Behold ye FOB lurking in the aisles of the desi grocery store – there approaches your friendly neighbourhood Amway Salesperson. Before long you are befriended and brainwashed into attending a meeting where you are shown the path to becoming richer than Bill Gates/Croseus and invariably dropped like a hot-brick when you don’t sign up.
Amway and the other zillions of these Network Marketing schemes brings to mind the “Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup” devised by The Three Investigators. The Three Investigators is a series of books featuring amateur sleuths Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews. The series was first published (in the 60s) as “Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators” (where the detective team is supposedly introduced by Alfred in a bid by author Rober Arthur to gain attention/publicity). The boys live in Southern California and have won the use of a gold-plated Rolls Royce for 30 days (later a grateful client provides for the team to use the Rolls when ever they require).
The use of the “Ghost to Ghost Hookup" originates when they realize the persons most observant about the happenings around them are kids. The concept is simple: each person is asked to call up five of his/her friends to either pass on some information or request some similar information and each of those friends in turn call up five of their friends and so on. Do the math – 5 times 5 is 25, 25 times 5 is 125, 125 times 5 is…No wonder all the phone lines in the State seem to have gotten busy.
For those who haven’t read the books they bear intriguing titles like “Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot”; “Mystery of the Talking Skull”: “Laughing Shadow”; “Screaming Clock” and so on.
Jupiter Jones is a little like Fatty from Enid Blyton’s “Five Find Outers” series – a little on the plump side but extremely intelligent with his brains appearing to literally whirr when ever he puts his thinking cap on.
In "Mystery of the Whispering Mummy" - was most amused to see refernces to a Lord Carter - AFAIK - it was Lord Carnarvon who funded the discovery of King Tut's tomb and Howard Carter the archeologist who discovered. Was Carter knighted subsequently?
Recently re-read “Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot” and found a bunch of extremely lucky but totally unbelievable co-incidences that move the story along. Never noticed these as a kid.
Sigh! Age does that to you!