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Mystery solved. Someone has left a small rubber duck at my dd’s door twice.


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Would y’all be creeped out by this? This is my dd in grad school. 

The first time was almost 2 weeks ago. She didn’t think much about it. Then tonight she found another one wedged between the door knocker and the door. Whoever did this had to open the screen/storm door to place the duck. She lives—alone—in a really nice mobile home park in a college town. It’s a neighborhood that is almost all students. She’s really creeped out by this. I’m creeped out by this. Dh has been googling it to see if it is a sign of something nefarious, but he hasn’t found anything. He just said, “maybe next time it will be a goose”. Like some silly neighborhood game for Easter. I mean we’ve gotten stuff like that around Halloween sometimes, but it always comes with a note explaining the game. 
 

Anyway, just thought I’d toss this out there to the hive and see if I’m missing something stupid obvious. 

I told her to go buy a Ring camera ASAP. She has two dogs that are good to “alarm bark”, and one is a 70lb pit bull. I would think he’s a pretty good deterrent to a break in. 
 

 

Edited by popmom
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There is some kids story books where you have to find the little duck on each page

 Usborne fat cat on a mat and other phonics stories

 Could someone be hiding little ducks around for others to look for?

Is it some type if game where the person needs to rehude the duck? 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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Does she have any particular reason to think it's something nefarious? Any pre-existing stalker or something like that? Because if not, it's probably nothing more than a prank. It may even be a prank directed at some other neighbor, but they got the address wrong.

Sure, go ahead and get a camera - but honestly, there's no point in working yourself up about this sort of thing, not unless there's some other situation already.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

There is some kids story books where you have to find the little duck on each page

 Usborne fat cat on a mat and other phonics stories

 Could someone be hiding little ducks around for others to look for?

Is it some type if game where the person needs to rehude the duck? 

Well, this is what we’re hoping. She’s going to call the neighborhood manager tomorrow and see if they can shed any light on this. I would like to be optimistic and probably should be, but I had a stalker for a couple of years—it’s been almost 10 years ago. So I’m overly paranoid about stuff like this.

eta: I don’t think I was ever in any real danger from the guy, but of course I didn’t know that at the time. Fortunately, we moved 800 miles away that year. He still called me for a year after we moved. 

Edited by popmom
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3 minutes ago, popmom said:

Well, this is what we’re hoping. She’s going to call the neighborhood manager tomorrow and see if they can shed any light on this. I would like to be optimistic and probably should be, but I had a stalker for a couple of years—it’s been almost 10 years ago. So I’m overly paranoid about stuff like this

 

That makes sense that you'd worry a bit more, and I totally understand. But... it probably isn't a stalker. It might be, sure, and there's nothing wrong with doing your due diligence here. I certainly don't think getting a camera or talking to the neighborhood manager is going overboard! But most people who haven't been in that situation don't think of it as a problem. It's probably just a bored neighbor or friend playing a prank, without thinking that it might frighten somebody with a different perspective.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

That makes sense that you'd worry a bit more, and I totally understand. But... it probably isn't a stalker. It might be, sure, and there's nothing wrong with doing your due diligence here. I certainly don't think getting a camera or talking to the neighborhood manager is going overboard! But most people who haven't been in that situation don't think of it as a problem. It's probably just a bored neighbor or friend playing a prank, without thinking that it might frighten somebody with a different perspective.

Yes. I agree. I know in my head there’s a perfectly innocent explanation. I mean, honestly, we haven’t had the best experiences in this area. She and her sister had trouble with a mentally ill young man/student in the apartment complex where they lived as undergrads. He would leave them flowers, and knock on their door at odd hours. So that sounds harmless enough, but other residents called the police on him for harassing them in other ways. So yeah, we’ve had some weird luck w strange men. Once the police got involved, he moved before that school year ended—hopefully back home. 
 

We seem to be weirdo magnets.

It does make me feel better to hear that I’m overreacting lol. 

Edited by popmom
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Other than getting a doorbell camera I’m not sure there’s anything to do.

Does she have time to take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? 

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I've seen squeaky toys for dogs that look like rubber ducks. Maybe someone found the ducks in the mobile home park and thought they belonged to her dogs? Far-fetched, but that's all I can come up with...

Does she know her neighbors? Can she ask them if they've seen anything, or if they could keep an eye out in the future?

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When I was a college student, living in dorms, this is the sort of thing that I'd assume was a bit of harmless flirting or a mild prank. Grad schoolers are more like proper adults... but still, it's the sort of thing that I would immediately laugh over, not worry about.

The background you give does make sense that she's creeped out though - and it could be someone being weird or targeting her. Hopefully, it's nothing.

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Is she in programming by any chance? There's some thing about programmers using rubber ducks to be there kind of "talk it out"/"talk through the program when it won't work" thing/stand-in (and then they throw the duck across the room when they figure out the weird, usually kind of simple error). 

