When one hears the term "home occupation," one usually thinks of piano teachers, seamstresses and baby sitters.
Not private investigators. Especially teenage ones.But Clearfield's newest home occupation is precisely that: "DASL Agency" is a private-eye firm operated by two Clearfield High School students, Les Shrum and Seldon Young II, both 17.
According to their business license obtained last week, DASL, which stands for "Detective Agencies of Seldon and Les," specializes in "background investigation, surveillance, video and photo work, and employee theft."
The boys say they are determined to make detective work their career, an aspiration fueled by their active imaginations and a thirst for police literature, their bible being "What Cops Know," a study of police work in Chicago.
"I've always thought it would be interesting to be a spy," said Seldon. "It's a big word - spy. Ever since I was little, that's been kind of a fantasy."
It's a fantasy, however, that Clearfield officials wish the boys would leave in their heads.
Maxine Layton, city business licensing officer, said she tried hard to deny DASL (pronounced "dazzle") a license but could find no legal grounds for denial.
"It's scary to think that two 17-year-olds who don't have a brain in their head might go out and get shot or something," said Layton. "I'm concerned that if they do surveillance, someone might see them and think they're burglars and shoot them . . .
"I mean, I don't know what kind of experience they have."
The answer is: no experience.
But Seldon and Les said they will not get themselves into any life-threatening situations.
"If we end up crossing lines, we'll call the cops," said Seldon, who re-fuses to let officials and attorneys discourage him.
So what do they do if a hostile, cheating husband catches them spying on him?
"The trick is not to let them catch you," Seldon said.
Though they have no private-eye track record, the boys believe they can attract customers with their low prices - about $100 for a repo, maybe $15 an hour for embezzlement cases.
"We're still discussing prices," said Seldon. "We're just getting set up."
Anyone needing an economical, inexperienced, teenage detective, though, can reach DASL at 825-7255.