The First Time Mystery, The Second Time Farce

Ira Glass recently complained that though everyone aspires at some level to be a detective, it is rare in life that there are any actual mysteries to solve. We all know why the dog won’t leave the house alone anymore, what someone was looking for in our garbage, which family member has been drinking out of the jug.

But here today we present to you an honest-to-goodness mystery. In the remote Northern California wilderness of La Honda, someone has begun posting Redfin bumper stickers on guardrails, mile-markers, and even put some in trees. The bumper stickers are high-quality, requiring significant work and expense to produce, re-appearing whenever they are taken down.


This would be good news, except that we have never printed bumper stickers, and the citizens of La Honda have called us to complain. Perhaps this is a dirty trick, like McGovern campaign workers who once plastered cars with Nixon bumper stickers, or called in the middle of the night to ask for a Nixon vote (and they thought they were the ones being naughty).

But taking the obvious cheap shot and blaming this bumper sticker on deranged traditional agents — who, it is almost certainly true, have destroyed or stolen yard signs and open house signs in Boston and Seattle — doesn’t even make sense: why in La Honda, where we’ve never bought or sold a house? And why would a traditional agent spend his own money to have the bumper stickers produced?

Could it be a disgrunted ex-employee? A bored teenager? An online competitor? If you have a theory, leave a comment.

The thing is, that someone out there actually knows. And like all criminals, he is carefully monitoring his victim for blog posts like this, and other signs of distress. A $100 reward to the person who can tell us, paid in cash, of course at a busy train station. Or an abandoned factory. Come alone.


  • Apella

    Hay what do you know… looks like you have made it to rural America. Maybe it is a desperate cry for help? At least you now have a mystery equal to Bigfoot. Good Luck with your search for answers.

  • susan.brady

    I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t even know this was happening…and it’s in my neck of the woods, territory I cover. Maybe I will make a stealth trip to the woodsy La Honda, ostensibly searching for an abode of my own, meanwhile keeping both eyes on the lookout for our culprit. Being an easily excitable and defenseless woman, I will not endeavor to apprehend this criminal, should she/he become known to me, but I will do my sworn duty and hand over photos of said person or vehicle and collect my reward. Honestly, why would someone do this in a neighborhood that is not heavily trafficked? Although the residents of La Honda are labeled as a bit counterculture, and will always rise to an injustice, there are not enough of them to really cause a stir, like there would be in say… Palo Alto.

  • Tim from Modular Today

    Maybe it was an innocent mistake from the people behind :) They ordered bumper stickers for but but there was a typo and they all say so now they are just trying to get rid of them. Then again, probably not the case.