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Chapter 10

ONE THING ABOUT BEING A COOL HUNTER, YOU REALIZE ONE simple fact: Everything has a beginning.

Nothing always existed. Everything had an Innovator.

We all know who invented telephones and lightbulbs, but the humbler innovations are made anonymously. But there was a first paper airplane, a first pair of jeans cut off into shorts, a first paper-clip necklace. And traveling back in time: a first back scratcher, a first birthday present, a first hole designated as the one to throw garbage in.

Once a good idea spreads, however, it's hard to believe it didn't always exist.

Take detective stories. The first was written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841. (Spoiler alert: The monkey did it.) Over the next 163 years Poe's innovation infected countless books, films, plays, and TV shows. And like most rampant viruses, the detective character has mutated into every imaginable form: little old ladies who solve crimes, medieval monks who solve crimes, cats who solve crimes, even criminals who solve crimes.

My dad used to devour mystery novels (about epidemiologists who solve crimes, I'm sure) until one day he read an interview with a real homicide detective in Los Angeles. The guy had been on the force for over forty years, and in all that time not a single major crime had ever been solved by an amateur detective.

Not one.

With that in mind, we took Mandy's phone to the cops.

* * * | So Yesterday | * * *