I am an anxious person. I get worked up easily and think the worst of anything that is out of the norm. If I am on my way to visit my friend in Chicago who I usually talk to via text all day every day and today she isn’t answering, my thoughts range from “She must be super busy today” to “She must be mad at me about something but I can’t think of what I did…” and finally to “She’s been kidnapped on her way to work and is being held in some grimy, wet underground prison and someone needs to save her!” It’s completely in my nature to call said friend’s boss at 11:00pm to try and find her. How did I get her boss’s number you ask? Because I am just anxious enough that the one time she used my cell phone to call her boss, I saved his number just in case she was ever kidnapped and no one could find her and I needed him to tell the police that she had not come in to work today, which is unusual for her to miss work without notice. She has no family in Chicago so I needed to make sure my bases were covered in case of what I would consider an emergency. Come to find out she just left her cell phone at home by accident, worked late and then decided to go straight to the gym before picking me up from the bus station. She may not see that as a reason to call someone’s boss but we have agreed to disagree. You’ve seen the news and Law & Order. You can never be too careful.
Based on my normal behavior, you could see why it would set off serious alarm bells when I stepped outside one morning to find a new and unaccounted for scarecrow standing on my porch. First, he scared the balls off me. One does not expect to find a scarecrow on their porch that they did not purchase. I called my husband who was already on his way to work and inquired about the origins of the intruder but he was not helpful at all. “Did you order it?” he asked. Why would I be creeped out if I had ordered it? Why would I be calling if I had ordered it? He continued, “Maybe you ordered it on Amazon and forgot… Again.”
He was sounding a bit judgey. Yes, I have late night impulse ordered many things on Amazon and forgotten about it. He says it like it’s a bad thing. It’s awesome when you receive a package that you don’t remember ordering because then it’s like someone sent you a present in the mail. Only you’re the one who sent you the present. But you know you’re gonna be happy because you know what you’d want rather than someone guessing at what you may want as a gift and getting it all wrong. And I am never afraid of my mystery Amazon packages because it’s in a box with the Amazon logo so I’m pretty sure I sent myself a present though I just may not remember what it is. Although there is always a touch of fear in opening it because only God knows what I have ordered at 3:30am when I can’t sleep and my common sense is nowhere to be found in those small hours.
Clearly this scarecrow was not one of my late night Amazon binges because there was no packaging. He goes on to say, “Maybe your mother sent it?” Let’s stop right there. My mother lives in Michigan. I live in Pennsylvania. THERE IS NO PACKAGING. Someone having sent it to me is not possible unless someone bought the scarecrow at the store and then ordered an Uber, buckled the scarecrow into the backseat (because, ya know, safety), then sent the driver to my house 8 hours away where the now rich driver propped it up on my porch for me to find in the morning and drove away thinking, “these people are idiots”. I got off the phone with Omar knowing he wasn’t taking this scarecrow thing seriously and just wanted to give me any explanation to keep me from spiraling like he knows I will. That never works.
As I headed back to the house I looked at the scarecrow with complete distrust. Something about this guy was fishy. A mixture of terror and intrigue welled up in me like I was peering at a brick that had been hurled through my window with a note attached that declared I’M GONNA GET YOU. Here are all of the thoughts that ran through my head…
- Why don’t any of my neighbors have scarecrows on their porch? If this was somekind of friendly scarecrow outreach program we would all have them. Why have I been singled out?
- Is this some sort of secret farmer initiation that people don’t tell you about? Like when you start growing a garden, do other experienced farmers bring you a scarecrow to welcome you in to the agricultural family?
- Is this like a chain letter where I need to forward scarecrows to other people or I’ll have bad luck?
- It’s smiling and pleasant looking so it can’t be that bad. But maybe its smile and seemingly friendly demeanor is purposeful to lure me into a false sense of security while something much more sinister is going down.
- Is this a racist scarecrow? Perhaps this is the most subtle racial attack ever in history. I need to Google the racial symbolism of scarecrows.
- Maybe I have a stalker. Everyone on Facebook is aware I just started a garden and my profile is public. Maybe someone has triangulated my location and dropped off this scarecrow as a present from stalker to stalkee. If I put the scarecrow proudly in the garden the stalker will think it’s a sign that I am in love with him and think all my posts contain secret messages to him and then I am really in trouble.
- But if I don’t display the scarecrow, the stalker could get angry and I still have a problem. If it storms tonight, in the lightening flash I could look out the window and see my stalker in the rain crying, hugging the scarecrow to himself, with a knife in his grip.
- How would I be able to tell that he’s crying if it’s raining and he’s standing in the rain? He could just be wet. And probably angry.
- I don’t have nearly enough Facebook followers to have a stalker. Not even close. The closest thing I have to a stalker is my mother. She’s not crazy in a stalker way. She just the only person who reads everything I write. She’s more of a supportive fan than a stalker.
- Does this scarecrow mark my death in some way?
- Could this be a voodoo scarecrow? Is there such a thing? But how would that work? Doesn’t the person doing the voodoo have to have the scarecrow themselves, not the target of the voodoo? I have no idea how voodoo works and honestly I’m not inclined to know because some things are just way too scary. When it comes to voodoo, ignorance is bliss.
- Who would want to kill me? Does this scarecrow want to kill me? I pretty much keep to myself and don’t have any mortal enemies that I know of. My ex hates me, I’m pretty sure, but there’s a mutually respected level of hate built up between us. Well, hate is a strong word. I believe to hate someone you have to care enough to put forth the effort to hate so really I don’t hate him because I don’t put that much time into it.
- Can it see me?
I have now completely worked myself up. It’s at this point that I decide to do something much more useful than continuously peek at this thing through the screen door. I only have 2 friends in this area because I am new here so I text them both to ask if they left me a scarecrow. But then I’m like, “They’re going to think I’m a psychopath that I’m asking them if they left me a scarecrow. If they didn’t do it then I might not have any friends here anymore when they realize I’m a weirdo.” Thank God! It was one of my friends! She knew about my troubles keeping bunnies out of my garden and decided to help by dropping off this scarecrow. Thanks for the scarecrow and the half hour of terror!!
Sometimes a scarecrow is just a scarecrow.