The Black Plate, Chapter 4: The Moon Riseth

This post is long overdue. Once again, I'm going to pull out the "I was sick" excuse and assume that you'll forgive me.

The last time we left the black plate, it had arrived on my desk bearing brownies, causing me to unleash a torrent of swearing at the poor unsuspecting receptionist/office assistant who gleefully delivered them to me on my first day back from maternity leave.

Before I get into the meat of this story, let me take a pause to explain a bit about how the great plate transference has evolved over the years. At first, it was mostly a matter of sneakiness and speed. The goal was to get the plate back into the hands of the other couple as fast as possible without them noticing until it was too late, which usually meant after the giver of the plate had left for the evening. The problem with this approach is that we all quickly learned the signs of a black plate hand-off... and how to head it off at the pass.

Once speed and sneakiness became insufficient on their own to unload the plate, things got a lot more calculated and elaborate. No longer were hand-offs accomplished by carefully layering the plate into a bag of hand-me-down baby clothes or by leaving it in a kitchen cabinet. It was go-big-or-go-home (with the plate) time, which means that it can now take weeks or months for the plate to change hands. After we received the plate in mid-October, it was more than two months and a foiled plot before we were able to hand it back off.

The initial plan involved a "flocking" for P's birthday in December. For the uninitiated, a "flocking" involves having a company come out and plant a flock of pink lawn flamingos in your unsuspecting friend's yard in the middle of the night. Really.

Courtesy of Front Yard Smiles

Sadly, Seattle Flamingo, our local purveyor of hideous temporary lawn decor, went out of business sometime between when we first became aware of its existence and when we decided that a black plate was best accessorized with 50 pink lawn flamingos in the dead of winter in Seattle. At first, we looked into purchasing a flock to accompany the black plate, but it turns out that lawn flamingos are expensive... like $5 a flamingo expensive, sometimes more. While we're definitely committed to upping the stakes, spending $250ish on tacky lawn accessories that would undoubtedly meet with a swift burial in the trash can was a bit more than we could stomach.

So we went for the next best thing: a garden gnome.

And knowing that we weren't going to be buying 50 garden gnomes either, we knew we needed to take tacky to the next level.

So we bought this:

And sat it on top of the black plate, ass facing S and P's front door, about 5 minutes after leaving their house one evening.

After the fact, P informed us that before turning out the lights that night, he'd actually paused to wonder if we were going to try to do a plate drop, only to decide that it was too late and Mark and I were already out well past our bed time. He was right, of course. He also underestimated our commitment to getting rid of that thing.

Now, nearly two months later, Mark and I are waiting. Watching. Always vigilant... just never quite enough.


Popular Posts