Last night I woke up at 3:30 — that special hour when your brain chemistry dips and your bladder fills and your REM cycle skids off the road.
When this happens to me I play a crossword and do some light “reading.” Reading so light that it really needs those quotation marks. Not just Facebook light, Cracked magazine listicle Facebook light, where I “read” this:
“Wait what?” I said (because I have no ready vocabulary other than what I read on Cracked). “They found the ruby slippers?” I remembered vaguely that one of the pairs of ruby slippers had been stolen. (If you want a deep dive documentary into the provenance of the four known Ruby Slippers, including the St. Louisian who owned a pair, check out the long documentary The Slippers on Vimeo, or better yet just read this part of the Ruby Slippers Wikipedia article.)
Last night, though, I just went straight to a short (20 minute) documentary, Who Stole the Ruby Slippers, which just left me disappointed, because it wrapped before the sting operation that recovered the shoes.
I didn’t find out about the sting until about 4:30 in the morning, when I found this long wonderful read on the Washington Post.
I won’t tell you who — allegedly — did the deed, but I can tell you I learned three things from that article:
1) The FBI really needs to take an evening and watch The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I’m not sure if they know what a sting is.
2) Pro tip: I always thought that if a stolen item is eventually found, then the item is returned to the person it was stolen from. Nope, not if an insurance company paid a claim. If found, the item belongs to the insurance company that paid out.
3) Art extortionist is a terrific job. Evidently, it’s quite an honorable profession, very above board. Really, I want to retire and take up a new career as an art extortionist.
Buried in the long Washington Post link above is the assumed identity of the alleged thieves, but frankly it’s so dull compared with the rest of the story I can see why they buried it.
And that is why I finally fell asleep at dawn. I recommend you read the article above at a reasonable time.