Now, my son taking programming/majoring in that, didn't know about this, so even if your DD is in programming, she might not know about it either, but if she is (in programming), might she have a classmate doing this as a joke, flirtation, etc.....? 

If she's not, the "hey, I found your dog toy..." theory seems most likely to me. 

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4 minutes ago, TheReader said:

Is she in programming by any chance? There's some thing about programmers using rubber ducks to be there kind of "talk it out"/"talk through the program when it won't work" thing/stand-in (and then they throw the duck across the room when they figure out the weird, usually kind of simple error). 

Now, my son taking programming/majoring in that, didn't know about this, so even if your DD is in programming, she might not know about it either, but if she is (in programming), might she have a classmate doing this as a joke, flirtation, etc.....? 

If she's not, the "hey, I found your dog toy..." theory seems most likely to me. 

My DH has several small stuffed toys that are used for rubber duck debugging. There was a pair of Neopets Jubjubs that he and one of the other developers would trade versions of (large and small) as they solved problems-cubicles are fun that way. 

 

 

I'm thinking something similar to Boo Baskets, or as a sort of Easter activity. 

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April Fools Day is coming up.

So is Easter - instead of an egg hunt, is someone doing a duck hunt?

I would not assume anything nefarious, but I would be more observant for a while.

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We have people leave silly stuff at our door regularly.  Usually it is neighborhood kids being silly with my kids but sometimes it is from the adult neighbors. We pay them back in kind.  On Halloween this year we left red balloons on a neighbor's mailbox a-la IT. 

So, for us it wouldn't be odd. But I do think getting a camera is a good idea

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34 minutes ago, TheReader said:

Is she in programming by any chance? There's some thing about programmers using rubber ducks to be there kind of "talk it out"/"talk through the program when it won't work" thing/stand-in (and then they throw the duck across the room when they figure out the weird, usually kind of simple error). 

Now, my son taking programming/majoring in that, didn't know about this, so even if your DD is in programming, she might not know about it either, but if she is (in programming), might she have a classmate doing this as a joke, flirtation, etc.....? 

If she's not, the "hey, I found your dog toy..." theory seems most likely to me. 

I didn't use a rubber duck. But there were many times I went to ask my boss for help on an issue and, in the process of telling him the problem I was having, figure out the problem and go "Nevermind" and go back to work.

 

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8 hours ago, klmama said:

I understand your concern, but it may just be someone trying to get her to smile.  Maybe they are fans of comedian James Veitch's bit with rubber ducks in the bathroom.

I thought of this immediately (but couldn't remember the comedian). When my family went through a rough time I found some little rubber duck charms to give my kids to put in their pockets, because that routine cracked us up so much. 

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I would definitely get the camera.  And something like a Nest security system - I think Ring makes one, too, in fact a system might come with a doorbell camera. If she doesn’t have a doorbell, I like the Nest cameras.

That would make me uncomfortable.  Has she asked her friends about it?  

It’s probably something completely harmless, but still ... kind of weird.

 

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My teen  daughter and some friends a year or so ago had a thing where they would leave little ducks, pigs or babies in places for other teens to find.  My daughter used a bunch of birthday money to order a bag of each.  🙄  Honestly, it wouldn't occur to me to think of this as nefarious at all and we we live urban.  Are there groups of kids running the neighborhood together? 

I don't think a security camera is a bad idea for a single woman living alone though and I get why you'd be extra cautious with your history.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Yep, get the camera and a system.  This is odd.  I hope it is something fun and silly, but it would creep me out.  We have had friends do things like that for holidays.  Mostly like leaving candy for the kids or something like that.   But they would tell us about it.  I have had a stalker and a peeping Tom, so my guard is a bit higher. 

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Get a camera. This is odd. 

I do not like anonymous anything. Be it food, gifts, anything. I throw it away. We leave food all the time for friends during COVID and we get them. It is left on the porch, but even as a surprise, we leave it and text them as we are driving away. Same thing with friends.

I know I would be freaked out if I found something like a rubber ducky as a single woman living.

Please also call the police non-emergency number and let them know. Perhaps there is something happening that they maybe aware of. 

In any case, this is odd and not in a good way. I hope it is harmless, but my flags are at red alert, Enterprise style.

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Mystery solved. It was a silly prank. She put pics of the ducks on FB, and a friend fessed up. 

I’m still getting her a ring camera. 

Thank you all for the encouragement and also not making me feel like I’m crazy. 

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  • popmom changed the title to Mystery solved. Someone has left a small rubber duck at my dd’s door twice.
1 minute ago, popmom said:

Mystery solved. It was a silly prank. She put pics of the ducks on FB, and a friend fessed up. 

I’m still getting her a ring camera. 

Thank you all for the encouragement and also not making me feel like I’m crazy. 

Oh I am glad that was it.  

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