Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Donald J. Sobol | Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective | 1963

Chief Brown:

Far be it from me, not having had the pleasure of raising a family, to tell someone how to raise one's children. However, I am growing increasingly concerned about the "business" which your son, Leroy--or "Encyclopedia," if you prefer--has been running out of your garage since the spring. On the weekends and evenings, it was not so much of an issue. But school is out now and when I work from home, the noise from next door can be very distracting. At times, five or six kids may be just hanging out in your garage all day, parking their bicycles against my hedges. Just last Tuesday, I thought I'd have to go out and break up a fight Leroy was having with someone named "Bugs" and what appeared to be a youth gang. Luckily, your son's large female friend stepped in and put lie to any conflict.

I have no problem with an enterprising young man trying his hand at a small business venture, but a "Detective Agency?" Whatever happened to good a old-fashioned lemonade stand?

Not to be a hard case about such details, but I am pretty certain that some sort of license is required for such a business. I suppose that would be more of your domain, being the Chief of Police for the city and all. Also, the hand-lettered sign, while charming, is a little off-putting and unattractive and has to fall under some sort of zoning regulations for this neighborhood.

I am somewhat new to the neighborhood, yes, and have heard from others about Leroy's supposed deductive prowess. Yesterday, I was very distressed to find he and his friends going through my trash, looking for "evidence" of someone's missing dog. Of course, they found nothing, but the experience left an odd taste in my mouth, to have been even vaguely accused of such a thing.

Again, I don't want this to create any "bad blood" between us, as, aside from this one point, the experience of living next door to your family has been a largely positive one. I just do not want this thing to go too far. I would be more than willing to discuss these matters in person and hope that we can move forward as friendly neighbors.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Sincerely, your concerned neighbor,
RJ White

cc: City of Idaville Department of Licenses and Inspections