Why did I find bread on my doorstep?
August 29, 2011 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Why did I find bread on my doorstep?

When I got home this evening I found a (new, complete, store brand, non-moldy, in the plastic bag) loaf of white bread and a package of hamburger buns sitting on my doorstep. I am completely at a loss. I'm in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego and spend several days a month not at home for 1-3 days at a time - this bread could have been deposited any time between Saturday afternoon and this evening. Any ideas Metafilter???
posted by kaytwo to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
How widely trafficked is your street? Do you have stairs leading to your home? My guess would be that someone with a legitimate reason to have bread rested on your stoop and forgot to take their carbs with them when they moved along.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:15 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Someone dropping off BBQ supplies and got the wrong house or doorstep?
posted by DarlingBri at 9:15 PM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]

Somebody owe ya?
Maybe someone lost it from their bag after shopping and it landed in front of your house, so the neighbor thought it might be yours?
Not aware of any trend or urban legend sort of thing about it bread/buns on the doorstep ...
Is it your turn to host a neighborhood barbeque?
Maybe there is a Hansel/Gretel thing in your future and you could need them so you can be found in the woods (only you don't know it yet)? Really casting about, there, I know ...
posted by bebrave! at 9:17 PM on August 29, 2011

I suggest you leave the bread on your lawn with a big posterboard sign saying "WHY?!" staked in next to it.
posted by tehloki at 9:21 PM on August 29, 2011 [37 favorites]

Is there a reason you're asking the Internet instead of your neighbors?
posted by Gator at 9:23 PM on August 29, 2011 [6 favorites]

Somebody dropped it?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:24 PM on August 29, 2011

Perhaps your house is one site in a grand reverse treasure hunt.

Or someone noticed your were getting either too thin, or too many nutrients from your regular food.
posted by Glinn at 9:29 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I bet it fell out of someone's shopping bag as they were walking home, and then some other helpful pedestrian noticed them in front of your house, assumed them to be yours, and walked them up to your stoop. That's what I would do if I passed mystery foodstuffs on the sidewalk.

Is there a reason you're asking the Internet instead of your neighbors?

I'm not familiar with Normal Heights, but San Diego is a fairly sizable city. I live in a slow-paced neighborhood in Chicago, and I have (at a conservative estimate) at least 400 neighbors on my block alone. Not to mention the numerous people who walk by on a daily basis. Your location in your profile says you're located in the deep south, so I can understand how you might be more inclined to ask your neighbors. Trying to sort out which of my neighbors (if it was even a neighbor!) put the bread on my stoop just by asking them would be a laughably impossible task.
posted by phunniemee at 9:37 PM on August 29, 2011 [7 favorites]

You could leave "FOUND" signs on all the telephone poles in a two mile radius. Make sure to take a color picture. Black and white leaves too many chances for mis-identification.
posted by Glinn at 9:40 PM on August 29, 2011 [21 favorites]

Actually, this reminds me of the beginning (or is it the ending?) of Memento.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:45 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have (at a conservative estimate) at least 400 neighbors on my block alone.

Presumably you (and the OP) have got one or two on the left, one or two on the right, one or two across the street, maybe one or two above and below if you're in an apartment? If something was left on my doorstep, I wouldn't walk around the block asking everybody in a five-mile radius if they knew anything about it, but the immediate neighbors -- left, right, across, up, down -- might have noticed somebody. (And in my experience, pretty much every neighborhood has a busybody who sees everything, even in big cities.)
posted by Gator at 9:52 PM on August 29, 2011

You're near the navy base. There may have been some sort of mishap with a Galaxy flying in on a bread run. It's been known to happen, although it is strange that it is white bread (American military regulations stipulate baking products with a low GI)

Hahaha, no. We don't have Galaxys flying around here until the air show.

For people commenting, Normal Heights is a fairly developed, almost center-city neighborhood of San Diego, built up in the 40s and 50s (probably earlier). Lots of regular houses, but a lot of apartment buildings, bungalow courtyards, and houses where there have been granny flats built in back or something. Pretty dense, but apartments almost always open to the exterior rather than to some sort of enclosed interior space. Streets are typically in a grid layout, unlike some later developments in town that follow the more suburban tract-home limited access plan.

