Watchout! Rorschach Test

Many thanks to home detective and armchair psychoanalyst Bob, who spotted this ambiguous shape in San Rafael on May 15.

This one looks like a small, squished clown. Or maybe the dirty ribbon that I used to play with as a child? Or actually, I think it's my old teacher, Miss Katz-Butts. Whatever it is, it's trying to ruin my life!

This one looks like a tiny, squished giraffe Or the dirty ribbon that I used to play with as a child… Or actually, I think it’s my old teacher, Miss Katz-Butts. Whatever it is, it’s trying to ruin my life!

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Watchout! Bad Chameleon

Splat! This guy tried to blend in with the yellow paint on the road, but I spotted him immediately.

Splat! This guy tried to blend in with the yellow paint on the road, but I spotted him immediately.

Watchout! Suspicious Behavior

On January 30, I ventured out of my house for a nice walk in the neighborhood. It was a lovely day, and I saw many interesting things, bought an overpriced juice, and browsed in the bookstore. The big city is a fascinating place, but it can be dangerous, too, as I discovered when I narrowly evaded these ominous characters loitering suspiciously in the neighborhood.


Where the sidewalk starts or ends, depends on which direction you’re going.


Spotted near a mysterious marking, on Franklin and Hillhurst.


Yikes – Somebody lost their lunch!

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Watchout! Dispatch from Providence

On March 14, somebody brought a bag lunch to a restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, and ate it outside on a bench. From the look of things, they sat there with the over-ripe banana in their right hand and a Modelo beer in their left. The person then got up and walked away, leaving their trash behind for somebody else to pick up.  Thanks to Emily, an attentive passerby, who made this important report!


They ate outside and brought their own food, so they didn’t need to leave a tip.

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Watchout! Street Stalkers

On Saturday, January 23, I decided to take a brisk walk to get the blood flowing after a sedentary week. I didn’t get far before I noticed that the neighborhood was a little slimier than usual. Then I realized the reason – the streets were alive with peels! They skulked on Sunset, blighted the bus stop, and haunted House of Pies. Just when I thought I was safe, I spotted a fresh specimen on Inverness Ave. That was enough excitement for me! I spent the rest of the weekend hiding under the covers.


The first sign of trouble popped up at 1:31 PM outside the bus stop at Franklin and Vermont.


Just one second later, this oddly folded skin appeared right outside House of Pies. Was it the victim of an overzealous banana cream pie baker? Or something more sinister?


This scene unfolded in the no-man’s land at Hollywood and Sunset. This peel looks like it’s either crawling toward, or away from, the empty Vaseline container. I didn’t stick around to see what happened next.


I spotted this menace on Inverness Ave at 2:57 PM.

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Watchout! Crime Scene Analysis

This may look like any other peel, dropped inadvertently by some daft and irresponsible pedestrian. But the scene actually reveals a level of sophistication that indicates a premeditated act by an experienced individual. If you look closely, you’ll see the peel still has some soggy flesh inside, making it especially slippery. It’s also placed in a strategic spot, right where a passenger would step when getting out of the car. Perhaps most significantly, it looks like someone peeled it from the bottom — a rare, possibly signature technique, that could help catch the culprit. If you see other peels with the same M.O., please alert us immediately.

Watchout! Bad Bunch

Our local gourmet grocery store is hit or miss. Their food is many times more expensive than other shops, and we’ve learned you should always check your receipt after leaving, because the cashiers can sometimes get careless and charge you for two clusters of cotton-candy grapes instead of one. On the other hand, you can usually get furikake or chestnut puree for a decent price. Sometimes, solicitors loiter outside with clipboards, calling out to customers as they go in and out of the store. They are usually harmless, but once or twice have been overly aggressive. This shriveled bunch was lurking outside in the parking lot on September 27. They were hiding behind a pole, but I spotted them immediately. They claim to be organic, but I can never tell with bananas.


Watchout! Security Breach

I spotted this peel on December 20 on Clement Street in San Francisco, trying to escape from a closed Chinese herbs shop. Luckily, the bars held fast.


He won’t get far!

Watchout! Possible Signal


A reader spotted this specimen in a parking lot back in August. The reader was concerned that it may have intentionally placed itself in this numbered space, as an attempt to communicate with other peels. I don’t know for sure, but I can’t rule it out, either.

Watchout! Gross-out!

On November 18, I was walking to my car after work in Glendale. It was already dark out, and I was imagining the delicious dinner I would make when I got home. Then I came across this nasty scrap of a peel rotting on the curb, and immediately lost my appetite.


Thanks a lot for spoiling my dinner!


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