Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:34 AM

actually occuring bags of money

If you're wandering around a movie and stumble across a bag of money, you should probably alert the authorities and flee. But you won't. You'll cook up a crazy scheme to keep the money and end up having your fictitious life turned upside-down by the very people to whose level you swore you would never stoop but now must in order to prove your innocence or save your failing business/farm/life/health-of-friend-slash-loved-one.

Take, for example, the true life story of Franco-Scottish baker Baguette MacGuffin, whose disappearance remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of all time.

Baguette was raised by her mother, the beautiful gypsy Rosebud. Childhood spent in the gypsy camp was wondrous and strange. Days spent grifting in various villages and townships, nights of feasting, dancing and laughter. On Baguette's sixteenth birthday, her mother bestowed upon her a magical beaded necklace that had the power to reveal even the cleverest hiding places. Rosebud had stolen the necklace from an undercover Interpol informant in Prague and taken it to a nightclub in Morocco where she hid it inside a piano. She was ultimately captured & imprisoned, only to escape by sawing through the bars of her cell with a file young Baguette had placed inside a cake. It is a common misconception that files are "baked" into cakes, when usually they are sandwiched between cake layers or pressed into the cake after it is baked and then covered with icing. Baguette had mastered both techniques by the age of nine.

Much has been written about Baguette's father, the notorious gambler Kaplan MacGuffin:

'Lo the saggiest bags o' most golden gold
That th' notorious gambl'r MacGuffin stole
Th' treasured heirlooms o' Widow & Count
Pillag'd n' ransom'd in exorb'tant a'mount
Pensions o' Lords n' 401k's
Ferrie'd by pirates from shadowy cay
Stagecoach n' steamtrain
N' Swiss amrmour'd car
Be-handcuff'd suitcase
'Lectronic funds transf'r
Curren'cy launder'd n' curren'cy smudgy
All fair o' game to the gambl'r MacGuffy!

Baguette left the gypsy camp shortly after freeing her mother, and immigrated to America. Life was hard at first, but Baguette found work in a combination beeper store & Taco Bell run by a kindly Egyptian family and moved into the attic apartment. As fortune would have it, the apartment's pervious occupant, Woody Guthrie, had hidden a notebook of songs in the wall. Baguette immediately skyped her friend Billy Bragg and told him the news:

"Billy! Remember that clunky-ass necklace my mom gave me?"
"I think so, the glowy-blueish one?"
"Yeah yeah yeah, anyway, I found a bunch of Woody Guthrie songs with it and I think you and Wilco should record them!"
"Bloody brilliant, Baguette! I love you!" (this creeped Baguette straight out)
"mmmKay...I love you too, buddy. I'll email you the songs."
"I better go, my darling, the RIAA is tapping my skype again."
"Yeah, me too."

Of course, Baguette had no way of knowing that Billy was telling the truth, she assumed he was just trying to make himself seem important. It wasn't so much the RIAA itself that you needed to worry about, but the secret enforcement squad operating covertly within known as "the Cut-Outs."

the Cut Outs had a minor hit in the early nineties called "Fire Attack," but had since evolved into a highly effective para-military unit that ruthlessly hunted copyright pirates and the like. Countless underground, renegade types found their ends at the point of a Cut Outs pitchfork. Smuggler dudes, dudes with the same name as smuggler dudes, habitual boycotters, people having fun, good guy double agents, people unwittingly in possession of secret documents, bystandery witnesses of foul play, the Cut Outs showed no mercy to their victims and frequently lapsed into condescending soliloquy. All their rigorous training and limitless resources, however, proved no match for our heroine. Had it not been for her ill-fated romance with a guy I totally forgot to mention earlier, Mason, Baguette would have evaded the Cut Outs to the ends of the Earth.

Baguette inherited her father's keen eye for surveillance. She made the stakeout within an hour of the portable on-demand storage (PODS) container's delivery across the street from the beeper store.

"Ugarte, are we getting a new shipment of black-market cell phones today?"
"No. We still need the moving the uPhones of January last! This economy...most crummy."
"Thought not. Gotta motor!"

Baguette snuck through the sliding panel behind the charger display and into the escape tunnel. Deftly mounting her Vespa while switching out the SIM card in her phone, she sped off through the tunnel, literally under the noses of the tracker bloodhounds scouring the beeper store.

The chase was on, and the bad guys were pulling out all the stops. APB's, roadblocks, photoshopped tabloid photos, all kinds of internet hoaxes and spam, infomercials, dye packs, wiretaps, Google Maps, iPhone apps, confidential informants, tracking devices, ninjas, you name it. Agents were dispatched to the gypsy camp and threatened to waterboard everybody. Agents raided the beeper store and impounded all the knock-off phones. Baguette ditched her Vespa and hopped a train, only to jump off a split second before the doors closed, flummoxing the two bad guys stationed on the platform. She went through disguises like they were going out of style, which they kind of were, considering that not being recognized as Baguette MacGuffin was a very 'in' look. It was a pretty exciting couple days leading up to Baguette & Mason's rendezvous.

Okay, so this guy Mason is kind of a shady character. While there is no wikipedia page on him, rumor is he was the heir to the Monsanto soy fortune. Baguette met Mason at a very fancy brunch in a pretty fancy part of town. Baguette was working part time as a caterer/cat burglar, Mason working full time as a sleazy ne’er-do-well. They made a pact much later that night, as the sun rose over the Native American burial grounds, that if Baguette ever had to evade a dangerous and tech-savvy squad of bad guys, they would meet at the brunch house and escape on Mason's yacht, which was disguised as a shrimp boat. Mason's dumb ass went and twittered all about it.

The yacht was gassed up and ready for the trip back to the old country. Baguette's heart jumped at the thought of being reunited with her mother as she climbed the stone steps down the cliff to the dock. "Sweet! Gypsy camp rules," she thought, "I am so ready to not be dealing with these stupid cops." Her excitement was short-lived; when she saw the police boat sirens round the sea wall she bolted back up the steps, never to be seen again.

As with any high-profile mystery, there are many theories as to what became of Baguette MacGuffin. Many people believe she was captured and interred in some secret RIAA prison. Others speculate that she is still on the run, trying to make her way back to Europe. When you're trying to think of a good place to stash the bag of money you found, remember Baguette's story, and if you figure out a moral let me know so I can update it.

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