0. Recap

Here’s what happened in Part One of The Curious Incident of the Hot Dog Buns in the Night-Time:

  1. I took an allergy test, and
  2. The allergy test said I wasn’t allergic to gluten, so
  3. I purchased multiple forms of gluten, including hot dog buns, but then
  4. The hot dog buns disappeared from my home, which is predominantly a closed system; finally-
  5. I hired a hypnotist to help me find the truth about the hot dog buns

1. The Hypnotist and the Hot Dog Buns

The Hypnotist neither gas-lighted me-

Q. Are you sure?

A. Yes, I’m sure there was a package of hot dog buns and now they’re missing.

-nor questioned my sanity-

Q. Have you gone outside your house lately? How are you feeling?

A. I feel great. Where the hell are these hot dog buns?

-when I told him the situation, and that’s the beauty of a paid professional. When I have my massive publishing empire, I’m gonna have a whole fleet of these people working for me. Instead, he told me anecdotes about people who did find their missing items after hypnosis.

So we went for it, and I got hypnotized in a 90-minute session yesterday. Did I feel relaxed? Yes. Did I see the fate of the hot dog buns? No. Will I attempt hypnosis for other things? Yes. But my brain would not show me what happened to the hot dog buns.

I started to doubt their existence. Maybe my initial wave of hot dog bun memories were false memories? But I have some proof.

hot dog bun on an Instacart grocery order screenshot
If the hot dog buns never existed, how do you explain this receipt for hot dog buns?

It was time to crack this investigation wide open in a number of directions, the old throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks method.

2. Ask the community

I found a Reddit to address this topic called Glitch in the Matrix. People offered kind but worthless suggestions, like, check your trunk of your car. The hot dog buns never for a moment were in the trunk of my car, but yes, I will do that, actually, just in case it’s some kind of a portal/wormhole/tunneling situation that connects from my rented apartment to my car, the only thing I own that could contain anything like hot dog buns besides this apartment.

I only have two containers for possessions; that’s why this disappearance is strange. It’s not like, oh, dahling, perhaps I left them at the fifth house. Nah. Nope. I only have one home, and I was in it nearly the entire time, except for one walk outside. And I have the car, but I didn’t use it this past week.

Maybe, just maybe, during that walk outside, I took a sack of hot dog buns with me, bowled it down my apartment hallway for no reason at all. Could happen, right? So I wrote a post to my apartment community message board, the place where people offer you their old IKEA couch because they’re moving. Just a couple of lines saying, Hey, has anybody seen a package of hot dog buns around this place? And also, if you see me out on the prowl and I look confused, I might be sleepwalking, so could you tell me to go home?

And the moderator denied that post.

So then I thought, well why would they deny this post? They must be in on it. And then I thought, this is like a hop, skip, and a jump away from going full-flat-earther-conspiracy-nuts and it wasn’t helpful to think that way. I had to move on and find another investigative method.

I do now have a small sense of vendetta against the corporate conglomerate apartment I live in now. But that will probably just become a mediocre Yelp review when I move out. I don’t want to Karen.

3. On the other hand, I DO want to Karen

There is some value and satisfaction in asking to speak to the manager, and if there were a kind of hot dog bun disappearance manager I would.

But there isn’t, so I decided to seek out the next best thing: an object psychic.

This Google search didn’t lead to many results. I guess object psychics aren’t a real thing? Which makes sense, because being psychic is kinda based on minds, right? So you can have pet psychics and human psychics, but you can’t get a read on, like, a bungee cord, or your car keys, or whatever else is at hand and you don’t know where. I settled for contacting the best-reviewed general psychic in the Washington DC area, and she said it’s not really her thing, nor does she know anybody who does that.

I trawled the Psychic Friends Network advertisements and was about to pitch in my $4.99/minute when I remembered I have a friend who used to be a psychic on the Psychic Friends Network. I texted her to float a logistics question by her, and she called immediately.

Good friends call when you CAPS LOCK

We opened all the cabinets and drawers again. We dug through my garbage, which I’d stopped throwing out in case there were any clues. She used all her psychic powers.

And we couldn’t find them. We couldn’t find those hot dog buns.

She understood me and the basic premise of my search for a stable and objective reality, with answers and truth, and real hot dog buns that existed, and where the hell are they. Because if you back away from all these things, she offered, then maybe the next time you Google search hot dog buns it will say,

Did you mean, hot dog bons

and soon nobody will know what you’re talking about again, ever, and then it’s just you in the world eating hot dogs with your hands because you were too passive and you accepted too much mystery in your life.

She referred me to St. Anthony, patron saint of lost items, and told me to watch my dreams, which the hypnotist had also advised. I agreed, and I did both.

But the hot dog buns were still missing.

Another faith-based take on the missing hot dog bun situation

4. What’s the point of living in a surveillance state if you can’t even use that surveillance state to locate your keys?

See any hot dog buns in this picture?

The tasks on the investigation to-do list were piling up: I was looking for a new apartment because my current apartment wasn’t supportive enough of my hot dog bun problem. I was reading a book on Quantum Field Theory to see if it was a field situation. I was shopping psychics. I was complaining to anybody who texted or called or Zoomed into my life. People were offering dogs to sniff it out, others were asking me why I had no shame (thanks, Dad), telling me to shell out another buck-nineteen and move on with my life.

Okay, one, it’s winter here and two, there’s a pandemic, so what do I have to move on to, exactly [ahem, writing your next novel and starting on your BookTube channel], and also, three

WHAT ABOUT OBJECTIVE REALITY AND THE GODDAMNED TRUTH

I was policing my Reddit post for new suggestions. I accepted the dog offer and moved to arrange that. I also took a clever suggestion on getting my house cleaned, worked to schedule. So I had a lot of irons in the fire.

But the bottom line is that there’s a lot of data out there these days, and there’s data in here, too, so why can’t I access it?

The New York Times published an article (six days after receipt of the disappeared hot dog buns) about how people’s smartphones tracked their movements during the US government insurrection at the Capitol building last month.

Can’t I track myself and my movements?

What about the free satellite data out there? Can we look for a package of hot dog buns on it? Retrospectively, can we find something that allegedly existed a week ago, and determine whether it did or not?

Of course we can.

I geared up to launch a full-scale investigation on myself.

To be continued…

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