The Strange Case of the Wayward Beef Roast



††††††††††††††††† As I was taking my morning constitutional, there it was, on the sidewalk, a fully cooked beef roast, the kind with thick white string holding it together.Iíve seen plenty of oddities while walking; food wrappers, tennis shoes, chicken bones, partially eaten burgers, but never an intact beef roast.

††††††††††††††††† I scanned the area for clues. No roasting pan or Dutch oven. No carrots, onions, or potatoes. Not even a smidgen of gravy. It appeared to be in good condition, but cold to the touch. Perhaps it had been there since yesterday. I didnít see a hot pad and it suddenly occurred to me that the roast must been posed there, after it was already cold. What sort of fiend would do that?

††††††††††††††††† I debated whether I should give it a proper Christian burial, but instead I made a greasy outline with my finger and kicked it into a sewer. All the way home the beef roast weighed on my mind. How did it get there? Is someone looking for it? Will someone be terribly disappointed when they open the refrigerator?

††††††††††††††††† I discussed the matter at length with my wife and together we devised three alternative explanations:

1. Domestic Dispute: This is mainly my wifeís idea. The roast appeared due to a marital conflict, involving the flinging of a beef roast,most likely at anincorrigible husbandís head. This begs the question of how it got to the sidewalk. Conceivably the dispute occurred in a vehicle and the meaty projectile missed its intended target and flew out the window, bouncing onto the sidewalk.

††††††††††††††††† But how did a roast get into the car, so as to become a weapon of opportunity? Maybe they were taking it to a relativeís home or covered dish dinner. I admit that I lean towards this explanation, since once, when he had been drinking, my own father angrily threw our New Yearís turkey into the yard.

2. Animal Invasion: An alternative is that some animal, like a large dog, snagged the roast off the kitchen table, like in that movie, where the neighborís hound dogs make off with the Christmas turkey. The problem remains as to why the roast was not eaten. I believe the owner gave chase to the dog, who eventually dropped his prize. But I would have thought he would have retrieved it, to assure that the dog could not return and enjoy his ill-gotten gain.

3. The Famished Burglar:Possibly it was taken by a hungry burglar, who upon peeking into the refrigerator, took it along with the valuables. The misappropriation of food is not unknown in criminal psychology. I can imagine the roast fell out of the booty bag as he fled or perhaps it was thrown out of the getaway car by his practical partner.

††††††††††††††††† Iíve thought way too much about this, but I wonder whatís the chance of seeing a leg of lamb tomorrow.