Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Brown Toppers Gather for a Photography Mystery.

Cloverdale’s Public Library replaced its summer photography series with another photography display titled Riddles in Photography. Riddles in Photography is a series of photographs depicting common household words and phrases in photographic form. The viewer is asked to ponder on the photograph, write what they believe the photographs represent and surrender the educated guesses at the circulation desk for review. All correct entries are placed in a drawing. The winner will be given a copy of their favorite photograph from the series.

Word of the event spread throughout the village's intellectual upper crust, who pride themselves on their intellectual prowess, their ability to outwit an opponent , and their uncanny talent of talking themselves out of traffic tickets.

The Cloverdale Brown Toppers, as they like to call themselves (The Upper Crust seems too boastful, considering over half the members are Christians) arranged to meet at the Moss Wonderland Bakery at noon on Saturday for a sticky bun, milk and a quick series of mental problems and riddles to limber up their mental acuteness before walking to the library to solve the mystery. This gathering of Cloverdale’s finest minds attracted unwanted attention. The small bakery filled quickly with the curious and others who innocently wandered in off the street to indulge their sweet tooth in a decadent caloric intake. Retired Professor Fitzsimmons of Cloverdale Community College realized that once word leaked that the Brown Toppers were going to the Library to break the photographic code, a circus of the curious would descend on the library.

"Omfra owa on we eakspa igpa atinla osa etha illagersva annotca erstandunda and enceha illwa otna ollowfa," he said to his fellow Brown Toppers in Pig Latin. The Brown Toppers understood and effortlessly switched from English to Pig Latin. Soon the curious lost interest in the gathering, made their pastry purchases and left the shop. One hour before the Library's closing time the Brown Toppers left the bakery, primed and ready to take on the challenges of all challenges, at least for that month.

The Brown Toppers walked with purpose, two abreast down the sidewalk. Hardly a word was spoken between them. Each was completely focused on the deed at hand. It was like the quiet before the storm. Neighbors whispered across picket fences as they watched the silent parade march by. Some gathered their children and followed. Professor Fitzsimmons tripped on a small raised section of the pavement. He stumbled, nearly falling to the ground before catching himself.
"Damn," he thought, realizing his concentration was compromised. That stumble unfocused the professor, thus opening the door for others in the group who's minds nearly paralleled the Professor's in wit and associations, to be the first to submit a winning entry. The Professor refocused as he straighted his glasses, hoping to reenter the zone in a timely manner.

The group reached the library, opened the door and walked through the entryway and children's section before reaching the Little Theater. The photographs hung on the walls before them.

"Attention, may I have your attention please," the Professor said in full voice. The sudden noise pierced the quiet of the library and drew a quick "Hush" from the librarian at the circulation desk.
The Professor continued in a whisper, "I'm giving each of you a tablet and pencil. Please take your time as you ponder the challenges before you. Write your educated guesses and submit them to the front circulation desk. Are there any questions?" No one said a word. The contest was on. The Brown Toppers fanned out before the photos.

The room's silence was disturbed periodically by the occasional grunt or sneeze or sigh. Pencils scribbled guesses as the grandfather clock in the corner chimed each quarter hour. At 6:00 P.M. the librarian rang the closing bell and called for all books. The Brown Toppers finished writing. Each filed before the librarian to enter their guesses into the competition. The wining entry would be drawn at the end of the display in a week's time.

The following pictures are from the display. Can you guess what they mean? The first one is done for you. The other answers will be released on Monday.

Answer: Whole Milk



  1. Tap Dancers, Pool Table, Card Shark, A Salted Penut.

  2. 1. Tap dancer.
    4.King Cole
    5. Popeye
    8.Dr. Pepper
    10. Cardshark

  3. Oh.. and I just realized...pool table