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The Adventures of Cap'tain Johan "Smarty" Almanac

Of all the sea-faring genius detectives that ever there were, one salty gum-shoe truly stands towards the top of the heap. That one, of course, is none other than Cap'tain Johan Almanac, known to enemies and foes alike as "Smarty." He was given the nickname "Smarty" due to his penchant for leaping to ridiculous conclusions and instant decisions, using only the most superficial information, his penetrating perceptive powers, and roll after roll of colorful sugar candies.

Cap'tain Johan "Smarty" Almanac was a legend among men, a solver of mysteries who himself was a paradox, a riddle in an uncanny world of strange conundrums. No one knew just how old "Smarty" was, and you could never guess which arcane language he might deliver his verdict in. His fee was different for each mystery solved, sometimes as little as all he could carry, and sometimes as much as he could want. His sobriety was always in question, since he doused himself regularly in expensive scotch, to mask the isopropyl scent that would otherwise follow him like an antiseptic shadow. No one ever knew when he'd show up, sailing into the harbor of some soon-to-be grief-stricken town in his bright green schooner, "The 013442-GRB-674." Old '674 would just slide out of the evening mist, and there would be Cap'tain Johan, standing tall and proud at that part up by the front of the ship. He'd leap down, just before the boat reached the dock, and as the townsfolk fished him from the water, he would already be picking up clues. Once he solved a particularly puzzling dilemma without even stopping the ship - he just called out as he floated by, something that sounded like "hey, a tall bastard, aye." Sure enough, after all the tall people in the village were summarily executed, evidence appeared to prove it was probably one of them.

Many a tale is told of a person at trial, awaiting a seemingly-certain verdict, when in would stumble Cap'tain Johan, bedraggled and foul. He'd reveal some trivial insight or opinion or other fabrication, and show that the ruling was very possibly wrong, and the judge would toss it out just in time. Countless suspects would be alive today if not for the faultless intuition and split-second generalizations of Johan Almanac.

Once, for instance, a man was accused of doing some wrong thing, and although all the evidence and eyewitnesses the defense invented seemed to prove that he was not even alive at the time, the police were convinced that he did it. Call it luck or call it magic, they knew that only "Smarty" himself could reel in this evil-doer. They went to the pier and began to pray and wish for Cap'tain Johan to show up, and just when it seemed like they couldn't possibly bribe the judge for one more extension, a piece of driftwood flecked with green paint was found on the beach. Clearly, this meant that the Cap'tain was on his way, and the suspect was jailed indefinitely. And like clockwork, some twenty-odd months later, the Cap'tain appeared, passed out in the corner of a dark alley. All the waiting had been worth it: Cap'tain Johan stared at them through a haze of his own filth, took a swig of gasoline from his flask, and uttered, "Gettoffa me! I dint do it!" The police were in tears with joy as they stampeded to the jail, where they destroyed the perpatrator immediately. Everyone else lived happily, for a while at least.

The next time you've been proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, pray to the spirit of Cap'tain Johan "Smarty" Almanac, that he might arrive and serve you with the sweet justice of his frothy maw. And if he doesn't come, who knows? Maybe you'll get off on a loophole or a technicality or something.

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