For six months now, discarded sandwiches have been found between the villages of Königsborn and Heyrothsberge in northwest Germany, apparently thrown by the same driver. The locals are frustrated – and intrigued.
For the past six months, a curious incident has repeated itself on highway B184 near the German city of Magdeburg, the capital of the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
With unnerving regularity, abandoned sandwiches – what the Germans call “Butterbrot” – have appeared on the side of the road, apparently thrown out by the same unidentified driver.
There’s no doubt, for the witnesses of this minor but baffling incident, that the so-called sandwich thrower is always the same person. The sandwiches can always be found between the villages of Königsborn and Heyrothsberge, and they’re always wrapped in tin foil.
Other things change – for example, what’s inside the sandwiches.
Local media report that sometimes they are filled with cheese, and other times with salami or sausages. Sometimes they’re untouched, sometimes there’s a bite taken out of them.
Sometimes the untouched sandwiches have been found in people’s private gardens – adding to the residents’ anger towards the anonymous thrower, who always ‘strikes’ on weekdays and before 6am, which suggests they might be on their way to work.
Holger Becker, the 59-year-old chairman of the football club in Heyrothsberge, told the German magazine Bild that the discarded sandwiches often land on their pitch, adding work to the volunteers’ load who have to clean it up.
“We do everything here on a voluntary basis and maintain our place ourselves,” he said. “It’s very annoying for us.”
While some people are clearly frustrated about the continuous littering, the mystery of the sandwich throwing has also fascinated others, with experts weighing in on why somebody would do such a thing.
Anke Precht, a psychologist, told Bild that it was possible the driver received the sandwich from someone else, perhaps a loved one, though they actually did not enjoy the snack. The driver might have missed the chance to tell the other person they did not like the sandwich, and now they have to live with the consequences of that misunderstanding.
But locals remain baffled, with a resident of the village of Königsborn, Thomas Wilk, telling the magazine: “Why do they let someone make sandwiches if they don’t want to eat them?”
Finally, it’s not just that locals are annoyed about the sandwich throwing.
Throwing rubbish out of a moving car is actually a crime in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. Which means that, if ever found, the anonymous driver could face not only the locals’ rage – but also a fine of up to €400.