Waiting for the postman's package delivery each day during the month of December was one of my children's favorite activities. All their aunts and uncles lived out-of-state and it seemed that each new day brought more presents to put under tree. The phone rang early in morning ...
"Ma'am, this is the Post Office. We have a suspicious package for you. The zip code is wrong .... Are you expecting anything from Arkansas?" The return address may have been missing as well.
"My sister lives in Arkansas and she usually sends presents" was my confused reply. Why all the fuss?
"Well, okay then, I'll have the package put on the truck."
A few minutes later the phone rang ...
"Ma'am, this is the Post Office again. Is there any chance your sister might have sent you something alive? The box moves whenever we try to pick it up."
"Well, yes, I suppose it is possible ...." Immediately the thought of snakes and other reptiles sprang to mind. Did my sister send a pet iguana? I knew my nephew loved his iguana ....
"I'm afraid we are going to have to x-ray the package before we deliver it. There is something very suspicious about this box."
Time passed and I waited to learn what would unfold next .... Exactly what did they do to you if you sent live animals through the mail? Would the package be delivered? Would my sister end up in jail? I didn't have to wait long before the next call came.
"Ma'am, this is the Post Office. I'm afraid we are going to have to open the package. It doesn't look like there is anything alive in there but there are a lot of wires and we can't rule out the possibility that it is a bomb."
An interminable wait longer ...
A relieved postman called to say, "Everything is just fine. It was a Christmas present - two in fact. I unwrapped them as carefully as I could. [Well, wouldn't you if you thought there was a bomb inside!] It should be no problem to wrap them back up again. It's too late to put these on the truck for delivery before Christmas. Oh, tell your sister to leave the batteries out the next time she ships something."
A little while later the phone rang again. What next?
"Ma'am, I re-wrapped the presents as well as I could. I'm headed your way and can drop off the package personally."
I soon met the intrepid postman who had braved the moving box and then re-wrapped the presents so carefully that no one would be the wiser. The batteries were now loose in the box. So what was inside ...
|Chris Stratton trying to uncover the mysterious movement of the Hip-Hopper.|
He was fast asleep soon after.
|Yuri Gitman, http://yg.typepad.com/makingtoys5/2008/09/02-disassemble.html|
This is but one of many Sepia Saturday posts inspired by Mr. Postman. Hop on over to Sepia Saturday 106 to read more. Merry Christmas to all!
This true story was first sent to family and friends as our Christmas letter in the late 1990s. If, by chance, you have a copy floating around, I'd love to have one. If one of the postmen who made this story possible should happen upon this post, I'd love to hear your side of the tale! All comments welcome!