If I get arrested, incarcerated and sent away for life for this blog, then it was nice knowing you. I have to tell you about an odd-ball practice, a crime I guess, that has been going on in my neighborhood for more than 20 years and it involves my wife's poppies. These poppies do not look like the bright orange to red opium poppies. They are great big pink poppies, look more like big carnations, that are real pretty and people who walk by comment on them.
This problem began about two decades ago: A man came to the door and he wanted to pick the old "pods" to "make Christmas decorations for his daughter's girl scout troop." Odd but we had no clue what he was really doing. In years to follow, he did not ask anymore, he would simply take the poppies after dark and then drive away. Ever since that first time, this guy, or likely others by now, would steal the pods each year -- the thieves break a few pods sprinkling seeds on the ground so there will be a plant next year.
One year my wife picked the pods, to avoid the theft that is timed to come at just the time the pods mature. The next morning the pods had been stolen, during the night, from our back yard -- the other end of the home and fenced in. How did they know? Were they watching the day before? At that point I had my curiosity piqued and wondered why anyone would want these. About then I got a computer, so I did a search of poppy pods. I found out that people take these pods -- and they smell really bad -- and make tea out of them. They are, in theory, getting high. The first reaction is "what is the point these are not opium poppies" but, apparently, all poppies have trace amounts of opiates. That is what these thieves think they are getting because, in checking with our neighbors, we find that everyone who has any poppies that are visible from the street, have this same problem. One neighbor had the thieves in her yard, late at night, breaking the plants apart. If we really were growing cash crop opiates, these thieves would probably all be pushing up daisies and not stealing our poppies. Local police have told me that they are not aware of a serious problem with poppies, other than that the thieves are trespassing and stealing and could be picked up for that.
I can only hope that, by sharing this information, I will not be mobilizing or encouraging the thousands of active rain members to get into the poppy hijacking business. I can only hope that our membership is such that I will not hear of AR members disemboweling poppies in the wee hours of the morning.
Seriously, does anyone else, know if this is happening where you live? Or is this a northwest phenomenon like Big Foot?
The pod, upper right, is about to be ripped off.