Back in July or thereabouts, I was working at my computer one morning when I noticed a person moving through in the backyard. The kids were planted in front of the TV, so I went outside to investigate, where I saw a raggedy youngish guy walking purposefully through our yard to the back fence. I yelled “Hey!” but he never even turned around, just made a beeline for the fence, which he climbed, then disappeared into the yard of the house behind us — leaving our gate wide open, might I add.

I was pretty rattled and ended up calling the police, who immediately sent an officer over to investigate. He was surprisingly thorough (by the time he arrived I felt a little silly, but he confirmed I’d made the right decision by notifying them), and even brought in another car or two to look for the guy, but they didn’t find him. The officer told me it was likely someone looking to gain quick access to a yard or through street, maybe because they’d stolen something, and he said there had been some sketchy activity in the neighborhood adjacent to our backyard.

I tell you that story to give you a partial explanation for my ridiculous behavior a week ago. We were just finishing up dinner when the dog appeared with a weird plastic doohickey hanging out of her mouth, and while I brushed it off as a piece of random garbage from the garage, JB insisted it looked like drug paraphernalia of some kind. Remembering the backyard intruder, I started googling around to try and figure out what the item was, and I came across a photo of an identical object: plastic bag, cotton stuffing, plastic corrugated tube sticking out. The forum poster was equally confused, but plenty of folks were quick to share an unpleasant explanation: it’s used for huffing gasoline or paint thinner. People soak the cotton filter with a solvent of some kind, then inhale the fumes through the tube.

Goddammit, I thought. Now we have gas huffers throwing their drug shit in the yard where the kids play? So I called the police again, and when the non-emergency line just rang and rang (seriously, no voicemail?), I went online and filed a lengthy report, including multiple photos of the evidence.

Fast forward several days to last night, when I returned from the store with a new squeaker toy for the dog. She’d destroyed her former one (R.I.P. “Skunkit”), so I’d bought a stuffed hedgehog that made the same comical grunting sound when she chewed it. She was enormously pleased:

Herp derp I gots a new squeaker oh boy oh boy

But less than half an hour later she’d managed to tear its fabric wide open. And lo and behold, emerging from the toy’s back was the EXACT SAME DRUG BAG. Holy fuck, how had the huffers managed to get inside our house and stash their paraphernalia into a plush hedgehog?

the gory remains

Oh. Ohhh. Ohhhhhhhhh. Oh, I see. Well, that’s both a relief and a SERIOUS EMBARRASSMENT, Dog.

I can only hope no one at the Eugene police department recognized the object in the FIVE photos I sent — documented sternly from various angles — and is still laughing themselves sick at the paranoid lady on Lariat Drive.

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