A Man Called Liebster

The first thing I knew about this case was when a little red star appeared at the top right of my blog, indicating that someone had left a comment. I yawned and rolled off the office couch, and hit my head on the floor with a thud that woke me up good. A comment! I hadn’t had one of those in weeks, not since before I fired my secretary. I’d fired her because I couldn’t afford to pay us both. Now I had to make my own coffee.

I rubbed my sore head, and fixed a coffee the way I like it – strong and black. I  opened and read the comment. “I nominated you! All should become clear.” It was from someone called “Pinkjumpers”.

Hmmm. I considered the possibility that it could be a cryptic message from some leggy dame in one of those coral colored mansions down in the Canyon. Naturally she would want to keep it hush-hush that she was seeking the assistance of a private detective. I took another sip of my coffee and laughed at myself. As unlikely as it seemed, it was probably just as likely that it was just someone nominating me for an award for my blog, The Big Sleep – where I detail each of my cases. False names, of course! – a guy wants to be discreet in this line of work! Then I reminded myself that I’d had no cases for a good 6 weeks now though, so there was nothing new to be nominated for.

That award could look good on my mantlepiece next to the Maltese Falcon.

That award could look good on my mantlepiece next to the Maltese Falcon.

I leaned back in my chair and contemplated the view of the meatworks across the road, while I finished my coffee. The newspaper on my desk was from 10 days earlier. So was the half eaten donut that the ants were swarming over. I wondered just how much sugar it took to preserve a donut for that long, briefly felt some regret for firing my secretary, and made a mental note to clean up some time soon. Just as I was about to leave the office to go and find some brunch, another star appeared at the top of my blog page. Another comment! I opened and read this one.

“I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. You can find the details here” and a link. This from someone called “Yeahthsme“. Yeah, sure that’s you, I thought to myself with a smirk. The question is, which “you” is it?

This was starting to feel like a set up, but I struggled to think, from all the enemies I’ve amassed in this line of work, who would be so completely lacking in subtlety? I like to flatter myself that my enemies have some brains, and since that dimwit, Bjorn the Ball Breaker, was in the slammer after his last hair-brained attempt at exortion, I couldn’t think of anyone else that would be quite so stupid.

I had nothing better to do that day, and the bar downstairs wouldn’t be open until midday, so I decided to check the links I’d been directed to by both commenters.

According to Pinkjumpers the rules of the Liebster award were:  to thank the person who nominated you and answer the 11 question they have asked you before nominating 11 other people and ask them 11 questions in return.

The badge that Pinkjumpers offered for this award was this:

liebster-award

I scribbled a few notes, and then compared Yeahthtsme. On this blog, the rules were Thank the person who nominated you, put a link to their blog in your post. Answer the 11 questions they have given you, list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less, who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen

The badge that Yeahthtsme offered for the award was this:

wpid-liebster-award

Immediately my eagle eyes spotted discrepancies. They stood out like a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.* Firstly the badge was totally different. Secondly, the conditions as listed on Yeahthtsme’s blog include listing 11 random facts about oneself, and checking that the blogs you link to  have less than 200 followers. There was an added requirement to leave a comment on 11 people’s blogs! I could already smell a rat here – these two awards were not the same. It seemed to me that meant only one thing:one of them had to be a phony. But which one – and why?

My head was in a whirl, so I started out the door to get some fresh air – or at least, to get some air – but a sudden thought stopped me. I pulled out my iPad and googled the meaning of the word liebster, which sounded Germanic to me. Sure enough, I discovered that the word means “dearest” in German. I also discovered, via another blog that had been nominated, that the Liebster award came in many guises:

In order to accept the award, we must do the following:

  1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
  3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
  4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.

The plot was thickening, like a saucepan full of custard bound for a lumpy end. Was this third blog a red herring, deliberately planted to throw me off track? Or was it a Maltese Falcon, designed to leave me permanently confused?  Was Liebster a codename? Was I being pumped for information? If so – by whom?

I was clean out of tobacco, so I stuck my empty pipe in my mouth and stared into my empty coffee cup for a while. It’s a strategy I find successful about as often as not. Finally it hit me, like a sap on the back of the head. These awards are not regulated, and they are passed on from one blogger to 11 others at an exponential rate, and somewhere along the line, or probably many times along the line, the original rules mutate, through no-one’s fault or deliberate intent. So who knows which was the true original?  I figure that it’s not a set up or an attempt to pump me for information, and there is no dame in a Los Angeles Mansion who’s going to pay me to solve her case, so in the end, I don’t really care which version was the original – but I’ll take the easier version.

 *

Apologies to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett

*stolen from Chandler. Actual quote – from Farewell My Lovely – “he looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.”  

 Liebster Award – “To Do” List 

So by the way, in order to accept the award I must at least do some mixture of the following rules, all of which have been taken from the variety of rules listed above.

Thank the person who nominated you: thank you to Pinkjumpers and Yeahthsme for inspiring this story by nominating me for a Liebster award!

Link back to their blog: done

Copy and paste the award onto your blog: done – well, I put both versions in this post, anyway.

List 11 Random facts about yourself: see my last post, which conveniently and co-incidentally contains 11 random facts about myself!

Answer their questions for you. Due to having written a silly story, which was not in any version of the rules, instead of answering these questions I’ve kind of run out of steam, word count, and time, so please see my next post, as yet unwritten. In that I will conveniently, and not co-incidentally, answer those 22 questions!

Nominate 5 other blogs and let them know they have been nominated (um…also still to do. Sorry, I got a bit caught up with my completely unnecessary story)

Create 5 questions for new nominees (yup, also still to do….so stay tuned!)

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4 Comments

  1. I SUPER loved your completely unnecessary story! Very captivating…can’t wait to read more! (I am staying tuned)

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    • Why thank you! It was fun writing it. I must re-read all my Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett books one day. (Actually I only have one Hammett, I think.) Probably should have re-read one before writing such a lame imitation, but lack of preparation didn’t dampen the fun of doing it anyway!

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  2. Please keep posting more unnecessary stories!!! Soooo funny!

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    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I don’t usually write “stories”….but the hard-boiled detective genre is a fun one to parody, that’s for sure.

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