Great Garbage Caper Mystery Solved!


Great Garbage Caper Mystery Solved!

“The Outsidah”

Mystery Solved: The Butler Didn’t Do It
Doug Brendel

We’re living in confusing times. At least on outer Linebrook Road.
In these pages last week, I reported on the mysterious theft of my garbage can. Some felt it was unwise of me to point out the fact that our new Town Manager, Robin Crosbie, arrived in Ipswich at almost the same moment my garbage can went missing, since it was almost certainly a total coincidence, and no one actually saw her take it. Why, my friends asked, why would you risk inciting the ire of our new master, especially if she turns out to be one of the most insidious criminal minds of the century?
However, I am as fearless as I am feckless. So I went ahead and laid out, in this column last week, all the suspicious aspects of the garbage can heist.
And then came the facts. Those pesky, pesky facts.
To review the origins of the case, we must go back in time, all the way to Garbage Pickup Day, two Thursdays ago. And we must cross the street, to the home of my good neighbor, who is also my plumber. He is married to a worker in my dentist’s office. The plot thickens.
When the plumber comes home after a long, hard day of plumbing, his wife has already come home from a long, hard day of dental officing. He cannot help but notice a troubled look on his wife’s face.
“I could have sworn I brought the garbage can in,” she says. “But when I got home, it was out there at the street, with the lid on.”
The plumber shrugs. Dragging the empty garbage can back into the garage on Thursday afternoon isn’t on his list of chores in this marriage, so what does he care?
Time passes. A week goes by. On the following Thursday morning, the plumber stops at Cumberland Farms, as usual, to read the Chronicle. He finds “The Outsidah” ranting about a missing garbage can. He frowns at the columnist’s suggestions. He is growing suspicious of the suspicions.
At the end of his workday, he again returns home. He confronts his wife.
“How many garbage cans do we own?” he demands.
“One,” she replies innocently.
The plumber stalks to his garage, opens the door, and scowls into the gloom. There, among the rakes and shovels, between the lawnmower and the weed-whacker, he discovers the truth.
His dental-office worker wife has become an unwitting garbage can thief.
And the new Town Manager is taking the rap.
All because the garbage collectors returned my garbage can to the wrong side of the street.
I had a visit from my plumber-neighbor yesterday. He confessed to the crime, on behalf of his wife, who is hiding out somewhere, hoping not to be hauled in to Ipswich Garbage Court and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He returned the missing property. Unfortunately, I had already gone to Tedford’s and bought a replacement. This means I now own twice as many garbage cans as Ipswich will allow me to put out legally. Another example of how one crime leads to another, and neighborhoods decline.
I visited Town Hall and left a bouquet of flowers for the wrongly suspected Town Manager. I only hope I haven’t destroyed her career in public service.
And for my good neighbor the plumber, who honorably ratted on his own wife, I’m buying a subscription to the Chronicle.

Clues to future crimes can be submitted to Doug Brendel via


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