What is this thing?

On the corner of NE Hancock and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd there is a thing hanging on a Pacific Power utility pole.  It has been there for a while, just hanging attached to the pole with nowhere to go. How long has it been there watching traffic?

The thing is a board about the size of a skateboard deck a tad narrower and a tad longer perhaps.  It’s painted pink and yellow with some decorative black and gray stars.  Hanging off the board, at the bottom, is a large coffee can painted to match, minus the stars.  Under the can’s newest coats of paint, is it painted with Folgers, Maxwell House, or something else?  Maybe it’s not a coffee can at all. Hanging off the can is a spring, sort of like the ones that slam close an old wooden door with a screen. The spring is hooked to the top of the can which is probably the bottom of the can when that can did whatever it used to do. Hanging off the spring is… well, nothing.  Was there some thing ever hanging off the spring?  Hanging off the top of the board is what resembles a plastic flower—it’s pink to match the board and the can.

What does this thing do?  Is there a matching thing in another neighborhood on another utility pole that can be connected like a pair of soup cans and string?  Maybe you can talk to that neighborhood once it’s connected?  Perhaps the thing is missing some parts that used to make it chime in the wind as  trucks rolled by.  Perhaps the spring once had a drumstick and the thing makes music.

Where did this thing come from?  Why is it in the Eliot Neighborhood?  Did it fall off a truck full of similar things and someone, trying to be helpful, attached it to the pole in case the truck came back to pick it up?  Did someone make this thing specifically to put it on that utility pole?

Maybe you know what the thing is.  Maybe you know what it does.  Maybe you know where it came from.  If you know or have an idea comment below!

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