An incredibly sour taste was left in my mouth around the time of Halloween in 2011, when a decoration my wife and I placed outside of our home suddenly vanished one night. It was a life-sized rubber mummy that my dad and I had purchased together many years prior, a staple of our many Halloween decorations that we put out every year. To call the rubber decoration a part of the family may be a bit of an overstatement, but I couldn't help but feel like we had lost one of our own, when I walked outside one brisk fall morning and found that the mummy was no longer with us. I hate to say it, but my wife and I haven't decorated our front lawn since, our Halloween festivities forever soured dued to the actions of the mummy bandit.
Needless to say, when I read stories about stolen Halloween decorations, they tend to resonate with me. Halloween thievery is sadly becoming an epidemic across the country, and this latest story from Washington is particularly upsetting.
Becky Reina, her husband and her two young children carved a set of four Jack O'Lanterns earlier this month, representing the four members of the family. The pumpkins were proudly displayed on the front stoop of their LeDetroit Park home, and Becky was shocked to discover that her two-year-old son Tommy's pumpkin was swiped this week, ripped away from the family of pumpkins by a mysterious thief in the night.
Rightfully so, the 33-year-old mother was incredibly upset about the stolen pumpkin, taking her frustrations out by writing a note to the thief, which she posted on her front stoop. "To the person who stole my son's pumpkin," it began. "Thank you for the life lesson. This will teach him that sometimes people are mean for no reason and you have to just brush it off. Because my son is 2-years-old and cannot read this sign, I will add: You are an asshole."
Though we'll of course never know if the thief ever ends up reading the sign, I've gotta give props to Mrs. Reina for taking a stand and bringing some widespread attention to a growing Halloween problem. Who knows, maybe the thief will end up reading the sign. And maybe, just maybe, he will rethink his actions once he realizes what he did, and the effect it had on this family.
Lest you think I'm totally out of my mind in thinking that a thief would ever feel bad about their actions, let me go ahead and finish the story I started telling earlier. Exactly one year after the theft of the mummy, a customer that frequented the pharmacy I used to work at told me that he had purchased a rubber mummy decoration from a kid who lived in the same trailer park he did. I knew right then that he wasn't talking about just any rubber mummy, but my rubber mummy, and his random conversation starter led to me finding the culprit. After confronting the teenage thief, he apologized to me at least a dozen times, telling me that he was drunk and wasn't even thinking about what he was doing. I made him vow that he'd never steal a Halloween decoration again, which he agreed to, and the rubber mummy was reunited wih my family shortly thereafter. A happy Halloween ending, to say the least.
Lesson learned, from my personal experience and the story about the Reina family? The police may not care too much about stolen Halloween decorations, so it's up to us citizens to take matters into our own hands, and take a stand against this growing problem. I believe that there's a special place in Hell reserved for Halloween thieves, and we need to do all we can to make sure they find their seats!
Have you have ever had a pumpkin or Halloween decoration stolen? Comment below and let us know.