Ever since the 28th of August in 2014, I have been trying to uncover the identity of the person who placed the Photo in Question on the windshield of my vehicle.
When I am at home in the Hudson House Flats on Candlestickmaker Lane, I park my trusty Subaru, with its Showy Lady Slipper Critical Habitat License Plate, in the garage. There are 36 flats in Hudson House, and although most denizens of that shabby-genteel establishment only stay for a few years, there are about a dozen of us who have lived in this building for more than a decade. While I can't keep track of all the short-timers, I am at least somewhat acquainted with several of the long-term inmates. We chat briefly when we pass each other in the hallways or on the stairs. We make small talk when we take in the mail or encounter each other in the laundry facilities or in the aforementioned garage.
Back in September, when I wrote Part One of this saga, I was quick to assume that the Lady Slipper Stalker must be someone I knew rather well, someone who knew of my obsession with our native cypripedia. I was swift to suspect my friends, my colleagues, and my current and former pupils, for they all know of my floral fascination. I have never mentioned my orchid-mania to any of my neighbors, and even those with whom I chat on a somewhat regular basis know nothing of my love for wildflowers and orchids ... until today, that is.
At approximately 3:58 pm today, I parked my vehicle in my garage space, and as I was getting a bag of groceries from the back seat, one of my neighbors, a Ms Moyer, was walking towards her car. Ms Moyer and I have spoken only briefly to each other on a very few occasions, usually to commiserate about the sad state of the laundry facilities at Hudson House. (I am sorry, Mrs Hudson, but it's true--they are in desperate need of refurbishment!) Today, however, Ms Moyer stopped and pointed at my apparently Conspicuous Licence Plate.
"I haven't seen you since last summer," she said, "when I noticed your license plate and thought you might like a photo of a Lady Slipper!"
"You put that photo on my car?" I asked, in utter surprise.
"Yes, I thought you might like it because of your license plate."
"Well, well," I spluttered in shock, "Thank you!"
Stunned by this revelation, I could barely speak, but I managed to ask one question before she moved on towards her car. "Where did you take the photo?"
"Jay Cooke," she said. "It's not an obvious spot."
"I'm very familiar with that exact spot," I interjected, "I take a lot of photos of Lady Slippers."
"Well, there you go!" She said and got into her car and drove off.
I stood there stunned and shocked for a few minutes before I gathered my things and proceeded to my flat. What a curious coincidence! And what a relief to know, finally, the identity of the Stalker. I feel much safer now, knowing that it was the mildly-eccentric but harmless Ms Moyer who placed the Photo in Question on my vehicle. I am also pleased to know that I have like-minded neighbors. (Yes, I include myself in the "mildly-eccentric but harmless" category!)
I must admit, however, that I had hoped for a more dramatic conclusion to this long investigation, but all too often the truth we seek is mundane and familiar, rather than exciting and exotic...
Of course, Dear Readers, we still have some Unfinished Business: there are yet several unsolved orchid-related conundrums for which Ms Moyer could not be responsible. After all, she doesn't even know where I work! Thus, I am left with the following questions:
1. Who put the Charming Book under my windshield wiper?
2. Who taped the Photoshopped Image to my mailbox?
3. Who put the Coloring Book & the Coded Message on my car?
4. Who left the Confusing Miscellany, consisting of the Sizable Chunk of Amethyst, the Romance Novel, the Rubber Ducky, the Volume of Sudoku, the Ceramic Figurine, and the Strangely-Punctuated Rhyming Quatrain, on my car? (I suspect several people here...)
5. Who left the Unobtrusive Magnet, the Postal Card, and the Delicate Creation in my classroom? (I suspect at least 2 people in this instance, if not 3.)
6. Who is/are the Ghostly Anonymous Commenter(s) whose eloquence has so haunted me? (See the comments to this post and this one.)
Remember, Dear Readers, that Ms Ball confessed to placing the Advertisement on my car and the Curious Gift in my classroom; Mr Diener (who, alas, can no longer be considered Prime Suspect #1) confessed to putting the Orchid Poster in the hallway, and young Thomaz N was exposed as a copy-cat.
If, my Dear Readers, you have any information to contribute, please let me know in the comments! I look forward to a refreshing bout of honesty!