It all started small enough: On January 23, Michelle Schile showed up at her regular smoking rock to discover that it had been piled with a small arrangement of mud and manure.
Then, just to make clear that the offering wasn’t an accident, it was topped with an artfully placed sprig of fir.
“Now I understand smoking is a dirty habit, but someone felt it was their duty to send me a message in this way,” wrote Schile in a Facebook post describing the incident.
The first instance, photographed on January 23.
An employee at the nearby Lochside Elementary School, Schile had spent 15 years taking her smoke breaks at the non-descript rock.
She chose the rock because it’s positioned behind a stand of trees that hides her habit from the children. It’s also one of the few places left in Victoria where it’s legal to smoke.
Smoking is banned in virtually all public places, including in parks, on bike trails and within seven metres of a doorway, window or air intake. Schile cannot smoke in her car, because it is parked on school property. The rock qualifies only because it’s along a multi-use trail that is technically still rated as a roadway — and Schile even took the time to confirm as much with municipal authorities.
An overhead view of Lochside Elementary School, with the approximate location of the rock indicated with a red dot.
Nevertheless, Schile said it’s been as much as a twice-weekly phenomenon to encounter passing cyclists hurling abuse as they whiz by.
“Usually they’ll say ‘stop smoking!’ … and another guy, every time he went by he would cough really loudly and aggressively,” she told the National Post.
But the offering of manure was different — and it was only first blood in a campaign of pestering that would spiral into untold depths of obsession.
Another offering of mud was there the next day, followed later that week by a particularly large quantity of mud virtually burying the rock.
Each time Schile swept the rock clean, though, it would eventually be resupplied with filth, sometimes within a matter of hours.
Assorted garbage left on the rock on February 1.
As the months progressed, the displays became ever-more elaborate, showing eerie levels of preparation. The vandal covered the rock in crab shells, the product of an apparently large seafood dinner.
The rock was stained with house paint, piled with horse manure, poured over with oil, smeared with bacon grease and strewn with random garbage from rotting cabbage to old milk cartons.
One time, though, the vandal was apparently short of ammunition so he simply took to spraying the rock with water.
“I’m disappointed in the lack of effort,” was Schile’s review, posted that evening to Facebook.
Mere water. Schile suspected urine, but it didn’t pass the smell test.
The vandal always managed to strike when there were no witnesses around to spot him. Schile attempted to photograph the vandal by installing a game camera . Each time she would review the footage, however, she would discover that the angle had been wrong. Ultimately, the camera’s …read more
Source:: Nationalpost – News