Over the last week, two of our friends went missing.  We suspect foul play and are currently investigating the possibility of kidnapping, alien abduction, and irreligious rapture.  Both are regular and active participants in local bar conversations, but neither were present over the last few days.  At this point, we are unsure if the incidents are connected.  Please be on the look-out this weekend for the individuals described below.   Send any tips to whatthewhat@uglycousin.com .

In an unrelated story, we spotted two look-alikes of our missing friends at bars with their spouses.

The first missing person is Shot-and-a-beer Carol, a stocky man in his late 50s who can converse intelligently about football, physics, computer programming, and strip clubs. While smiling broadly, he often describes ailments that he is currently being treated for and near-death experiences he somehow survived.  “I had to get this shoulder replaced by a pig shoulder after the motorcycle accident.”  His eyes often move independently of one another while he tells a joke.  You will recognize him by the shot and a beer perpetually in front of him.  If you see him around 7 or 8, he will also have a bag of take-out food on the counter that he intends to take home after “one more” round.

A man that could have been his twin showed up earlier in the week, and we approached him as if he were Shot-and-a-beer Carol.  The expression on his face wasn’t happy, though, and he had neither a story to tell or a shot in front of him.  Instead, he had the look of a third-grader caught stealing cookies.   Then we noticed that a woman was sitting next to him.  The Carol doppelgänger looked nervously at us as we mistook him for Carol, and continuously glanced back at the woman, who we presume was his wife.  Carol always comes to the bar alone, so we don’t know who that guy was.

The second missing person is Muscular Peter.  Though some people get the nickname skinny because they aren’t or curly because they’re bald, Muscular Peter is called this because he is tall and muscular.  He is also always happy, and always ready with a clever joke or mildly sarcastic comment.  You can start any ridiculous story, and he’ll play along.  If you say, for instance, that you hear the city is going to mandate that everyone trade in their current vehicles for bumper cars, he’ll explain that he already has his ready and that he’ll be bouncing into everyone all day long.  He might then speculate on driving bumper cars on major highways.  Nothing about his personality is intimidating, but his size makes you wonder if you should really kid him about the cranberry drinks he sometimes has instead of beer.  You will recognize him because he stands at the edges of bars and never sits.

We mistook an equally muscular man for Peter on Wednesday, but we determined immediately we must have been confused by the lighting.  This man sat.  He was at a small table with a woman about his age (40?) and a teenage woman who resembled the other.  His eyes were barely open, and he had the expression of someone who had to put down a pet on the way to a funeral.  The women chatted and he stared.  This definitely wasn’t Peter, since he is remarkably chatty and positive.

It is a strange coincidence that in the same week that two of our friends went missing, we saw two people who could be their twins.  Such is the nature of a crazy world with billions of humans roaming around.  Please, if you see our friends this weekend, let us know.  Bar conversation depends on it.