On most-wanted lists

Jess and I are going to see Muppets: Most Wanted, and she wants to know what “most wanted” means.

Me: If the police know you’ve done something criminal, but they don’t know where to find you, they might put you on the most-wanted list. Then if you’re spotted, the police will arrest you.

Jessica: Well, not me.

Me: True, because you would never do anything to get on a most-wanted list.

Jessica: And you are not on a most-wanted list.

Me: You make that sound like a question.

Jessica: I would just like to know.

Me: No, I am not on a most-wanted list.

Jessica: Do you know anyone on the most-wanted list?

Me: Hmm. Well, there was that time when I was getting all those letters from prisoners in federal penitentiaries but they had already been caught, so that doesn’t count. And my books are extremely popular in Russia, and I get a lot of letters from there, and I think one of the people who emails me might be Vladimir Putin, but maybe not.

Jessica: Sometime it is hard to understand what you are saying.

Me: You wanted to know if I know anyone on a most-wanted list—

Jessica: Because I would never know someone on a most-wanted list, but you might.


My collection of travel stories, Travels with Jessica, is now available! Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here. And I’ve published my essay “For Jessica” as a small book. Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.

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