Our potted plant is missing. Not the pot, just the plant. The pot is on our front lawn where we have always left it, but now it's just a pot half-full of dug-up soil. Sunday night it was there, Monday night it was gone. Isn't that weird? Who would take it? We don't know what kind of plant it is. It isn't like it's some award-winning plant. In fact, this time of the year it is practically just a single twig. But in the summer it blooms a single, orange flower that Graham loves.
As most CSI and Law and Order viewers are well aware, in their search for suspects, detectives look first of all for "means, motive and opportunity." So with that, here is my list of suspects:
Means: D-uh, he's a gardener! So he has all the gardening tools he needs to take the plant.
Motive: Spring cleaning. Perhaps he thought the plant was dead and needed to uproot it.
Opportunity: He was at our house on Monday morning, while I was away.
Conclusion: The yard rubbish bin was empty, so if he did it, it wasn't part of his regular job.
Means: They've got mops and garbage bags, they can improvise. Plus, they'd be really good at cleaning up the evidence.
Motive: Professional: they are plant-criminals.
Opportunity: They were at our house on Monday morning, while I was away.
Conclusion: I've left money and stuff lying around the house, and it's always there after I clean. Besides, why would they want a dead-looking plant?
The next-door neighbor
Means: They have lots of plants so they probably have the necessary tools.
Motive: They want to add our plant to their collection.
Opportunity: They live right next to us, and are always at home, so they could have done it anytime.
Conclusion: Their plants are much nicer than ours, so why would they want it?
One of us (i.e., an inside job)
Means: We've got tools in the garage, I'm sure I could figure out which one I'd need. And sure, the plant is heavy, but the kids could have conspired to do it together.
Motive: Graham and Ana have no obvious motive (but I wouldn't tell if I had one!). The kids might have wanted the plant because they thought it would make a great gigantic stick toy.
Opportunity: Any of us could have done it while everyone else was asleep.
Conclusion: Guilty only if this were Agatha-Christie-Land.
The neighbors from hell
Means: They too have lots of plants so they probably have the necessary tools.
Motive: They're mad at us for building a second story (note: their house also has 2 floors).
Opportunity: They could have done it while we were away during the day, or late at night.
Conclusion: They are the neighbors from hell, so they must be guilty.
Oh, and the kids' toothpaste is also missing from our downstairs bathroom. Maybe the person who took the plant needed to clean his teeth? OK, maybe the kids just stuffed it under the sofa. But mark my words, we have not heard the last of this case.....