There was the day we thought we were about to discover a body.
We had just moved into our house and were poking through an inherited brush pile to see about cleaning it up. Our home is in a historic neighborhood with small lots, and a brush pile just didn’t seem like the best use of space, not to mention an eyesore. Moved some branches and found what felt like plastic buried in leaves and hummous. We started tugging on it, and it became apparent it was a tarp. And it was heavy.
As we kept pulling it out and unraveling, we started finding the odd tool and other debris. And it was clear that it had been rolled up, and had something heavy at the center. This tarp was huge. Then the nature of the debris we were finding changed and things started to get weird. There was a hat. Then a shoe. And then another shoe. And a paint scraper that was broken off in a way that looked very much like a shiv. That was the point where we started to discuss if maybe we should stop digging and call the police, just in case it was an old crime scene.
In the end, we kept going, and the huge lump in the middle turned out to be just a huge pile of lovely earth. We told the story to the neighbors, and they were able to fill in some blanks.
It turns out that the last time the house was painted (possibly in the 1990s), the painter stopped showing up and didn’t return phone calls. Eventually, the previous owners found another number for him. They called and asked to speak to the painter. The woman on the other end said “who wants to know?” They explained the situation, and asked if he was coming back. She replied, “well, I’m his mother, and it’s going to be a while before he gets back. He’s in federal prison.” TheY asked what they should do with the ladders and other stuff he’d left behind. She said, “I don’t care, sell it for scrap.” So I guess that’s what they did. And the other painting detritus they wrapped up in his tarp (which was actually a friggin pool cover) and dumped in a corner of their yard.
So that’s the strangest thing I’ve dug up.