Do you know the muffin man?

By Mir
November 20, 2020

Hello! My oh my, so many exciting things have been happening lately! Just kidding. Nothing is happening. I mean, I assume SOMETHING is happening SOMEWHERE, but not here.

The biggest news from my universe is that—after months of meeting over Zoom—my book club has resumed meeting in person. Before you gasp and clutch your pearls (and, really, I admire those who put their pearls on with their stay-at-home sweatpants), let me hasten to add that we are meeting outside, all well-distanced, and with serious discussions of literature punctuated with both giggle-fits over things having nothing to do with the books we read AND leaves falling in our hair and coffee. It was so windy at our last meeting, I swear at least 50% of the conversation was “You’ve got a leaf….” accompanied by gesturing and being echoed around the circle like we were all playing some weird telephone/charades hybrid.

My book club, by the way, is better than your book club. I knew maybe 3 of the women when I joined, years ago, and have since gotten to know and adore many women I never would’ve met, otherwise. Plus we are not above, say, giving an endless amount of shit to the one who showed up in nice clothes and wearing MAKEUP like the world wasn’t ending around us. And Ashley is in my book club (read her, if you don’t already) and Kris is in my book club and Kris is also gluten-free. Back during the Normal Times™ book club was a monthly potluck brunch and Kris and I could always bake safely for each other, and now that everything is upside down we sometimes drop baked goods off at each others’ houses.

I’m sure Kris did it first, because the phrase “We have too many cinnamon rolls” or whatever it was she messaged to me that first time has literally never issued from my mouth or fingers. First of all, this is what freezers are for. Second, as my pants can attest, I am not wasting any food during this pandemic, like, at all. I am maybe singlehandedly utilizing enough food for several people, in fact. Ahem. ANYHOO. One day a couple of months into the pandemic, Kris messaged me to ask if she could drop off some cinnamon rolls. Gluten-free, of course. I said yes and she did and they were delicious. This began a back-and-forth of sorts, although I must confess that after Chickadee moved to Texas I all but stopped baking safe treats for me, because it’s much easier (and better for my waistline) if I just bake “regular” goodies for Monkey and don’t partake, myself. Kris, however, keeps gifting me with deliciousness, and I never say no because hello, I’m a pig.

[Kris also has small children at home, which means the last batch of cookies, just before Halloween, had eyeballs in them. I’m pretty sure that if cookies have eyes they don’t have any calories. That’s just science.]

Sometimes she doesn’t bother to ask, just messages me “There’s scones on your porch!” or whatever, because she’s awesome and it’s not like I won’t be home to get them. It’s definitely the best thing to come out of the whole isolate-at-home thing, to me, and not just because I like treats. This is the sort of fun-neighbor stuff I’ve always dreamed of.

A few weeks ago I joined a local Purchase Nothing group and have started decluttering with abandon. (I hate cleaning so you can tell I’m really running out of things to do.) I list things, I put them out on my porch, and they disappear! Like magic! Also sometimes things show up on my porch, though less often. The point is, I rarely leave the house but I often look out onto the porch, nowadays, because I’m waiting for objects to disappear.

Someone posted looking for a tablecloth for their first Thanksgiving as a couple, for example. And I was able to say OH I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL ONE FOR YOU, and I did. No need to mention it was a gift from my first wedding, right? We never even used it, not once, because I’m not sure my first husband and I ever entertained or even used our dining room table, so it’s probably not even cursed, but I sure didn’t want it and it made someone else really happy. I’m here for stuff like that.

Aaaaaaanyway (I’ve had a lot of coffee today, I apologize) I happened to glance out onto the porch a couple of hours ago and there was a little plastic bag of muffins out there on my table. I brought them in—I’m not sure what kind they are, but they look delicious—and sent a message to Kris.

Me: Did you leave me muffins?
When she didn’t respond right away, because I am a toddler, I added:
Me: Cuz if you didn’t there’s a mysterious muffin bandit and I maybe don’t want to eat them.

