Who are the people in your neighborhood?

In early spring I moved from the East End of Pittsburgh to Mount Lebanon in the South Hills. It's a nice neighborhood, and I like it a lot. But on one of my first strolls through my new neighborhood, I happened to notice this...

mangled teddy bear

In case you can't make it out from the photograph, that's an eviscerated teddy bear, half-buried in the roots of a tree and slowly being exposed to the elements by erosion. Creepy, isn't it?

I figured it was just an old toy that had been forgotten. But it was still a bit creepy. I mean, it was visible from the sidewalk. Surely the owner or their parents would have noticed it by now, unburied it, and put it in the garbage. But no, it's still there today.1

Then, a few months later, this appeared on the lawn across the street from the teddy bear...

mangled baby doll

Okay, I figure. Somebody in this neighborhood has a kid who's really hard on toys. Or maybe a really mean dog. But again, the doll is still suspicious — legs completely gone? Arms twisted way out of joint? Head totally defaced? It's like the Black Dahlia of tortured dolls.2

And did I mention it was right across the street from the teddy bear?

Then, a few weeks ago, this appears, stuck into a PVC conduit up the street from where I found the doll...

mangled duck doll

I'm beginning to think that one of my neighbors is a brilliant guerilla artist. Or perhaps in need of severe psychiatric help. Or both.3

  1. I should add that though the teddy bear is still there, the elements have not been kind to it. If you didn't know what it was, it would just look like a weird piece of fluff.
  2. This one isn't there any more, probably because it wound up on someone's lawn.
  3. And oddly enough, this one's still there, even though there have been work crews working on that telephone pole since it first went up.

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