“What?” Dan said. “Who in the what?”
I had to laugh at myself. That was a phrase my mother always used when somebody seemed confused or out of sorts. I do not know who Ned was. I always thought my mother had a first-grade reader featuring some kid named Ned, much as I (and maybe you, too) grew up with Dick and Jane, and Ned must have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I would generally have used a more colorful phrase to describe Spotty’s moment of perplexity, but that was the one that popped out almost without me being aware of it.