Sunday, December 24, 2017

Still Life with Robin: The CP Listserv Year in Review, Part I: Animal Tales (Both Real and Stuffed)

This backward glance at 2017 will appear in two parts – and it will be limited to just two types of posts: Animal Tales – Both Real and Stuffed (the subject of today’s column) and next week’s column, Best Giveaways. It helps the mind to focus, I propose, to limit coverage to just one topic per column. Also, after doing an exhaustive review of a full year’s worth of posts (11,147), I decided these two categories had the posts most worthy of repeat airing on the Listserv.

So it’s on to the Animals we go:

We’ll start on March 27, 2017 with the Tale of the Fishes in Need of a Ride. A list member’s elderly relative in New York City was left with some fish by her teenage grandchild. But the grandmother, due to declining health, was unable to care for them. The grandchild was saddened at the thought of the fishes’ looming ill fate. If the fish could somehow be transported to DC, they’d be saved. But how to get them here? That was the question in message 123350 “Can Anyone Supply an Ending to This Fish Tale?” 
And sure enough, the Listserv worked its magic, and later that same day, there came this report of a happy ending:

Mar 27 2017
Message # 123369
Happy ending Re: Can anyone supply an ending to this fish tale?

Because so many people emailed, I'd like to let you know the fish tale has a happy ending - at least for the fish. It has been taken in by a family who went and bought a tank, filter, the works to save it. It will live on. I can't imagine this is a happy ending for the teenager, but I tried.
A huge thank you to the many kindhearted people from the Cleveland Park area who offered suggestions, ideas, assistance and some humor. A special shout out to BestBus, which offered the poor fish a ride home and to the person who offered to take the bus to NY herself to pick up the fish.
Great to know how many caring people there are in this world.
Thank you again!

Our next trio of stories concern things lost and found -- involving apes (both stuffed and real) and a lobster. The first of these, about a stuffed gorilla, ends in mystery; the real apes' story gets an O.Henry-style cute ending. And the third, about a lobster….well, you’ll see.

First, the toy gorilla, found by a list member on May 8, 2017:

Found: One Gorilla
Hi --
If anyone is missing a small stuffed gorilla, possibly dropped from a stroller, I just saw him on my walk. He's now sitting at the base of the streetlight on the southwest corner of Woodley Rd. and 34th St.

There was no follow-up, so we’re presuming the gorilla is still sitting, lonely and sad, at the base of the streetlight at Woodley and 34th! If it was taken away, please provide any information you might have as to its whereabouts. Was it ever reunited with the child from the stroller? Eager CP Listserv readers want to know!

And now to the ape story with the amusing ending (it’s message #126495 on June 27 2017 - sent in response to a question about where to donate old towels and linens)

Before my husband and I moved I had towels and linens galore to donate. A lot of them ended up at the zoo. As a funny aside, my (adult) daughter, who no longer lived with us, asked where her blue, polka dotted duvet cover was. I told her not to worry, it would turn up. About a month after our move she took her students to the zoo for a field trip. And right there in the chimpanzee cage hanging over a limb was the blue, polka dotted duvet cover. So, I was right, it turned up. Moral of the story: when your kids move out make them take their stuff because there's no telling where it will end up.

Last of the three: a lobster tale posted on September 11, 2017:
Message # 128763

We are missing our son's beloved red lobster stuffed animal with "Maine" written on one of the arms. I probably lost it either on 38th St. between Van Ness and Upton or at the Tenleytown Whole Foods (I've already been there and haven't found it) (or Arlington). If you happen to see it, please email…. It looks like this. We have 2 back ups but he knows his original favorite one from a line up.
[or if the long link above is broken]
Thank you!
Nisha and Jason

With the finale:

It's been found! Thanks to everyone who wrote for encouragement and support! My son was very happy to be reunited with his red lobster.
Nisha And Jason

However, the best listserv animal story of the year, I must concede with some regret, was not found on the Cleveland Park Listserv at all, but came from our sister Listserv, The Chevy Chase Community Listserv, where it was reposted from its original appearance on Tenleytown. It was so good, it was already in the Washington Post by the time we heard of it:

Message # 203115
June 27 2017
Re: [ChevyChase] Missing Tortoise `Maui` is Safely Home

See below for a statement from tortoise owner, posted to the Tenleytown Listserv Monday afternoon
- Mary
"It's nothing short of a miracle, but this evening we found Maui on the grounds of the Japanese ambassador's residence. Thanks to whomever forwarded the listserv postings to Dana Hedgpeth of the Washington Post. That resulted in this story going up on the Post's website this afternoon:
Shortly after it went up, we received another report of a sighting yesterday just inside the fence along Nebraska. The story prompted the Embassy to allow us on the grounds to search, which the staff declined to allow us to do yesterday and earlier today for security reasons. Within about 30 minutes, my wife Nicky found Maui nestled in the ivy. And thanks to all those who reported sightings and offered tips. We are very grateful."

May 2018 bring us many more such happy endings. And stay tuned to this space for Part II of the Cleveland Park Listserv’s Year in Review: Best Giveaways of 2017!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but occasionally on Sundays.  

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