So, real stuff: 1) someone just left it there by accident, either returning a favor someone did them previously and getting the wrong place, meaning it for the former occupants of your unit, or just someone put it down and ran off without picking it back up; 2) someone in the area gets deliveries from Mama's Kitchen or something similar and they got the wrong address
posted by LionIndex at 10:03 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

left, right, across, up, down

OK, now we're hovering between 30-40 people. And the busybody old man who lives across the street doesn't like me much, ever since I called him out the fact that he walks from his porch into the street to "throw away" empty potato chip bags, so I don't think he'd be all too helpful. It's a different world out here, bro.

posted by phunniemee at 10:06 PM on August 29, 2011

I've dropped off canned goods, etc for a food drive at someone's apartment door based on the address they wrote on a sign. And having lived in University Heights (which is right next to the OP's neighborhood), a lot of those buildings look the same. So maybe you were host to a drive-by food donation drop?

But honestly, I'm surprised that no one from the homeless or freegan contingents swooped that shit.
posted by book 'em dano at 10:20 PM on August 29, 2011

[I have deleted
the jokes
that were in
this thread

and which
you were
for a time when you thought I had no electricity

forgive me
they were so ripe
so deserving
good night.]

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:29 PM on August 29, 2011 [174 favorites]

Could be a way to track when you're home. You're home, you remove the bread. You're not home, at three am bread is on the stoop. Sends a clear signal though it seems initially innocuous and slightly odd.

Don't want to freak you out - just a thought. Because it is so noticeable though, and you presumably weren't burglarized, maybe not the case.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:07 AM on August 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

My guess would be that they fell out of someone's grocery bags while they were going past your house (bread would generally be on top and most likely to fall out) and another passerby saw them and assumed they belonged to the nearest house so placed them on that doorstep, which happened to be yours. Looking at the expiration dates may help decipher when they were bought (with some help from the bakery manager of the store).

A church where I live gives visitors a loaf of bread ("Loaves of Love", not the name I would have chosen) to visitors as a welcome, but those are generally nicer breads and are given in person when possible and left with a note otherwise, so that seems unlikely in this case, unless the note got blown away or something.
posted by TedW at 3:01 AM on August 30, 2011

Following on TedW's comment, there is an evangelical church that occasionally sets up on a street corner near my home and hands out bags full of breads to passersby (along with religious tracts of the Jack Chick variety). Maybe they go door-to-door in your neighborhood.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:33 AM on August 30, 2011

Hi Metafilter,
Thank you for all of your answers. I did not contact my neighbors last night because I felt it was a little late in the evening to do so. None of my directly adjacent neighbors (I know both) were home/answering when I rang doorbells this morning.

A few more details: My home gets is fair share of passers-by but I wouldn't call it a main drag by any standards. The bread could not have been dropped accidentally/after a rest except perhaps by my mail carrier. There is a 15' walk up from the sidewalk to my door, and a small covered porch area there. One hypothesis might be that in the heat of the day someone walking home from the grocery store (the nearest Von's aka Safeway is about .5 miles away) stopped for a rest in the shade and left their bread. If someone threw this from a passing car, they should be the world paperboy champion. Here is what the bread looked like when I got there: http://i.imgur.com/lwgZZ.jpg. Of all the possibilities, I think bebrave!'s answers might be the closest. One of my adjacent neighbors asked me to close my window on Saturday while she powerwashed her house: perhaps this is her gift thanking me for keeping my room from experiencing any collateral moisture. Stranger things have happened (on this street, no less), but this certainly ranks.

I will keep you posted in the case of the drive by carbing.

P.S. If you left the BEST JOKE EVER in this thread and it was disappeared, I would be happy to receive any and all jokes via memail, even if they are disparaging of the OP.
posted by kaytwo at 12:01 PM on August 30, 2011

Just to close this out, my nextdoor neighbor let me know that another neighbor is mentally impaired and likes to deposit gifts of food on doorsteps after picking them up at a nearby church. I will have to thank her the next time I see her. Thanks for your concern Metafilter!
posted by kaytwo at 1:19 AM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

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