A few minutes later, she responded.
Kris: I did not!

As I mused over this weirdness—Kris is the only person who leaves me baked goods—she offered some sound advice.

Kris: I just messaged my husband to see if he did, but you may want to pick your least favorite family member to taste them first.

For the record, Duncan is still peeing in the house with regularity. But he was asleep (as always, when not peeing on my floors) so I couldn’t feed him a muffin.

When queried, Kris’ husband confirmed he was not the muffin man. We discussed it some more—I mean, who wouldn’t—and then I messaged my own husband to ask if he had any idea where they were from. He said he did not.


Thanks, Otto.

So I have this bag of muffins and no idea where it came from. Perhaps they spontaneously generated on my porch table, after so many gifts from Kris? Like now the table believes its purpose is to spawn baked goods? That seems far-fetched, I know, but it IS 2020….

Soooooo. Does, uh, anyone want some muffins? They are probably almost certainly not poisoned, although they’re not from Kris and therefore I cannot assure you of their palatability. Alternatively, if you just need some motivation to clean your floors, I’d be happy to lend you Duncan for a bit. (He would probably like to eat the muffins, so you could kill two birds with one hungry, leaky stone.)


  1. Elizabeth

    I bet they’re from someone in your local purchase nothing group!

    • Mir

      … maybe? But wouldn’t someone TELL me?

  2. Pam

    bury them and see what grows?
    (also I love that you are writing again! I’m all caught up again! I’ve missed you!)

    • Mir

      Hi! I’ve missed everyone, too!

  3. Little Bird

    I love my local buy nothing groupS. But I have a difficult time not getting MORE stuff for my place! It has been a great resource for getting rid of things we no longer need though.
    Mystery muffins are mysterious.

  4. Sharon

    Maybe time for a lawn sign: muffin maker please leave a note. I’m up for anything out of the routine these days. Wish I could just leave stuff on my porch….

  5. Brigitte

    We once had mystery cinnamon rolls on our front steps. We THOUGHT it was the next door neighbors, as they’ve occasionally given us some, but it wasn’t. We’d already eaten them at that point, but luckily, we lived!

  6. Jeanie

    How would Duncan do with doggie diapers?

  7. Niki

    Our knit group has been meeting distantly around our fire pit for a couple of months now, but as last week and this week our normal nights are in the low 40s, we are probably doomed to zoom for now unless there’s a nice weekend. Even with that, our numbers are growing so exponentially here that I don’t know that any of us will feel good doing that.
    And I love our local Buy Nothing group – I can get rid of just about anything (and if I can’t get rid of it there, my next door neighbor will take it – I just need to start asking her first). And I’m never first to ask for anything – I swear that people camp on there 24/7, and by the time I see something, 6 people have asked for it, or if I do see it, I ask myself if I’m actually willing to get in the car and drive across town (like, 15 minutes, maybe) to get it. Usually the answer is no. I gave up a pair of practically new hot pink Doc Marten boots for $25 because after she held them for me for 2 weeks, I finally decided they weren’t worth it to me to drive to get them. I’m really pathetic and lazy these days.

  8. Chris

    Ahh the muffin man. It is funny I also leave GF extra items for one of my friends who is allergic but always leave a note on what it is (even when I dont leave my name but how many folks are leaving GF pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes :) ). Is it just the New Yorker in me, but are you not nervous about giving out your address? I would love to declutter and around here a lot of the usual donation places are closed or not accepting things but many years of stranger danger make me leery of having people come to my house…

  9. Pharmgirl

    Our Purchase Nothing Group has been on hold for months now. Things are beginning to build up, although the local “Resource” group has stepped in and up to help meet critical needs. Best PN post so far has been the young lady that posted her Disney designer wedding dress for someone else to use that couldn’t afford one. I love my neighbors!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest