Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The (Un)Kindness Of Strangers

As I was locking my front door this morning I noticed that someone had stolen one of my plant pots from the front of my house. Now, what you need to understand is that I live in a renovated cottage, of the type that used to be known as workers' cottages around these parts. It's cute and it's been nicely renovated, and from the footpath to my front door is approximately... oh, 3 feet. Max.

So stealing something from my front porch only really entails leaning over the waist height iron railing. Consequently I'm fairly sanguine about the risk of leaving anything there. I have another pot there still, but you wouldn't lift that giant mo'fo without giving yourself a hernia. (And that my friends would be karma in action, of a sorts.)

Anyhoo. This reminded me of a story I read on a blog years ago. No, not a blog, pre 'blogs' even. An online journal. Of the sort that had to be scratch built and added to without the benefit of pre-made blogging tools. Pioneer style. The journal is long gone, but it was hilariously funny in its day.

I don't condone revenge, but this journaller had it down to an artform. There were the times she snuck fabric dye into her own bottle of laundry liquid, because her neighbour was stealing it. But this made me think of the long saga she had with pot plants being stolen from her own front porch.

She had a suspicion that it was one of her nighbours, a women she would frequently chat to as they walked their dogs in the park. So after numerous attempts at catching the thief, and a bunch of pot plants later, she hit upon an idea. She purchased powdered black hair dye from Chinatown, the sort that when mixed with water becomes a very strong (and very skin staining) black dye. She powdered her pots with the stuff and waited. Secure in the knowledge that the dye looked like regular dirt, and that the person would eventually go to wash their hands and activate the dye.

Sure enough a few days later her dog walking friend was at the park with dark grey stained hands, and a somewhat guilty demeanour. Sometimes karma needs a helping hand I guess.


thombeau said...

Sorry to hear about your missing plant, but it is a karmic law that stolen plants never grow, as this petty thief is doomed to find out.

The detergent story reminded me of another, not quite revenge related but amusing none the less. One of my best friends was doing laundry in the basement of his apartment building. He ran out of detergent, so took a used bottle out of the refuse with the hope of getting the last few drops. He was happy to find that the bottle didn't seem empty...and then greatly dismayed to find that it was filled with URINE!

On an unrelated note, did you read about my celebrity encounters? I thought you might find them amusing, if nothing more.

The Other Andrew said...

Sorry I haven't emailed you back about your celebrity encounters - OMG! ::envious::

Ur-spo said...

that is frustating, and it does touch upon the emotional reaction to vengeance rather than going with good karma of forgiveness. good luck
BTW - do you have a Go-Bag packed?

The Other Andrew said...

Hah, so the Go-Bag even made news where you are Dr Spo? I do. Actually it's more of a valise, steamer trunk and hatbox combo - just the bare essentials!

M-H said...

Sandra has had two plants 'lifted' from her front garden - one azalea and one hebe - at different times. Someone has opened the gate, walked in, loosened the roots somehow and made off with the entire shrub. It boggles the brain, epecially as she there is a fair bit of foot traffic past her house.

Dave Daniels said...

I love that one!
When I was a kid, other kids would steal the pumpkins off the front porches in the neighborhood at Halloween. One smart neighbor took to pushing tiny pins from the inside of the carved out pumpkin to the outside. So, when someone came to grab it in the dark, they'd get a handful of pins pricking their hands!

Therin of Andor said...

At a school I once taught, we had a tree-planting ceremony for Arbor Day one Friday afternoon. Every class took custody of a tiny shrub, with the idea of nurturing it to adulthood over the next few years.

On the Monday morning, every little plant had been removed from the garden beds. The principal eventually had to pluck up her courage and knock on the door of the neighbouring house - parents of kids from our school - and warn them they had 24 hours to return all of the new plants, from their front yard, to their rightful places.

This was the same family who once ran a power cord into our school playground to poach three month's worth of electricity off the visiting State Dental Authority's caravan!

Miss Eudoxia said...

Condys crystals (Potassium permangenate from memory) does a good job as well. Used it on "the flat mate form hell" when she was stealing horse feed for her horses from my feed bin.