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Thread: Calling Cyburbian Sleuths

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Calling Cyburbian Sleuths

    A mystery for y'all to solve based on your understanding of human nature and land use regs.
    I'm driving by.......
    Time: January 31, 2018 @ 10:19 a.m.
    Atmospheric conditions: Sunny, and a crisp 39 degrees
    Place: A small storage building parking lot, zoned for light industrial. The subject property is located on a residential 'collector' street, and is surrounded by greenhouses and single family residences. The parking lot is almost always completely devoid of vehicles.
    Activity: eight (8) pickups/SUV's are parked in the small off-street parking area (accommodates 14 spaces). Located a few feet behind each vehicle is at least one, and in some cases two, charcoal grills. Smoke can be seen rising from each of the grills. Only two people are visible and both are seated in lawn chairs next to one of the ten or so grills. However, neither person appears to be actively 'tending' a grill and both seem to be engaged in conversation. The grills in question are an assortment of the type you'd expect to find in a typical back yard. Most were large-ish but portable 22" models or smaller. One was a large dee-lux propane double burner style that would be a pain the butt to transport in a vehicle. I saw one grill that was uncovered but no food was on it.

    Based on the grill setup I might almost conclude a tailgate party was going on but for two unusual things - 1) there's no college or even prep game of any sort going on anywhere in town that I know of today. 2) there's only two people in the parking lot and neither is attired in any sort of spirit wear. 39 degrees is relatively warm weather for this part of the country this time of the year, but it's not completely freakish.

    Devise a plausible scenario which might account for this unusually timed and located activity.

    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Is it one of those self storage places? They have auctions there for units where the rent hasn't been paid. Though it seems odd people would tailgate there.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Is it one of those self storage places? They have auctions there for units where the rent hasn't been paid. Though it seems odd people would tailgate there.
    Actually, there cold be something to that: maybe they're going to serve up some hot dogs and burgers to attract people to their auction.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Is it one of those self storage places? They have auctions there for units where the rent hasn't been paid. Though it seems odd people would tailgate there.
    Nope, not a self-storage business, more like a business or light industrial type storage facility.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Then I'm going back to aliens.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Nope, not a self-storage business, more like a business or light industrial type storage facility.
    They could still be having some type of auction.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    They could still be having some type of auction.
    Are you thinking the auction is being run by at least eight employees? Seems a little high, but maybe not out of the realm of possibility.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    Maybe a low-key cookoff or grilling for a retirement or going-away party for someone who works there?

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by terraplnr View post
    Maybe a low-key cookoff or grilling for a retirement or going-away party for someone who works there?
    Whatever it was 'low-key' sounds about right. But thus far I find only one explanation particularly convincing.

    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Rouge Evangelical Summit/ Christian Rave!

    They needed a large space for people to gather to worship of the great Heikki Lunta
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post

    They needed a large space for people to gather to worship of the great Heikki Lunta
    Wasn't it your old man that started that Heikki Lunta craziness or am I thinking of the outhouse derby (or maybe both)?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by terraplnr View post
    Maybe a low-key cookoff or grilling for a retirement or going-away party for someone who works there?
    I'd go with that as well. It's in the 30's in January. That's nearly shirt sleeve weather in Michigan.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    I'd go with that as well. It's in the 30's in January. That's nearly shirt sleeve weather in Michigan.
    For some reason I get the feeling this little parking lot was appropriated. I think this spot might have been chosen as a semi-central meeting place BECAUSE it is never used. You know kinda like a slightly more above-board variety of hosting a rave in an abandoned warehouse.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  15. #15
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    How dirty were they? Did you notice out of state plates on the vehicles? There is a certain jam band coming to your neck of the woods for two nights later this week. Those fans have been known to travel and to congregate for a day or two before the show.
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  16. #16
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    How dirty were they? Did you notice out of state plates on the vehicles? There is a certain jam band coming to your neck of the woods for two nights later this week. Those fans have been known to travel and to congregate for a day or two before the show.
    The two people I saw were men maybe in their late 50's and didn't appear to match what you would expect to see from that particular target demographic. I don't recall looking at the plates but generally I would tend to notice something like out of state plates, so I don't think so.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #17
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    The two people I saw were men maybe in their late 50's and didn't appear to match what you would expect to see from that particular target demographic. I don't recall looking at the plates but generally I would tend to notice something like out of state plates, so I don't think so.
    Could they have been deadheads or Phish fanatics?
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  18. #18
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Could they have been deadheads or Phish fanatics?
    Too square.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  19. #19
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I'm thinking more of The Office kind of situation. Dwight and Michael have planned a BIG cookout for everyone and somehow got a bunch of cars together and grills. Their going to have a contest to see who can grill the best burger, but the rest of the office is either busy working or ready to pull some kind of prank. Jim and Pam will be showing up soon with a bunch of Big Macs that they fake grill. Then when the rest of the office shows up everyone will love their burgers because Dwight will have used too much lighter fluid and burnt off his eyebrows and Michaels will get screwed up somehow. Most likely he'll get flustered by some good looking chair model from a magazine and knock over his grill which will then set Dwight's pants on fire.

    Good times.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    So do you know the answer to this or are we just going to have to keep guessing?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    The truth is not going to be as interesting as this thread.

  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    So do you know the answer to this or are we just going to have to keep guessing?
    No, I don't know the answer. Hence, the whole need for sleuths thing.

    Quote Originally posted by Big Owl View post
    The truth is not going to be as interesting as this thread.
    What he said.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  23. #23
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Wasn't it your old man that started that Heikki Lunta craziness or am I thinking of the outhouse derby (or maybe both)?
    No... he is the one who created the drag races on ski hills using ornate sleds made of cardboard tape and glue.
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    No... he is the one who created the drag races on ski hills using ornate sleds made of cardboard tape and glue.
    ....God rest his soul....

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by Doohickie View post
    ....God rest his soul....
    and broken bones.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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