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Why Are Dozens of A1 Sauce Bottles Mysteriously Appearing in This Library?

Won't somebody please think of all the dry, flavorless steak?
Photo via Flickr user Mike Mozart

The Avon Lake Public Library really, really needs your help to solve a condiment-related mystery.

For the last three months, the Lorain County, Ohio library has been scourged by the inexplicable appearance of A1 Steak Sauce bottles hidden throughout the building. Hell, since the perplexing prank (assuming that's what this is) began on January 11, staff at the library have discovered over 30 10-ounce bottles of A1 Steak Sauce hidden behind books, magazines, and newspapers. The bottles are also empty and clean, as if they had been run through a dishwasher before being placed in random spots throughout the library.

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Is it the act of an overzealous group of underground recyclers who just learned about geocaching? Did some dude who despises steak sauce suddenly inherit a shitload of the stuff from his wacky aunt?

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No one is really sure WTF is actually going on, but it's now clear that the prank is probably not going to be coming to an end any time soon.

Other than the fact that most of the bottles have been found lying on their side, there doesn't really seem to be any rhyme or reason to where—or when—the bottles were left. "We mapped the first 12 to see if we could find a pattern, but we couldn't find a discernible pattern," explained Dan Cotton, the library's page supervisor. Cotton added that most of the dark glass containers have been discovered among the magazines, fiction, and children's book sections of the library—but the steak lover's favorite section is nonfiction.

The perpetrator(s) seems to enjoy the occasional mindfuck, as illustrated by one photo taken by The Chronicle-Telegram, which shows a steak sauce bottle knowingly tucked besides a copy of Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks.

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The library's security guard and pages—who are responsible for shelving books—have found most of the mysterious bottles, but everyone who works at the library seems to be vying to find one. "We're all playing detective," Jill Ralston, the library's public relations and marketing coordinator, said.

While it's unclear if Avon Lake Public Library will ever be able to fully regain its grasp on reality—and whether this ordeal will ever actually come to a close—we're willing to bet that members of the library's staff must find themselves uncontrollably yearning for a nice rib eye, all thanks to the impishly enigmatic actions of one sauce-loving Ohioan.