Mystery of the Unwanted Trash©
February 2002

Opening Clues - Suddenly, Michelle rushed home and threw out the trash.

Mystery Question - Why?

Below are the questions and answers. Questions are in the order asked, preceded by the asker's initials. (Answers are in parentheses.) Correct answers and clues are in orange. KEY Facts are in gold.


KS - Is it because the trash smelled bad? (Not at all.) Is it because something had died? (Define died.) Did she know if she didn't empty the trash, someone might find something? (No.)

TT - Is the trash Michelle threw out normal household trash? (Some people would use the expression "normal household trash" here.) Did she suddenly rush home: after hearing something? (Yes.) Remembering something? (No.) seeing something? (No.) Was she visiting somebody at the time? (No.) Running an errand? (No.) Was there something in the trash that could have incriminated her? (Negative.) Someone else? (Strictly speaking - Yes. But don't hate us for it.) Was there a crime involved? (Define crime.) Did Michelle commit a crime? (Even if she did, don't pursue this.) Is Michelle's occupation, age, marital status, nationality, physical stature or appearance relevant to this mystery? (Her age and her marital status.) Did she rush home in a car? her car? a taxi? public transportation of some sort? (Taxi. KEY Fact #6) Any other people involved? 1? 2? 3? more? a group? (2 people)

A - Did the trash smell bad? (Nope.)


AS - Is Michelle under the age of twenty? (Her exact age is not important, but she IS over 21.) Is she married? (Yes!!) Does she have a boyfriend? (Nope.) Does she have a fiancée? (No.) Are the two other people that are involved related to her? (One is.) Are they friends? (Not anymore.) Did she throw the trash out to get rid of something that was in the trash? (No.) Was she at a group function before she rushed home? (Negative.) Was Michelle upset upon arrival at home? (Yes.) Were the two other people involved a man and a woman/ two women/ two men? (A man and a woman.) Did Michelle hear something that made her upset? (Yes.)

TT - Is it important to know where Michelle was, when she heard something that upset her? (Not really. We'll give this one to you. KEY Fact #1) Did she hear in from the radio? (Yes. KEY Fact #2) from a person talking to her? (No.) did she overhear it? Is her male relative: her husband father? son? nephew? uncle? cousin? grandfather? (Husband.) Is the relevant female: a neighbor? coworker? casual acquaintance? policewoman? the taxi driver? her husband's lover? (Husband's lover.) Is her occupation important? (No.) Was Michelle upset by what she heard because: it meant a loss of money to her? (No.) a loss of a loved one? (If you mean the death of a loved one, then No.) a loss of her job? (No.) By crime I mean: felony or misdemeanor, punishable by law. Was there a crime involved? (There was no crime as you defined it.) Is it important to find out where Michelle was when she heard the upsetting information? (Only to show that she was not home.) Is the fact that she is over 21 important because: she was allowed to vote? to buy liquor? to make her own decisions independent of her parents? (It was important only to put her at a marrying age.) Is what was in the trash bin relevant? (What trash bin? Ah ha!!) If so, was it made of paper? wood? metal? stone? cloth? liquid? solid? (Ask these again when the "trash bin" issue has been resolved.) Was it there in the trash when she reached home? Or did she put it in the trash upon arrival? Immediately? Shortly thereafter? (Please define "it" and "trash" in the preceding questions. And, please don't hate us. :-)) Did she immediately take out (We said - "threw out.") the trash upon arriving at home? the same day? several days later? (Immediately.)

PP - PP - Were the two other people Michelle's husband and his lover? (Yes.) Did Michelle hear something on the phone? on the television? on the radio? from a friend? from a stranger? (On the radio.) Was the trash at with Michelle, before she went home? (No.)

CM - Was there something rotten in the trash? (There was something rotten "about" the trash.) Had Michele concealed something in the trash? (No.) Was she trying to conceal something from her husband? (Nope.) Was she concealing food wrappers - i.e., fast food wrappers, candy bar wrappers? (Negative.) Was the trash inside the house? (Yes.) Did she need to take it out and forgot to do it and didn't want her husband to find out? (No.) Did Michele hear something on the radio or TV that sent her hurrying home? (Yes, the radio.) Did she hear something on the phone or from a friend? (Neither.) Was Michele very young - i.e., a bride; very old; middle aged? (Old enough to marry is all that matters.) Was she at work when she heard what made her rush home? (On her way to work, but it isn't really important.) Was she at church; at a movie; shopping; with a friend; in a restaurant? (Exactly what Michelle was doing when she heard, isn't important.)

YS - Is there something dangerous in the trash? (Nope.) Did her mom threatened to "ground" her? (No she didn't) Did she put anything into the trash just before she threw it away? (Nothing at all.)


TT - Was the trash Michelle's husband? (No.) His lover? Both? (Both!! This should make things easier. KEY Fact #8) Did what Michelle hear on the radio indicate to her that her husband was having an affair? (Yes.) That his lover was with him at home? (Yes. KEY Fact #7) Did she recognize a voice on the radio? (No.) Familiar sounds that made her realize what was going on? (No.) Is the husband's occupation important? Was he a disk jockey? (His occupation is not important.) And she heard something on the radio to indicate he wasn't working that day? (No.) Perhaps a different DJ? Or a technical problem in the station indicating he wasn't on the job? (Creative, but all wrong.) There was no trash bin, correct? (Absolutely correct.) Is the trash literally something you would dispose of on a daily or weekly basis? (No, it is not!!)

