NEW LONDON, CT–Gil Woller, a marketing manager at Hartley Automated Systems, expressed bafflement Monday upon discovering the message "Gazebo Convo–resolve/Tues (!?)" in the June 22 space in his daily planner.
"I was flipping through my planner for a phone number I wrote down a while back, and this mysterious gazebo-convo-Tuesday message turned up," the 42-year-old Woller said. "I had absolutely no clue what it meant. I scanned the next several Tuesdays to see if there were any notes regarding the resolution of a gazebo convo–whatever that is–but there was nothing. I haven't been able to think about anything else since."
Woller, who has no regular contact with gazebos, either professionally or personally, said he has read the message aloud countless times, hoping that doing so might jog his memory.
"Convo... convo...," Woller said. "Conversation? Convention? Convocation? Convoy? It's got to be convention. But I haven't been at a convention since last fall, and it had nothing to do with gazebos."
Woller's confusion and dismay over the note has been exacerbated by the presence of a small, unchecked box beside it, suggesting that the task, whatever it is, remains uncompleted.
"Somewhere, a gazebo convo happened that I missed or am going to miss," Woller said. "I could kick myself, if only I knew what I need to kick myself for."
Directly adjacent to the note, in the page's margin, is a small doodle of a fish and a series of interconnected diamonds. Woller said he has carefully analyzed the drawings for clues that may help him solve the riddle.
"The fish leads me to believe that the gazebo could be near a lake or river. Or possibly a seafood restaurant," Woller said. "Or it could just be a random doodle. I don't know."
After a frustrating day in which he completed little work, Woller continued his investigation at home Monday evening.
"I asked my wife Judy if she knew anything about a gazebo," Woller said. "She said she recalled sitting in one two summers ago when we took the kids to that resort in the Poconos. But then she thought about it a little more and said it was actually more of a screened-in porch. Either way, I doubt that's got anything to do with this."
According to noted therapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum, Woller's obsession with the cryptic gazebo-convo message is understandable.
"It is only natural that something like this would cause Gil to experience a great deal of cognitive dissonance," Wasserbaum said. "We all need to feel like the things we do in life have a purpose and aren't merely a series of empty, forgettable exercises devoid of cause or effect. But how can a person feel a sense of purpose when he doesn't even know what he did?"
Bolting awake at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Woller theorized that "Gazebo" could be the name of a business and resolved to pore over the yellow pages first thing in the morning.