell us a lot. I don’t think this chunk is doing anything.

Cuzzi. I think that was the screen.

Dorcas. Whatever. Look! See, this is why we spent all that money on a mass spectrometer. This kind of plastic contains petrochemicals that are found in only one place in the world.

McNeilly. Where’s that?

Dorcas. China! I can say with almost complete cer­tainty that this laptop was made in China.

Pleasant. You mean like it says on the label?

Capps. Cuzzi, get the Chinese ambas­sador over here right now.

Cuzzi. Well, boss, the ambas­sador has diplomatic immunity, and—

Capps. Diplomatic immunity’s for wusses. Tell him we found one of his laptops in a murdered man’s car, and if he doesn’t want an inter­national incident he’d better spill every­thing he knows. Take Pleasant with you so you can get in some witty banter along the way. And Dorcas, I want you to be ready with that mass spec­trometer when Cuzzi and Pleasant find that someone has got there before them and mur­dered the Chinese ambas­sador. Well, what are you all hanging around here for like people who hang around places? You got your assign­ments. Go!

Cuzzi. Right away, boss.

(Music: “Washington Post’” March, in and under for…)

Announcer. So once again our dauntless agents are hot on the trail of a fiend threat­ening our nation’s libraries. Tune in for big sur­prises when Runcible Publishing and Finer Meats, Squirrel Hill’s finest publisher and delica­tessen, presents our next episode, “The Case of the Mur­dered Chinese Ambas­sador.” Mean­while, don’t forget to ask about our new line of meat-based vege­table substi­tutes, providing the healthy and nu­tritious protein you just can’t get from leaves and roots. Make a Runcible salad today, and don’t forget to eat meat while you read!

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