Where’s Ray? Has anybody heard from Ray? Ray’s Missing! Call 911, issue an amber alert, alert the media, call out the National Guard! Like a claxon sounding in the middle of the night, the word went out. Mike Donegan had noticed that noted bon viveant, Ray D. Bean had been absent from the message board for some time. Mike quickly organized a relief effort to be mounted from the Bay Area. Selecting a party of favorites, Mike quickly loaded the trunk of his land yacht with an ample supply of Ripple, Red Dagger and Mad Dog to revive Ray. The engine of the mighty Buick roared to life and Mike’s party zoomed to the northeast, determined to free Ray from the icy grasp of the Canadian prairie.

At the border, Canadian Mounties saw the odd caravan approach. After noting the empty casks and bottles in the trunk and the appearance and condition of the occupants of the Buick, they quickly deduced that this party would present a clear and present danger to the fauna of the Canadian arctic. Mike was turned away. Mike could have spared himself the time and effort of the relief expedition because Ray was not missing. Ray knew exactly where he was at any point in time. Ray announced that he had suffered “computer problems”. Yeh, sure Ray. In reality Ray was just paying one last visit to an aircraft carrier in 2005 before winter locked him into his igloo until next spring.

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After a slight mishap upon arrival, Ray quickly melded in with the crew of the carrier. The captain quickly dispatched an official greeting party with orders to take Ray to his new accommodations. However, Ray could not be found. Where’s Ray? Has anybody heard from Ray? Ray’s missing! Alert the Fleet! A ship wide search was conducted to find Ray but he was not to be found. Ray didn’t mean to be missing, as he was just giving the captain a chance to have Ray’s damaged aircraft repaired. Ray actually spent most of his time on the deck, amid a sea of different colored uniforms and helmets.

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Towards the end of his stay, the Marines adopted Ray as the ship’s mascot. Quite often Ray would lead the Marines in their morning physical training. Finally, as the carrier neared port, Ray decided it was time to fly off. He had notified his kids before leaving and thought that they might be worried back in Winnipeg . He found the captain, who was glad to see him. Ray was quick to ask about his aircraft. “Hey skip, is my bird ready? I’ve got to run!” The captain assured Ray that his plane was ready and already spotted on cat #1. Ray didn’t notice the subtle differences in his craft as he approached. He discovered the difference only after the catapult had shot him free of the deck. Where was the power? He couldn’t pull up. Fortunately the rescue chopper quickly picked him up. Upon arriving back on the carrier’s deck, Ray discovered that the marines had prepared another bird, painted in Ray’s personal markings and it was ready for take off. Ray and that bird were shot off before the ship’s captain knew that Ray was back aboard. Unknown to Ray, his kids had gathered at the dock to await their dad and the carrier. Unfortunately, no one informed them, or the process servers, that Ray was on his way back to the Peg, rather than still aboard the approaching carrier.

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The question still remains as to how Ray managed to avoid the captain’s greeting party so long. The answer is simple. He simply donned his personal deck helmet and blended in with the deck crew. The question is: Which of the following shells hid the Bean?

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Wal4403mer.JPG (10419 bytes) Wal4404spade.JPG (12957 bytes) Wal4405nashville.JPG (12301 bytes) Wal4406ace.JPG (10887 bytes)