Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Temptation of Lawn Ornaments

I’m not sure what it is about lawn ornaments that make them such a temping target for thieves and vandals, but Roeper is right, baby Jesus lawn ornaments are still lawn ornaments and the media treatment these get when one is (inevitably) stolen is hilarious.

Now, in the interest of full discloser I’m not unfamiliar or completely innocent when it comes to lawn ornament capers –even one involving a plastic Jesus!

As a kid, there was a blue-haired lady just down the street that had a silver orb sitting on a pedestal in the middle of her back yard. It was very visible from the backyards my friends and I would play in. The orb looked very breakable and sometimes the temptation would get to be too much and we would hurl rocks at it. I don’t remember if we ever hit it or broke it but we sure wanted to.

Years later, but while I was still young and irresponsible, I was at a party where a couple of guys I knew showed up with…gasp!...a plastic baby Jesus procured from someone’s lawn nativity scene. Yikes. Maybe it was the beer, but seeing someone show up with a plastic baby Jesus under his arm struck me as very funny at the time. I won’t get into whether or not I saw anyone drink beer from said plastic baby Jesus because I’d be getting into quasi sacrilegious territory of the plastic icon variety and that doesn’t interest me right now.

My favorite lawn ornament story, though, involves the use of a lawn ornament as barter. I was with my ex-wife (while we were still married, of course) at the northern Illinois radio station she worked at. It was a late shift, probably on a weekend, when I took a call from someone requesting a song. But this was no ordinary request; they were willing to give us something in return. Half an hour later, two young guys showed up at the radio station’s front door carrying a pink flamingo lawn ornament. Needless to say, their requested song was played. Crazy-psycho wives may come and go, but lawn ornament stories are forever.

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