Beer and Gum Stash Behind a 30 Year Walla Walla Library Whodunit
Well, well, well, Walla Walla, the 30-year library whodunit mystery has been solved.
With the Walla Walla Public Library closed to the public, staff have been changing its layout to better serve patrons when it reopens. While moving the mystery collection to a more accessible place, you read that correctly, the mystery collection section, a facilities crew member uncovered a real-life whodunit when he removed a corner panel on some 1970s-era shelving with an open top..
Along with the usual dust and dead bugs, he found five unopened cans of "the beer refreshing" and some wicked stale gum still in its glorious, trippy, colorful packaging, along with a moldering paper bag.
Someone had apparently taken a cue from "Treasure Island" and stashed their booty behind the shelving, but then wasn't able to retrieve it.
Even Sherlock Holmes can deduce the Godzilla Heads gum is there to mask the Hamms beer breath.
Godzilla Heads gum dates to the late 1980s, and the rule that requires warnings to be printed on alcohol containers was enacted in November 1988. So the conventional thinking is the goods were there for upward of 30 years. Talk about a long shelf life!
What's the next chapter for the artifacts? After chewing on the question for a while, library staff decided to transfer them to another City of Walla Walla facility. The abandoned relics now reside in the Sudbury Landfill.
Where's your sense of adventure? Take that damn near six pack of Hamms (Homer Simpson says mmmmmHamms) and pound it! Drink, pleeb! Drink! It's probably not the outcome the trove owner expected; unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending.
Erin Wells, the library's director, said discovering the nostalgic blast from the past with the beer and gum brought some much needed levity to an otherwise dour coronaviurs situation: "It looked like somebody had just stashed it there and maybe thought they could get it later, but there was no way to get it out. There were probably six beers that they bought and there was only five that we found so they might not have been thinking straight when they did it."
The Walla Walla Public Library remains closed to the public amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, though patrons can still sign up for resources online or participate in the library’s curbside pickup program.