The redditor first skyrocketed to fame in March 2013 when he shared pictures of a locked safe located in a property that a friend had recently rented. Curious redditors flocked to the thread, originally posted on the r/pics subreddit, to track the progress of cracking the safe. As anticipation grew, dont_stop_me_smee created the subreddit r/WhatsInThisThing to not only update his fans, but also for other redditors to share their own mystery safe stories.
Unfortunately, the big reveal never happened.
As the weeks wore on, dont_stop_me_smee’s updates grew more and more sparse. Frustrated redditors turned on him, flooding every comment of his—safe-related or not—with downvotes. He was even herded into “Karma Court,” a subreddit that discusses redditors suspected of posting false or misleading content purely for karma. Soon, dont_stop_me_smee vanished altogether.
Until June 1.
The redditor turned to the website for emotional support following the death of his grandmother.
“I’m so devastated. I don’t even know what to say. Clearing out their house is so heartbreaking, and some of my Grandads stuff is in dispute, so it’s tearing my family apart,” he wrote in a thread on r/self.
As far as the safe is concerned, dont_stop_me_smee provided redditors with information that wasn’t particularly earth-shattering.
“Shit’s still locked. Bought stepper motor from Jaycar, no idea wtf to do with it. Thought I’d have more time to learn and work on it. I wasn’t gonna post again until I’d actually done it, but I’m drunk and crying and I don’t care anymore,” he wrote.
The return of the subreddit’s creator naturally sparked reaction among the r/WhatsInThisThing community’s 80,000 subscribers. Posts chastising him for the safe were removed by moderators, leaving nothing but well-wishes.
“I don’t give a damn about that safe anymore really. I’m just glad he’s actually okay. Well it sucks to see him going through such a hard time but… it’s something I suppose,” Froghurt commented.
“People tend to forget that a lot of kids go on reddit and may that they may have a harder time dealing with frustration or the lack of instant gratification. I don’t know Smee but I wish him well in his time of grief, but I also hope he doesn’t take all the messages on reddit so seriously,” ProfessorZombieKill said.
Since the June 1 appearance, dont_stop_me_smee has not made any public comments.
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Photo via Rob Pongsajapan/Flickr