03 September 2013

The return of Garden Man!

You may recall the story I posted a little while ago of the slightly mentally challenged middle aged man whom feels the need to come to my house and chop down our trees and/or dissemble our gates for one reason or another (it is often due to the apparent 'danger' that our trees present to the powerlines... in his mind at least).

Well after the last time he was by, he came over once more, where this time my other housemate got mad at him and told him to go away. That was quite some time ago, and silently optimistically my housemates and I had hoped he was gone for good.

He wasn't...

My housemates and I woke up one frosty morning to spy this from our front window...

Garden Man strikes again! This time with some impressive yet disturbing axe work on a tree in our front yard...
An entire tree!

He did it super early in the morning, and all of our bedrooms are at the back of the house thus we didn't hear anything. I informed the police, but seeing as we didn't know Garden Man's surname, where he lives, or have any way to get into contact with him really, there wasn't much they could do understandably.

Now, I'd like to take a quick moment to clarify that Garden Man isn't dangerous, or a complete psyhco, he is just slightly mentally challenged to the point that he seems to struggle to process the fact that this isn't his house, and that he doesn't in fact have some obligation to look after the garden. In fact, the times I have chatted with him, he's actually made me laugh a few times!

Anyways, the housemates and I needed to get this sorted once and for all. Who knows what else Gardan Man had in store for us.

That, however, would be a challenge. Garden Man is quite illusive! It is very rare for one of us to actually catch him in the act, as he often works super early in the morning when we are asleep, or when we are out of the house. Oh, and this is at random days too! He could disappear for months, or he could return twice in one week.

The only even slightly predictable thing that he does every now and again is that he puts the bins out onto the road for collecting on bin collection day (for some reason). In a few days time the bins were due to be collected.

A plan was born!

My Garden Man trap!
I designed a trap!

My trap consisted of having a bunch of soda cans tied together with fishing line that will sit in my room, while the other end of the fishing line will lead out my bedroom window and out to the backyard, hidden along the ground, and then be tied to the bin! If Garden Man comes and moves the bin in the morning, it'll move the cans in my room, ill wake up from the rattle of the cans and BAM! Got him!..

... well, that was the plan anyhow.

My housemates and I went to bed that night not overly hopeful that he would even show up, but optimistic nonetheless.

I awoke the next morning to find my trap of soda cans and fishing line still sitting unmoved on my desk chair. Either Garden Man hadn't come during the night like I'd hoped, or the trap hadn't worked. Sigh. The trap did still look intact however, but he rarely comes during daylight hours, so I figured we must have missed our chance... bummer!

I removed my collection of ragdoll soda cans and milk bottle filled with rocks from my desk chair and onto the floor, and got straight to work (I had a meeting with a client on Skype at 10am). It was halfway through my meeting when, through the chatter from the headphones I was wearing on my ears, I thought I heard a disturbance. I looked over at the trap sitting on the floor... hmm, am I imagining things, or is it now slightly closer to the window?

A few tense seconds passed... nothing.

Hmm, must have imagined it. I turn back to my computer screen to resume talking to my client, when suddenly 'WHOOSH!' the milk bottle and soda cans rattle and zoom across my bedroom floor, crash into the window, then crash again as it came back down to the floor as the fishing line snapped!

"AH!!! WOW! WAIT! GARDEN MAN IS HERE!" I screamed involuntarily into my headphones, freaking the hell out of my client. "UMM, I'LL BE RIGHT BACK!"

Throwing my headphones off I ran down the hallway, banging wildly on Liz's (my housemates) door "Liz! Liz! HE'S HEREEEEEE!!!"

Like we had planned, I'd go outside and chat to him to keep him busy, while Liz would stay inside and call the police. I rush outside and sure enough, he's coming down the drive way wheeling the bin.

"Garden Man! What the hell did you do to our tree!?"

We chatted for ages as I tried to keep him busy and to stay put, while through the front windows I could see Liz dialing the police from our loungeroom. We chat about trees... and power lines... and how the trees are apparently in danger of disrupting said power lines (which is the reason why the tree had to be cut down... of course... apparently...).

10 minutes later, the police arrived. We did it!!! Garden Man (aka Anthony, as we soon found out), has finally been caught!

Although, we are already well aware that it won't be the last we have seen of him. But at least for the next time I know a great way on how to catch him!



Sue Lin said...

LOL!! I cant believe he chopped the tree in the morning! I thought it fell because of the weather! What did the police decide on him?

Azz said...

Basically he is a little insane... so, yep, he likes cutting our trees down.

The police couldn't do too much because he is slightly mentally challenged, so arresting him wouldn't have a great affect. Sigh.

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