PP - What Michelle heard on the radio, was it music? (No.) news? (No.) a human voice? (Yes.) a commercial? (No.) the DJ speaking? (Yes, and more.) The trash that Michelle threw out, was it typical waste (paper, food, plastic, etc.) collected at a house and disposed of regularly? (No.) Did Michelle rush to a residence? a retirement home? a home for non-human animals? (A residence.) Do any of the three people in this Mystery work at a radio station? (No.)

AS - Did Michelle "throw out" the trash because her husband was cheating on her?? (Yes!) Was her husband home when she got home to throw out the trash? (Yes.) Did she know her husband was cheating on her before she heard whatever she heard on the radio?? (She suspected it.) Did what she hear on the radio lead her to believe her husband was cheating on her?? (Sure did!) Was what she heard on the radio words from a caller/dj/ or a song?? (Of these 3, technically only the DJ. Technically!!) Was the trash in a wastebasket previous to her throwing it out? (Nope.) Is
her husband's lover a complete stranger/a friend of hers/a coworker of hers/his??
(Complete stranger.) Was Michelle's marriage on the rocks? (Yep.) Did she throw her husband out when she got home? (Yes! KEY Fact #8)


TT - Did Michelle's husband or his lover call the radio station? (No.) Request a song? (No.) Forget to hang up? (Nope.)Therefore the sounds of their love making were broadcast on air? (Clever, but not right.) Did Michelle recognized her husband's voice (or groans)? (Disgusting and WRONG!)

TF - Does Michelle live alone? (No, she is married. She just feels like she is alone :-))

PP - What Michelle heard on the radio, is it something heard on the radio frequently?
(Depending on the station - Yes.) Does it matter what kind of radio she was listening to? (No.) Does it matter what kind of station she was listening to (classical, pop, rap, etc.)? (Perhaps a little, but it won't be very helpful.) Was she listening to a short-wave radio? (No.) Was she listening on headphones? (Yes.) Does that matter? (No.) Is anything other than what she heard on the radio important? (No.) Is all that remains is to find out what it is that Michelle heard on the radio? (YES!!!)

KS - Was her husband a DJ who should have been working? (Nope.) Continued from before -- in other words, she heard someone other than her husband on the radio? (Yep.)

TT - Michelle heard the DJ's voice on the radio, right? (Right!) Was he announcing the next song? (Nope.) reporting news? (Nope.) weather? (Negatory.) counseling a caller? (No.) calling someone? (Yes, indeed.) interviewing someone? (Not really an interview.) Was he talking to Michelle's husband? (No.) his lover? (YES!! But WHY???) Michelle heard something else, correct? (Not correct.) Noises from the studio? (No.) a recording of something? (No.) of her husband's voice? (No.) his lover's voice? (Not a recording.) Did Michelle know the DJ personally? Did her husband? his lover? (None of these is important.)


TT - Did the DJ call Michelle (The DJ called Michelle's home number. KEY Fact #4) because she won a prize in a sweepstakes? (Close enough. The DJ announced a contest. KEY Fact #3) to get information from her? (Yes!!) Did he call her on her cell phone? (No.) Did he get her number at random? (Yes.) As from a phone book? (Not a phone book.) Was he doing a survey? (No.) Confusion: you said Michelle didn't hear anything else, but previously stated (25/02 to PP) that Michelle heard the DJ speaking "and more". Please clarify. Was the "more" something the DJ was doing? tapping his fingers? dialing the phone? humming? singing? clearing his throat? (By more, we meant that Michelle heard the DJ and someone else, whom we now know was the husband's lover.) Did Michelle hear her husband's lover's voice on the radio? (Yes.) through the phone? (The lover was speaking on a phone with the DJ, and this was broadcast over the radio while Michelle listened.) Did the lover say something to indicate where she was? (Anything the lover said would have revealed where she was at the time of the call.) the address of Michelle's home? the phone number? the name of her friend-Michelle's husband? (The lover said none of these things.)

PP - Did the DJ call Michelle's home? (Yes. KEY Fact #4)

AF - Was something rotting in the trash? (Afraid not.)

CM - Was the lover making a request? (Nope.) Did the song the lover requested mean something special to Michelle? (N/A) The DJ called the lover - right? (Right.) Had she entered a contest of some kind? (SHE didn't) Did the lover respond to something asked by the DJ (i.e., name, phone number, address) that told Michelle she was calling from Michelle's own home? (The lover DID respond to something asked by the DJ. The response isn't important.) Did he ask if she was alone? (No.) Was the lover's voice familiar to Michelle? (Not at all.) Do we need to know the lover's name? (Nah!) Is the lover the girl friend, wife, a relation of the DJ? (Nope.) Are Michelle and the DJ involved in an affair together? (That's a negative.) Was the DJ conversation with the lover about his relationship with Michelle? (No! Stop watching Jerry Springer.)

  • All the information is now known.
  • It is just a matter of the right connections.

The next question solved the Mystery of the Unwanted Trash!!

To the Solution!!

©Mystery of the Unwanted Trash, Don Fitzmahan, 2002 / Minute Mystery is trademarked by Don Fitzmahan.