The Ryan Report -- Episode 303 "Under the Gun"
Ryan's Bio | Read the episode recap
Every kid has a favorite toy, the one you can’t live without, the one that goes on a million imaginary adventures with you. Whether it’s a Teddy Ruxpin, a Pikachu or, heck, even Andy the Cowboy – these toys are our first best friends. And for me it was my GI Joe, Rock’N’Roll… or Rocky, as I called him. He had an awesome machine gun, bendable arms and legs, and I loved him.
Rocky and I spent hours conducting epic battles against Playmobil characters, erecting fortresses with Lego blocks and just generally adventuring around the neighborhood.He was witness to all my courageous acts defending my house and he was endlessly entertained by my witty remarks. He was sort of an early version of Espo I guess – without the snarky retorts. But it all came to an end one summer afternoon…
See, I’d just watched Treasure Island and I was all excited to play Jim Hawkins myself. But before I could dig up buried treasure, I had to bury some. So I went out to the nearby park, got myself a bit lost, and then buried Rocky under a rock. I drew a picture of the nearby trees and bushes, trying to do my own version of a treasure map (marking Rocky’s location with a big X), and writing down ‘mysterious clues’ (“Inside the emerald forest, a fervent warrior dwells!”). Then I went home to work more on the map, embellishing it with coloring pencils.
But, at the end of the night, I put the map in my pants pocket…. forgetting that tomorrow was laundry day! The next morning, my Mom tossed all my clothes into the laundry before I woke up and by the time I got my pants back, the treasure map was nothing but a soggy rag.
I spent the rest of the summer searching the park, trying to figure out where Rocky was buried. I like to think he simply got tired of being under that rock and went off to have more adventures somewhere else, because I never did find him.Of course, now that I’m a Homicide Detective, I spent my whole day tracking things down – I guess you could say I started turning over rocks that summer and never stopped. Maybe that’s where it all started, with Rocky.
See, in a way, every homicide investigation is like a treasure map. There are clues, landmarks and something you’re trying to uncover at the end – it’s just a matter of putting all the pieces together so you can arrive at where X marks the spot – which is hopefully the signature line on the detailed confession that the killer signed.
Of course, I have to admit that whenever I head home, I still occasionally take a little detour and drop by the park. Turn over a rock or two and puzzle at my cryptic clues – “Beware the one-eyed bird?” What does that even mean?I mean, who knows… Maybe I’ll stumble onto my favorite GI Joe sometime soon.