Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nightmare Redux: Part Four-and-Three-Quarters of The Case of the Lady Slipper Stalker

[This is Part Four-and-Three-Quarters of The Case of the Lady Slipper Stalker. See also Parts One, Two, Three, Four, and Four-and-a-Half.]

When I reached the teacher mailboxes on Friday, the 12th of September, I was greeted with the sight below. 
The Photoshopped Image
Affixed above my mailbox was an Image of Boris Karloff, the actor who played Frankenstein's Creature in the famous 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel. Photoshopped into that black-and-white Image was a color photo of a Spotted Lady Slipper, Cypripedium guttatum. (I shall say more about this species later...) It was a quite lovely, and, in light of my recent nightmare, somewhat reassuring, Image. There was nothing on the back, however, to indicate who might have placed it there. (Absent also were any citations for the sources of the two images.) I'm certain that if Mr Mattson had created the Image, he would have used a tool like to acquire the photographs legally, and he would have included proper credits. Clearly, I'm dealing with someone who has no regard for copyright and intellectual/artistic property rights!
Spotted Lady Slipper (cypripedium guttatum) 
photo credit: ressaure via photopin cc

I showed the Photoshopped Image to Mrs Kanoff and Mrs Lafond, both of whom admired it but also claimed ignorance. Mrs Lafond did say she had seen Mr Diener in the vicinity of the mailboxes just a few moments earlier. Mrs Kosmatka was not in at the time, or I would have asked her if she had created the Image; she might have the necessary Photoshop skills. Of course, I began again to suspect Mr Anderson because of all his interest in digital art, and I know that Ms Durant is also quite familiar with Photoshop... 

The Creature (Boris Karloff) & Maria (Marilyn 
Harris), from the 1931 film Frankenstein
directed by James Whale.
photo credit: twm1340 via photopin cc
As I took the Photoshopped Image back to my classroom, I looked at it more closely. It brought to mind the scene from the film (which bears little resemblance to the novel--such films never do, in my opinion) in which the Creature encounters a little girl named Maria who gives him some flowers she has been gathering. This innocent child then teaches the Creature to toss the blossoms into the nearby lake, to watch them float. Perhaps mistaking the child for yet another flower, the Creature tosses Maria into the water, and she drowns! He does not mean for this to happen, of course, but happen it does. I began to feel rather uneasy again, remembering that my recent nightmare ended with my immiment drowning...

I decided to put such uncomfortable thoughts out of my mind, so I focused closely upon the Spotted Lady Slipper in the Image. In the United States, Cypripedium guttatum is found only in Alaska. Searching my memory for faculty connections to Alaska, I came up short; I am not aware of any. (Dear Readers, if you are aware of any such connections, do let me know!) Of course, the Spotted Slipper also grows in the boreal regions of Canada, Russia, China, and Korea. I currently have students from some of those countries, and I have had several Russian, Chinese, and Korean students in the past, even a few Canadians! Might they also be part of this conspiracy?! I wondered if Ms Knudsen might know something. 

Not long after this thought, I packed up my bag and headed out. As I was leaving the building, the kindly but ever-calculating Ms Ball and the highjacks-loving Mrs Flaherty were on their way to the Football game. They were with me when I reached my car... But you'll have to wait, Dear Readers, for Part Five of The Case of the Lady Slipper Stalker to find out what happened next.


  1. The detective obsessed with orchids was of course Nero Wolfe (same last name as our newest math teacher (same occupation as Moriarity)) who some claim was the son of Sherlock Holmes (see John Lescroart).