Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Someone is stealing squirrel covers.

I love hanging my laundry out. It saves electricity, it helps keep the house cooler in the summer and line-dried laundry smells fresh. Plus, there is nothing like slipping between crisp, sun-dried cotton sheets (the occasional bug notwithstanding). I had the husband install a six-liner two weeks after we moved in, and April to October, it sees weekly use.

I learned the art of hanging laundry properly from my grandmother. She was very particular -- six pins for sheets, four for towels, three for shirts -- which should always be hung from the bottom hem to avoid "Frankenstein shoulders." Placement of laundry on the line was also a consideration. in her own words:
"Never do a load of personals until you've first washed a load of sheets, towels or tablecloths! You need appropriate screening material!" (Throw a Mrs. Doubtfire-esque Scots brogue on that, and you'll have it about right.)

In her opinion, it was rude to hang your underwear out where your neighbors could see (and comment on) the state of the family's drawers. Thus, sheets or other large items went on the outside lines, and britches went on the inside lines, well-hidden. She'd have no more let the world see her underalls than she would have slapped the local Priest.

I tend to hang out my laundry in her proscribed method without even thinking about it, it's so ingrained. No one wants or needs to see my lucky rocketship underpants, or Husband's plaid boxers, or OctoBoy's superhero boxers, or SnarkGirl's Hello Kitty britches. I followed her sage advice as I hung out a couple of loads this morning, before running errands.

Except, as I was collecting laundry, I noticed that there were about a third fewer pairs to take in than I had hung out. All the missing pants were mine and SnarkGirl's The pins were still there, but the panties were gone. I foolishly checked the grass to see if they'd fallen or been blown across the yard. Nope -- but part of the vine on the back fence behind the shed was broken and crushed down.

Creeped the fuck out, I collected what was left and called the local constabulary to report the theft. They showed up, looked at the area, and mentioned that a couple of other houses had been hit in the last few weeks.

I'd be lying if I said that the thought of some perv doing whatever pervs do with stolen panties didn't turn my stomach -- particularly when you consider that  a good portion of those stolen step-ins were clearly little-girl undies with cartoon characters on them. Frankly, made me want to double-check the locks on the doors and windows, clean my guns,  take SnarkGirl out for some "Mommy and Me" range time and sign us both up for an extra couple of Krav Maga classes.

Yo, Strings -- and anyone else -- any other advice? Offers to break knees are appreciated and will be seriously entertained!


  1. Yep, range time is definitely on the to-do list. I recommend laminating your best effort and placing it conspicuously. Alan's sign would be useful, too!
    my email is on my profile - couldn't find yours...

  2. I know that the combined efforts of the family have recently scoured the yard. Still, I'd suggest dropping about 8 or 10 used shogun shells in the back yard.

    Seeing them might give a perv pause. If there is a repeat, then something stronger is called for in the way of home protection.

  3. I waffled on posting this because I didn't want to freak you out, but in the end, I'd much rather that than not saying anything...

    I'd be worried about 2 things, mainly. 1. Your lines were targeted because you have been targeted. I.e. It's someone you know, or someone who's been watching you. That's less likely considering it wasn't just your house. 2. Perv behavior of this nature tends to escalate over time; in fact, it already has, from benign (probably) to theft. Please be careful...

    All of what you say sounds good. A webcam-based security outfit might also be in order. And plant a boot in the PD's butt if they aren't taking it seriously. What was stolen says much, as opposed to, say, a deck chair.

  4. Speaking of squirrels, do you have them in your yard? If you do, they may be the culprit. There was an article in the news here a while back about some folks who were upset that "someone" was stealing the flags placed on graves on Memorial Day. Turned out to be an enterprising squirrel with a patriotically themed nest... Undies are small and easier for a tree rat to carry off.

    Check the trees before you go gunning for varmints of the two-legged variety.

  5. AAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH. How UTTERLY DISTURBING and DISGUSTING. I've got vicarious heebie-jeebies.

    Old and busted: Using sheets to screen your undies

    New hotness: Plastering your fence with NRA, SigSauer and Smith and Wesson decals. And used targets from the last range trip.

  6. Ewwwwwww. And because it bears repeating: EWWWWWWW.

    I'm trying to figure the odds that both your and SnarkGirl's unmentionables are on sale in a vending machine in Japan right now.

    That being said... I agree with what prior commenters said. Also, maybe you'll want to pick up a air rifle, set up some soda cans, and take a day or two to put some practice time in in your back yard. Invite the neighbors over. Casually mention your willingness... nay... eagerness to pop a bb-cap into some perv's ass, just in case one of your neighbors is the guilty miscreant.

    Also... have you thought about getting a dog? Doesn't even have to be a mean dog... just a LOUD dog. I suggest dachshunds. They'll chew the perv's ankles off.

  7. I'd recommend one of these set in the window... http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2010/01/archerfish_solo_-_the_thinking_camera.html And definitely range time, and kick the condition level up.

  8. Cameras are good, but land mines are better.

    Of course many cities have ordinances against such ordnance, so maybe a dog is the way to go.

  9. Perhaps I'm just naive, but my first thought was that an actual squirrel absconded with the squirrel covers. And after reading some of the other posts here, I dearly hope that I'm right!

    It looks like you got some good suggestions, though.

  10. For a change, I am speechless. All I can think of is a lawn chair, a shotgun, and patience.

  11. Razor wire threaded through the vines?



  12. GSD, Puppy. He grows up. BIG GSD. Pack Dog. He will bond with the kids and die before anyone touches them.

  13. On consideration, it occurs to me that with school recently dismissed, this could be silly schoolboy behavior.

    I'd go for increased caution, without adding a lot of new hardware.

    There are lots of inexpensive monitoring systems available. They would be first choice, as they offer a way to identify the cause of the missing stuff. Something as simple as a network camera, placed with good view of the yard might identify the cause.

    I'd check the quality of the locks, the fit of the doors. Perhaps a bit of pruning or arranging things to give a better view of the yard.

    It other words, treat it as a prank, but gather more information. It may have been a silly 12 year old on a dare.

  14. In addition to the rest of the comments, how about some appropriately flesh-shredding shrubbery around the fence and below the windows? It's a bit harder to break into someone's house if their shrub roses are eating your legs.

  15. I thought I would be the only one to suggest land mines. You know some great people. Maybe plant poison oak into the foliage around the fence?

  16. I don't have your email addy, but a guy calling himself "RevDisk" is going to be getting in touch with you. He's an infosec guru, good man to have on your side. and he's IN PA...

    He should be able to help you out a bit...

  17. Since the pins were still in place, that tends to exclude the squirrels. THey don't bother with such niceties, not having oppposable thumbs.

    If I was dealing with a perv... hmm. My natural tendency is to think "booby trap" - perhaps the next time is did laundry, I'd hang a pair of irresistable cotton Hello Kitty shorts, well-infused with poison ivy.

  18. Underpants Gnome infestation?

    Get some new undies, and hunt over bait.

  19. How about spraying the undies with something suitably noxious? The chemistry department should be able to help.

    I like the idea of planting poison oak amongst the vines. Camouflaged string dipped in glue and then ground glass might be a bit much.

    Buy your son a ghillie suit and have him hide out in the yard with a paintball gun loaded with fluorescent dye-markers?

  20. Maybe a cricket bat? You never know, they might be knicker-snatching zombies...


Play nicely with others, or eat banhammer.