"Mabel, let me in old friend! Do you have your hearing aids in? I have some news."
Mabel pushes her weary body off the couch, reaches for her walker and shuffles to the front door.
"Goodness, Dorothy, what is it? Don't call me old. I can say the same about you."
"Let's sit down together." Dorothy says, "I need to tell you what I found out about your new neighbor. He gives me the creeps. So, I looked him up on the computer."
"Oh, you and your computer. What did you find out?"
"Well, if you would stop being such an old fuddy-duddy, you might learn a thing or two on your computer."
"Don't lecture me about the computer. I use it. I e-mail my grandchildren."
"Nevermind. Your new neighbor is on a "sexual predator" site. He's under police watch. You better keep your doors locked at all times and be careful."
"Oh, my. Let me get you some coffee."
They continue chatting about the neighbor, health issues, grandchildren and being labeled old.
A month later, Mable greets Detective Jonas at the door. When he enters Mabel's living room, Sophie, Mabel's cat, scurries out of the room and settles on Mabel's bed.
"Detective, please, have a seat. Can I get you a cup of coffee and some chocolate chip cookies?"
"No, thank you, Mrs. James. I've come to ask if you know anything about the fire next door. Have you ever heard or seen anything suspicious? Did you hear anything the night of the fire?"
"No. I'm old and hard of hearing. I take out my hearing aids at night. I woke up when the fireman pounded on my door and told me to get out. It was frightful. I stood on the street and watched the house burn down. I'm sorry. I'm not much help. Did you find out what caused the fire?"
"Someone placed a small, homemade incendiary device with a timer under the heater in the garage. There were no fingerprints or clues for us to follow. Anyone could have learned how to make one off the internet. Well, thank you for your time. I have more people to interview."
After the detective left, Mabel sat on her bed next to Sophie and stroked her neck.
"Yep, you sure can learn a lot on the internet, huh, Sophie?"