I am very slowly learning the lesson that other people just aren't as into mysteries as I am.
This year we had a crime scene that people could examine themselves and there was a trashcan there with some trash and a clue in it*, and as far as I know, nobody ever even looked through the trash.
Last year, two people got whodunnit and why. This year, something like a dozen people got whodunnit, but nobody got why.
Both years that I've written the MMDT, I've gone around for days worrying that the solution to my mystery will be obvious and everyone will get it and I will look stupid, and so far both years the day after the MMDT, I feel sheepish that so few people got it and that I should have left more clues.
Part of it is that I am used to writing mysteries on paper where:
1. All of the clues are literally inches from your nose
2. If you don't get it, you don't mind.
In a murder mystery dinner theatre, people don't actually look very hard for clues or question people very carefully, but it's sort of weird and awkward when only a couple of people figure something out, or when nobody gets it.
I'll probably write it next year, too. So next year I will make it a little easier, but not too much easier. Sigh.
I spent a lot less time on this year's MMDT because my January has completely sucked. I was really sick for a week or so, my work has been really stressful over the last few weeks and school is complicated as well.
I had a really unpleasant experience in class last week where we were doing Hudson v. Michigan and the professor asked about potential consequences to the police no-knocking one's house**. People said the usual answers "Embarassment, property damage, greater chance of violence." I raised my hand and said that the police would likely kill one's dog.
Everybody laughed like either they thought I was kidding or it was just a really stupid answer in general. The professor said something snarky like "That's a new one."
There was only ten minutes left in class at that point and I spend said ten minutes googling and arranging a set of links about police raids where dogs have been killed, often in raids where the police had the wrong house. I assembled ten or so of them, most of them from the last six months. For pure spite reasons, I put the family dogs killed in front of little children on top. Then I sent the links to my professor.
Knowing that I was right about the dogs and that my answer hadn't been stupid, I left the class head held high. Then I got into the car and burst into tears because, hey, 100 people had just laughed at me to my face and my professor had mocked me. I called a friend as I drove home and poured out my tale of unjustified woe.
As she listened to my sniffling, my friend gently pointed out that the professor probably hadn't meant it the way I'd taken it and the rest of the class probably consisted of people who had never had their houses searched by the police, having not grown up with younger brothers who tended to get them into that sort of situation. I thought about it for a moment and conceded that she was correct that the tone of the discussion made it clear that for most of the rest of the class, police raids are something that happen to criminals, not people like them. That's a pretty crucial difference in point of view.
The professor sent out my links to the entire class. In class on Friday, several people said things like "Wow, CC, I had no idea!" and went on about the brutality of some of these raids.
Now for people who didn't get the point the first time, an innocent person's dogs killed in a police raid are on the cover of the Washington Post Magazine.
I wish I'd been wrong, though.
Anyway, I'm at work at 8am for a reason and have hours to bill before I sleep.
Ps. At noon on Monday, the small-town mayor who was a victim of the police raid that the post wrote about took questions on Washingtonpost.com
*We did California vs. Greenwood in my criminal procedures class like three days ago.
**My theory is that just about every UU has a civil rights or civil liberties issue that they know most people don't care about but that they feel is vitally important and a moral necessity that we deal with. Police raids are mine.