516: Wood Chips
Title text: You didn't run a chemical analysis against the Shroud of Turin? Man, all that work for NOTHING.
Cueball has tried to play an elaborate hoax on a woman involving wood chips that match the composition of the wood used to build a 19th-century ghost ship called the Mary Celeste. Unfortunately, the woman has done the sensible, reasonable thing and thrown them out instead of checking to see if they belong to a ghost ship, whose wood chips or what-have-you would probably not have found their way to the hallway. This causes Cueball to realize that he needs to rethink the complicated way in which he creates hoaxes, because the people he is trying to trick do not follow through with his elaborate plans.
The title text suggests that he also set up some kind of chemical match with the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is a famous artifact, said by some to have been used as Jesus's burial cloth, containing the ghostly image of a face. A chemical analysis was performed on it in the late 1980s, which appeared to prove the cloth was medieval in origin; however, not everyone has fully accepted this finding.
- [Cueball leans on desk; Woman sits behind desk.]
- Cueball: Did you ever figure out those mysterious woodchips?
- Woman: The ones in the hallway? No.
- Cueball: You didn't suspect that they matched the timber used in 1861 to build the "ghost ship" Mary Celeste, prompting you to send them to a lab for analysis, the results of which raised new and stranger questions?
- Woman: No, I threw them out. Why?
- My hoaxes need to get a lot less subtle.
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