Staffers at the Avon Lake Public Library in Ohio have been puzzled all year by a parade of mysterious bric-a-brac: empty, clean A1 Steak Sauce bottles, popping up throughout the building seemingly at random. “All over the place! Fic, Non-fiction, newspapers, magazines…,” the library wrote on its Facebook page. There have been about 30 bottles found thus far.
After months of playing detective, Avon Lake’s librarians, pages, and security guards still haven’t found any answers about who’s leaving the bottles and why. It’s not for lack of trying, either. If you have a hunch about how to solve the case, chances are they’ve already thought of it. Although most have been found in the nonfiction stacks, there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to when or where the bottles appear.
“We mapped the first 12 to see if we could find a pattern, but we couldn’t find a discernible pattern,” Dan Cotton, the library’s page supervisor, told the Chronicle-Telegram, which called the situation “a real whodunit.”
They even pursed a hunch that the bottles were part of a geocaching game. The Chronicle-Telegram looked into the theory, but it ultimately went nowhere:
There is a geocache on the library grounds, but it contained only a list of people who had found it, a small seashell and a felt spider when The Chronicle-Telegram tracked it down Thursday.
Out of ideas, the library is now turning to the local community and the internet for help. A Facebook post about the mystery went up about a week ago, and the newspaper story followed three days later. Still, no one has come forward with a lead or confessed to being the bottle-hider.
Whatever the steak-sauce prankster’s original, uh … stake … in this mystery may have been, the result has mainly been some A1 bad puns.
Sure, why not? Nothing else has worked so far.