The group of retirement home residents definitely take home the prize for most inventive way to steal a maypole, which is a tradition that takes places around May 1st in Austria and Germany where the decorated trees are erected in celebration of the arrival of Spring.
As tradition goes in the small community of Mehrnbach in Upper Austria, the OAPs' decorated maypole had been stolen from the retirement home by a group of regulars at a nearby pub.
“This year, however, the seniors decided: that's enough, we will not accept it,” said the head of the home Christoph Koller.
The 78 residents then concocted a plan on Sunday to take back the decorated tree. Using their zimmer frames and few helping hands they loaded up the ten metre tree and rolled it back the 300 metres to their home.
Tradition states successful thieves must be treated with a hearty snack in reward for their theft - in this case, the pensioners invited the pub thieves to the home to celebrate.
“Of course we will again put up a tree next year,” said Koller to the Kurier. “In future we will guard it better, however.”
Students transport tree using tram
In Vienna at the weekend, students at the Boku university thought of another nifty way to transport a maypole by taking it on one of the city's trams.
The students had originally stolen the ten-metre maypole from outside the university building and taking it to the nearby student home.
After deciding it was just getting in the way they then cut the tree in half and took a five-metre-long section on one of the city's trams to their favourite hangout ‘Gasthaus zum Holunderstrauch', the owner of which described the action as “world class”
One tram driver refused to allow them on board although they eventually convinced another to let them on.
City transport bosses failed to see the funny side, however, with spokesperson Daniel Amann telling Krone newspaper: “We find it not at all funny, it is dangerous and forbidden.”
Amann added that the bosses plan on talking to the second tram driver who let the students on with the maypole.