The hate crime, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

I awoke on Christmas Eve morning to find that my longstanding “Stop Bruni Project” lawn sign had been unceremoniously jammed into my Christmas-tree-lighted front-yard honey locust tree.

At first I assumed this was the work of pro-Bruni thugs. I imagined a band of pro-development extremists on a middle-of-the-night rampage, surging down outer Linebrook Road, violating “Stop Bruni” properties in a spasm of rage against anyone valuing good sense over real estate profits. Perhaps if I drove further along Linebrook I would find “Stop Bruni Project” signs impaled on driveway reflectors, or signs angrily bent in two and left hanging over “Deer Crossing” signs. The hooligans may have even ripped a sign in two and flung the pieces like Frisbees into the night, leaving the “STO BRU PRO” half on someone’s driveway and the “P NI JECT” half floating on Hood Pond.

Not a logical way, however, to express your support for construction of a massive Bruni World sprawl on Essex Road. If you don’t like being confronted by someone’s opposition to the Bruni sprawl, you don’t pull up their lawn sign and then leave it in plain sight, where it will get even more attention, with the potential for more applause.

So perhaps it wasn’t, after all, the fury of environmentally insensitive capitalists that led to my honey locust hosting my lawn sign. Maybe it was climate change.

Yes, climate change. The vicious late-December wind, perhaps, uprooted my sign from the soggy New England soil and whipped it into the air like a large ace of spades being flicked by a card shark. Then the airborne sign randomly spun into the branches of our festive, twinkly honey locust, where it snagged and came to a very sudden stop. This would make for a much more reasonable explanation of our Christmas tree’s overnight redecoration.

Sure, there are questionable components to this theory. I realize the wind normally blows west to east out here in the Ipswich wilderness — except during nor’easters, of which there wasn’t one that night. Yet in this age of global warming, it’s entirely possible that the midnight wind could have blown backwards the night before Christmas Eve, carrying our “Stop Bruni Project” sign from east to west. If not for the tangle of branches on our young honey locust, our sign might have landed in Amherst by now.

Or — a third explanation, though somewhat otherworldly, might be the truest: An angel descended from heaven, plucked the sign from its place, floated with it over to the honey locust, and deposited it there as a sign unto us.

“Fear not,” the angel said, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” — and after that, something about the Bruni Project being canceled or banned or disqualified somehow. A Christmas miracle, anyway. “And on earth peace, good will,” etc., etc.

However it happened — a hate crime, a weather anomaly, an act of God, or some other cause you’ve thought of that I haven’t — I’m considering leaving my desecrated lawn sign lodged in my front-yard tree so folks can pose for selfies in front of it. If a guy with wings shows up, we’ll know which theory was right.


Doug Brendel lives on outer Linebrook Road in the house with the sign in the tree. Follow Doug, at a safe distance from neighborhood crime sprees, by way of DougBrendel.com.

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