Virtual Painting Heist of the Century | Operation Duck Rescue

You know how a bad song gets stuck in your head, eventually it starts to grow on you, and then you’re buying it on iTunes? That happened to me this week; only it isn’t a song – it’s a painting.

The actual owner doesn’t appreciate it’s fine paint-by-numberish qualities, so I have no other choice but to attempt a daring rescue.

After watching the entire Peter Sellers Pink Panther series and Ocean’s Eleven multiple times, I’m practically overqualified to orchestrate the “Virtual Painting Heist of the Century“.

*Cue Mission Impossible Music*

My target: Greg’s newly acquired duck painting. (@TellingDad)

I simply must have it for no other reason but…I don’t have one, and now I feel like he has one-upped me with this recently-acquired, signed masterpiece. I have reason to believe it’s just leaning against a wall on his front porch waiting for someone to steal it. Can you imagine?!

If you have no idea what I am talking about you have to see the duck painting for yourself and all its glory at “Anyone Wanna Buy Some Ducks?” and then come back.

Back? Now you know why I’m heading up Operation Duck Rescue to acquire this fine specimen of artwork PLUS it’s really going to snazzy up my guest bathroom in Trump Tower style.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to recreate a movie heist and wear my black trench coat.

I’m gathering experts, so meet my dream team:

The Lemon Twelve…Like Ocean’s Twelve but much cooler and lower budget

Mitch of Morpho Designs, Communications Coordinator – If he doesn’t have any surveillance equipment lying around the house, I’ve got a back up set of Barbie walkie talkies that should suffice plus some extra AA batteries.

Kelley from Kelly’s Break Room, Snack Coordinator – She already has a whole refrigerator full of Diet Coke, and we’re going to need some caffeine. The whole heist could last up to ten minutes.

Patricia from Lavendar Uses, Damage Control – Since we might accidentally mess up a flower or two and Greg just finished that beautiful flower bed, she’ll be on hand to cover our tracks and make the necessary repairs. We’re considerate like that.

Allan from Simple Life Prattle, Branding – In charge of carving “Finding the Humor” in a lemon. He’s a skilled craftsman and the only one I trust with the plastic Wendy’s knife. The “calling card” lemon will be left on the doorstep.

Jessica from Surely, You Jess!, Lookout – If she sees anyone coming, she can distract them by breaking out into a song and dance routine from Hairspray while wearing her signature black boots.

David from Courageously Creative, Painter – He can decorate the get away van in lemons so we don’t forget which van is ours and get in the wrong one. Embarrassing!

John from Hypertransitory, Spy Gadget Supplier – John can blend us up some unnecessary but cool spy gadgets and sunglasses. We’re going to fall all over the place because we can’t see at night with the sunglasses on aren’t we? How does Lil’ Jon do it?

Alexandra from Good Day, Regular PeopleNegotiator – Hello! She’s an Empress, which is practically like being a lawyer, so she can talk us out of any situation just in case we’re busted…even though we won’t because this is a well-thought-out plan here, people. With her on our side, we qualify for diplomatic immunity.

Since the painting is just sitting on the front porch, that doesn’t make much of a story; so we’re adding some EPICness of our own.

Charles from Mostly Bright Ideas, Special Effects Coordinator – His red laser pointer will be used to fake some armed sensors (dodging laser beams is required theatrics). If he doesn’t have a pointer, he’s going to need get one anyway for all those presentations about rubber cars after he takes over the world. Maybe we need two. You can’t have too much suspense.

Margaret from Conjuring My MuseHistorian – Who else would I have write my biography about the heist when I’m 80 and admit to be the leader of the notorious Virtual Lemon Twelve gang? Without her actually witnessing my tripping over my coat jumping over the red sensor like a ninja, I think it’s going to be hard to do the description justice.

Marianne my sister, Handywoman – She’s good at hanging things on walls straight and already has a ruler. She’s to replace the original with the fake so they don’t even notice it is gone for days, and we’re safely back at our blogs.

fake duck painting

Stunning resemblance?
The attention to detail really made the difference.

My job? Risking the ripping of every muscle in my side, I will attempt a bad cartwheel over the laser sensor up the stairs, leave $50 (because we aren’t really criminals here), swipe the painting, and dramatically jump down 3 steps. This is probably a good time to mention Patricia is a nurse.

The success of the scheme is completely dependent on the calling card for PR reasons, and I can only hope the lemon makes it through the night without molding into a dehydrated, shrunken blob or eaten by a raccoon.

What if you can’t read “Finding the Humor”?!? We’re not going to get any credit! This is the kind of story timeless ballads are based on.


