Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Mystery -- Help Solve It

My wife is a Christmas fanatic. She has always said that Christmas is her favorite holiday of the year. Several years ago, she decided that just a few outside lights wouldn't do. Although she hasn't yet reached superstar status with Christmas decorations, she did believe in getting lots of lights. Several years ago, a picture of our old house was featured in the local newspaper.

The worst thing that ever happened at the old house was that some people got "creative" with the positioning of our reindeer when we were not around. One time someone broke one of the reindeer, which certainly incensed my wife. However, this year a new low was hit.

On December 8, we were getting ready to do our traditional tree trimming party (wife and kids trim the tree, I watch!) with a twist. Mrs. lightning invited a Jewish friend and her family who had never trimmed a Christmas tree before. So ... after the Chicago Bears football game was over that day, my wife attempted to turn on our lights. A few years ago she bought one of those fancy gizmos that play Christmas music and synchronizes the lights with the music. She loves it, but I actually think that it is annoying. Anyway, the lights and music did not go on. She went outside to find that someone had stolen her master unit. To take it, someone had to actually dig it out of the ground. Needless to say, Mrs. lightning was very upset. We called the police and filed a report so at there would be  record of the theft, knowing that our chances of getting the unit back were next to nothing. I sent an email to my homeowners association board (I am a member) to let them know about the theft.

What my wife did the next day surprised me. She made a large wooden sign and put it in our front yard. It said, "To the person who took my light controller: I forgive you. Merry Christmas."

Mrs. lightning continued to put on the lights every evening, but it just wasn't quite the same without the music and the flashing synchronized lights. And then ...

On December 24 at about 3:00 a.m., my son came home after being out with friends. I was still up but a bit groggy in front of my laptop. He came into my darkened bedroom and had something in his hand. Much to my surprise, it was the master unit. He found it in front of our garage door.

Later that day my wife put the unit back in the light system and we were able to have our lights and music on Christmas Eve as we opened our Christmas presents.

It was nice to get the unit back, but now we have a great mystery: Who took and then later returned the unit, and why? The return was the confusing part. I do not know if we will ever know what happened. Did the sign guilt someone into returning it? There are a number of possible suspects. What do you think?

1) Random person from outside the neighborhood looking to steal the unit as a prank or to sell it. If so, why would they return to the neighborhood, and why would they return it?
2) Friend(s) of my son who did it as a prank. If so, why not just return it right away? Also, the lights didn't belong to my son.
3) Neighbors -- who have complained in the past about my wife's straw garden and other bullshit things
4) Kids of neighbors (ages -- around 18-24)
5) Overly enthusiastic member of homeowners association board (some of them don't seem to care much about civil rights)
6) Random person from neighborhood
7) Someone with a beef against my wife. Mind you, she generally ranks much less on a butthole scale than her husband.  : o )

Guesses, deductions, and theories are welcome as comments.

And finally ... Merry Christmas to all my friends. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season.


Blogger Pete P. Peters said...

I vote number 4. My buddy's and I once stole a giant decorative egg from a neigbors lawn, only to return it hours later (and after posing for pictures with it) as the effects of booze began to where off, and remorse set it. Yes, I was (probably still am) a jackass . . .

Of course, having the knowledge / motivation to actually dig up the box militates against option 4.

In summary, who knows!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Glad you got it back. Merry Christmas.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

To clarify, digging it up wasn't that hard. It's just on a stake. But they had to unplug 4 extension cords from the unit, unplug the unit itself, and pull it out of the ground. And they had to know it was there. It wa sclose to the front porch, and unles s you actually walked past it while it was playing, you wouldn't know what it was.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Doufous said...

#8) Your son.

10:55 PM  
Blogger grrouchie said...

#9 - Lightning

2:32 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

Well, I have been reading detective stories of late so am the expert here. Based on the above that should be obvious.

I don't know how loud the music is but if I lived where it was audible it would be as annoying as the noise you have in this blog. Must be a Lightning family kind of thing.

The flashing obviously contributes and I would look at the close neighbors. Pay especial attention to the one who's TV room has a view. Nothing like flashing lights to give a special ambiance to a room with reduced lighting.

Kids would have dumped it. The perp would have knowledge of your layout to identify the location -- again close by. He is angry but conservative in nature. He didn't steal; he borrowed it to minimize what he saw as disruption. He might of pitched it later but your wife's sign caused guilt and rationalized returning it because he isn't really a thief in his mind but involved in a public service. Look for someone involved in the homeowner's association who is a bit too "law and order" with the group. He went vigilante.

5:35 AM  
Blogger KenP said...

Just curious... Why did you sell the old house and expose yourselves to a regulated community in the process? My only guess would be traffic. Place looks perfect for Ozzie and Harriet...I mean J and S.

5:51 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@ KenP -- The old house seemed a bit small as the kids got older. It was a passive solar house straight out of the 1980's. We had no idea that the homeowners association would be so gung ho in the new area. My wife loves our house but we all despise the neighborhood -- not friendly at all.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Spot said...

I'm with Ken or a similar scenario. Hope you had a great Christmas.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Spot said...

And perhaps a lesser mystery would be how my email addy just got spammed by yours. You might want to check.

9:50 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

My vote is one of your closer neighbors is pissed off about the loud music and lights.. and took matters into their own hands.. perhaps a newer neighbor? They then were guilted into returning it either by the sign or by their significant other... however they waited until just before Christmas so they would not have to deal with the music.

10:23 AM  
Blogger thundering36 said...

I can just imagine you thinking after the unit was stolen... "Why didn't they take the wife instead?"

(Tell me when it's safe to post again.)

11:29 AM  
Blogger Vookenmeister said...

I suspect lightning himself stole it and sold it to cover current gambling debts. After winning all his money back by putting it on black, he re-bought the machine at the pawn shop where he sold it.

love the pics of the old house by the way. I love Christmas lights and noise!! Seriously!

11:54 AM  
Blogger KenP said...

Tell me when it's safe to post again.)

When you see your first SS check is likely. But, you may luck out. You prove she's not the brightest bulb in the yard.

You seem to run into passive-aggressives at all the wrong times. ;-)

12:23 PM  
Blogger ManInBlack said...

Wow nice house.

4:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home