  1. Marianne says:

    Love it! I have my ruler ready to go, although I don’t recall seeing Hello Kitty in the original painting… Oh, they won’t notice a thing for days! :>

  2. Hello Kitty is a semi-subliminal distraction technique. Good that makes 2 on the team.

  3. Me? The Lookout?! Yes! COUNT ME IN! I already even have binoculars that I, you know, use to spy on the neighbors. I’ll bring my belly dancing skirt in case they aren’t musical people and the Hairspray routine doesn’t work. The wrap skirt has little coins all over it that are supposed to mesmerize and hypnotize because of the body’s fluid movements. I’m the world’s worst belly dancer, but people still can’t take their eyes off me due to “what is this fool woman doing?” wonderment. Your forgery is magnificent. I can barely tell the difference πŸ˜‰ Thank you. This is just the kind of excitement I’ve been needing!
    Jessica Sieghart recently posted..Happy 5th Blogoversary To Me!My Profile

    • See I knew I picked the right person…you even have official equipment. Belly dancing is just brilliant! Who wouldn’t wonder why a belly dancer is performing on their lawn? There would be a moment of shock and wonderment perfect for a get away.

  4. I’m in!

    Luckily, being black, I can just take off my clothes at night and become invisible. Although every time I try this I always end up spending the night in the lock-up. The police must have some kind of infra-red thermal-imaging scanners or something. Oh well…

    I assume something will be exploding while we run from it in slow motion? Cooler still, we WALK in front of it, not even looking back.

    God forbid one of us doesn’t make it. Someone has to kneel over them, look up at the sky and yell “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” then swear vengeance for the fallen comrade.

    Hey this thing could really happen!
    John recently posted..Guest Post at Ending the Grind!My Profile

    • LOL!! Of course there are explosions and slow motion action shots for effect but that will all be added later in the editing room by stealing real movie footage because I have no pyrotechnic experts and who is going to trust me to set off a few sparklers in the back ground? Even though that would be totally awesome but might confuse someone into thinking it is July 4th.

      Excellent..that makes 4 on the team.

      • Sorry I’m a little late with my RSVP; I just finished making a trip from east Tennessee to North Carolina by way of Alabama and Georgia. What can I say; i’m TERRIBLE with road maps.

        I’m super delighted to be chosen to participate in your capper, and a plastic Wendys knife is one of my favorite tools. Are we going to rent a warehouse to build a mock-up set to proctice in (in other words will be build a replica of his porch with paper, cardboard, and tape in your garage).

        Now… where did I put my gum soled shoes. Yes, I know I’m support staff, not front line, but still, wearing gum-soled shoes while carving the logo into a lemon will just make it thta much capper-ish.

        Thanks for including me in your heist.

        OH, Oh, explosions… do you need some exploding gemstones? My neighbor has some left-over fireworks. If I compress their insides into a mold with a two ton bearing press I’ll either produce a passable gemstone or incinerate half the county. Either one could be fun.
        Allan Douglas recently posted..Parrot of the PastMy Profile

        • The worst injury we’re looking at is a splinter so explosions are only recreated in the studio. A mock up…hmm…I’m thinking a cartwheel is a one time thing and we are so good we don’t need practice. πŸ™‚

          I’m thinking the whole thing will actually fall apart when we pass a Krispy Kreme with the HOT light on. Donuts would be a fatal flaw in the plan.

  5. LOL I’m hoping I’ll be redundant in the nursing role and no injuries!!! And as for the garden….get practising those leaps and bounds so no flowers are damaged either πŸ˜‰ I’m sure our team can do it.

    And who would even notice that yours is a fake??!! A stroke of genius I’d say Melinda. And too funny as always πŸ™‚

    Patricia Perth Australia

  6. Hilarious, I would pay watch that! Is anyone filming it? Maybe Spielberg is available? And the fake is so good, you are an artist. I may get my own team together to steal it and put it up in my 4 year old daughter’s room. After all it does have Hello Kitty in it : )
    Keshyra recently posted..Parenting – The Balancing ActMy Profile

    • Assuming all goes well and we get the painting it’s going to have high tech security lasers surrounding it. Uhh…they may look like Christmas lights to the untrained eye but take my word for it they are real. You’ve been warned.

      • Well if the fake has that kind of security around it maybe I’ll just request a print from you, the artist. Or I could just print it up off the internet if I have your permission? Saves me some time and energy and a whole lot of money for flights and everything to get my team to the States. Seriously, my daughter loves Hello Kitty : )
        Keshyra recently posted..Sorry Kids, We’re Staying In TodayMy Profile

  7. there is a certain irony with including a painter in your team of art thieves. I know, I know, as I once said “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

    I would be glad to decorate the van but I do wonder: Why do artists always get the dangerous jobs?

    btw: the duck painting is magnificent!
    David Goldstein recently posted..Andy Warhol’s Very Questionable TasteMy Profile

    • You are right. I didn’t see the irony until you pointed it out. I have to assume having a painting stolen is the highest form of flattery. I was going to request a landscape so it blended in for the getaway but then it would be like Wonder Woman looking for the invisible plane and we would be doomed. Painting the van is risky in that you might flick paint on your cool spy shades but that’s a risk you are going to have to take for the team. Also dodging street traffic.

  8. A great idea Melinda. If anyone can pull this off, it would be a team you put together.
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  9. I’ll gladly be the Historian, until I get distracted and wander off. πŸ˜‰
    Margaret Reyes Dempsey recently posted..Gone Fishin’My Profile

    • LOL Feel free to embellish any part of the story that you missed while wandering…don’t wander too far we don’t want to leave you behind. We can’t afford rescue helicopters with a budget of….ummmm…just a second…*digs in couch*….$1.23.

  10. Melinda, I just came from the dollar store and they had twelve copies of that same duck painting. Do you want me to pick up a few for you? How many bathrooms do you have? They had plastic lemons, too, and other plastic fruit. If you decide to cancel the heist, do we still get snacks? And do we still get to say the word heist? It sounds cool. Also, I don’t like Diet Coke. Can I have root beer?
    Charles Gulotta recently posted..Better Left Unsaid? (Part 1)My Profile

    • Hmm…I need two. If they are only $1 then maybe one for my garage, too. You much think I’m living in a palace or something because plastic fruit is way too fancy for my table…I prefer a sprinkling of cracker crumbs for the non-pretentious “lived in” look.

      We do get to say “heist” even if it is a bust. In fact I might start using that word for everything because it does sound cool and we are cool like that. Yes I’ll pick up some root beer. *adds to the grocery list* That is if I can get a can with my $1.23 budget. Can it be generic store brand? Would you notice if I drew up a name brand label and taped it on with some packing tape? I think taste is just psychological.

  11. This was so funny! I’m so glad I am part of the heist! I have always wanted to commit a crime. I just went over and saw that duck picture. That picture is TOTALLY worth years in jail.
    Kelley recently posted..Good Mood Food & CouplehoodMy Profile

    • Thank goodness you are in because can you imagine this crowd hungry and there are no snacks? Although the van is not to be confused with a Hollywood star’s elaborate set up in a fancy RV. There’s no Kraft buffet.

  12. Brilliant idea!

    And uh, did you say something about snacks? Then I respectfully request you consider me as a backup. My skills include the use of hand sanitizer before lunch and the ability to identify at least 2 continents on a map. Surely that can be of some use?
    cbeck recently posted..If you’re happy and you know it don’t ask her outMy Profile

  13. Dang. Just got out of the pokey. And you want me to risk going BACK? Hell, yeah!
    The only thing is, we’re destined to botch this job:
    1. The fake painting is so awesome, someone is going to wind up stealing that instead of the target;
    2. This conflicts with Charles’ World Domination plans – putting us at risk of delaying the Bowl of Remorse;
    3. Who’s driving???


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    • LOL. Yes we could easily end up in the Bowl of Remorse except we have inside connections so I’m sure we get the best seats there. It’s a concert arena right?

      I recruited Cbeck above as a last minute navigator/driver/hand sanitizer patrolman.

      • Maybe I watch too many movies but, when I read “hand sanitizer”, I thought of The Cleaner and all those folks who, well, dispatch the messy remains. Of course, this is not one of those types of capers, right?

        About the Bowl of Remorse: I find your question slightly odd. Sort of like fighting for front row in the Seventh Circle…I do NOT want any kind of seat in that place. Did you see what Charles has planned? Fire hoses and Tomatoes! Rotten ones, at that. Disgusting!

        But wait, if he’s in on this as well, we should get a free pass – as in, we won’t be thrown in!


        Mitchell Allen recently posted..Farmer Bears Fruit at Article MarketsMy Profile

  14. I’m sooo embarrassed that I didn’t see this post earlier! You could have saved yourself a boatload of trouble and just ASKED me for the painting. Your band of misfits would be welcomed into our home and handed over the targeted painting.

    Although, if you wait too long, you’ll have to relocate the plan as it’ll be hanging in my parents’ home in Dallas. She loves the thing.

    • LOL! I felt guilty about stealing it after your mother wanted it…so I distracted the crew with hot Krispy Kreme donuts in the next post. I was glad you were busy planting and building so as not to interrupt the heist. πŸ™‚ We are new to this sort of thing and organizing a crew was more work than I thought it would be.

      Just handing the painting isn’t any fun after watching the Pink Panther movies to the point I know all the dialogue. Plus I wouldn’t get to do the cool cartwheel move.

  15. Wow, that painting is just…wow.

    You know who you forgot on your team? Brad Pitt – just because every heist team should have Brad Pitt (you know, for eye-candy purposes).
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