Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mail Forwarded

Around November, I started my Christmas shopping online through Amazon.  I have done Black Friday sales once.  I probably would not do it again unless I was inebriated. I got a subscription to Amazon prime and for the next few weeks if there was anything I wanted I would create small carts of things and send them out.

Don't Judge.
I created a cart that had four things in it:
-A container of airsoft bullets for my airsoft sniper rifle.
-A Copy of Gunblade/LA Machine Guns for the Wii.
-Two boxes of window insulation plastic from 3M. 

It's apparent that upon arrival to Eatontown, the package became very confused.
The two day delivery date came went.  The status of the package said it had been delivered.  I attributed it to the problems with the infrastructure after Hurricane Sandy, so I wasn't upset about it.  But after a full week with no response and Amazon saying it had been delivered I knew something was wrong.  Initiated a lost package request with Amazon.  I checked with the apartment leasing office to see if the package got diverted there and they said they would keep an eye out.  We checked by our old apartment in the next building over.  I stopped by the post office to see if it was delivered there. They looked in the back and asked amongst one another if they knew anything without luck.  As far as they knew the package had been delivered but they would speak with the mail carrier as soon as he returned from his rounds.   

In their defense, they took the possibility of mail theft very seriously.  She was going speak with the mail carrier whom she hinted was a little weird but a good responsible guy. I assured her I wasn't interested in dating him but if he knew what happened to my mail we could go from that point.  She said that there have been problems with deliveries at my complex in the past and they were going to convert to DEFCON 3 as a precaution.  I believe also she mentioned that the doomsday clock read 2 minutes to midnight. 

When I reported back to Sam what the post office said.  Sam thought it would be prudent to elevate this to DEFCON 2.  She typed up an short word document which she taped to every apartment door in our immediate vicinity, one on the mail box, and also for good measure put one up the laundry room.  Essentially this was a tactical nuclear guilt trip armed with a 200 megatons of contrition.  That Trust was placed in our neighbors and that Trust was stripped naked, thrown in the stocks, molested, and ridiculed while being smeared with feces.  Someone better return our package and Trust's clothes because we were calling the authorities because mail tampering is a federal offense. 
If this letter was a person, it would be your mother.  Asking you why you never call to say hi anymore and asking you why you took that huge poop on the Thanksgiving Day spread your grandmother spent all day making while you were outside kicking puppy dogs and strangling kittens.

It also did not help that around this time we noticed that one of the neighbors put up window insulation on their windows.  So instantly, they became our prime suspect.  It also did not bode well that was the only apartment who did not respond when Sam knocked on their door the other night. Those assholes, stealing our packages, then having the nerve to utilize its contents so blatantly. 

A couple days later I got a phone call from the post office woman.  She had spoken to the mail carrier and he delivered the package to our old apartment because we had just moved.  He saw the name on the package and delivered it based on where he thought we lived not based on what the new address read.  That evening he visited our apartment to basically apologize and reiterate what the woman had told me over the phone.  He seemed a little weird, but a good responsible guy so I could not really be angry at him. He handed me a paper which gave directions to make a formal report that our mail was indeed stolen.

Later that night Sam went out to do laundry.  She noticed the letter she put up in the laundry room was no longer there.  When she returned to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  Tony appeared.  He engaged her in his typical small talk.  He mentioned he was upset that we never told him we were going to move.  She maintained that we really did not move away we just moved to another building.  She then told him that we were not obligated to tell him anything and it wasn't like we would never see him again.  Somehow the conversation moved to the topic of mail being stolen.

He wanted to report that "those teenagers" were at it again.  These were the same possibly fictitious people who months before he reported to the police. "Those teenagers" had broken into his rust heap and stolen an astounding one thousand dollars worth of tools from its bungee cord secured trunk.  That along with grand theft auto and vandalism "those teenagers" were now going around stealing peoples packages.  Is there no end to "Those teenagers" rampant evil? 

It was residents like "those teenagers" which made the complex not safe to walk around at night.  Sam had no choice but to agree with him.  Sam quickly left him there and returned to the apartment to tell me the story.  We now had to consider that "Those teenagers" might in fact be a personality within his diseased mind or at least a delusion.

We are looking at evidence of a
very sophisticated operation.
It could not have been more than 20 minutes before we got a knock at our door.  It was Tony.  He "found" our package.  He had found this box opened in the bushes next to our old apartment.  Someone had ripped the box address off it and taken the packing slip so he did not know to whom it belonged.  All four items were still in the box. So, he kept it safe in his apartment for the past two weeks. 

At least that was the story he was going to give us.  The thief cleverly only took a piece of cardboard with our correct address and a packing list that provided them with some reconnaissance as to what MIGHT be in our apartment listed on the cardboard.

"Those teenagers" now know we have a Wii.  Except we have a Wii to which we are buying incredibly silly outdated games.  (A game that was later beaten pretty thoroughly in a single evening and a half a bottle of bourbon between my friend Keith and I.) So what sort of electronics could we have in our apartment that 90% of the other apartments in the complex would probably have as well?

All accounted for, mostly.
 "Those teenagers" now know I have an airsoft gun.  But, I am buying ammo for it does that mean I am currently weaponless?  Could they break into my apartment without fear of an reprisal with a high powered plastic pellet gun? Or should they be fearful I might use the rifle to instead hit them with it?

"Those teenagers" now know I have windows and my apartment is really fucking cold.  Two boxes of window insulation why exactly do I have so many windows?  Could my windows be stolen and sold?  Or is their value hidden in the way of simply smashing them like Tony's van?

In reality, Tony saw our package.  Stole it, Opened it and left it in his apartment.  He has no use for a Wii game without a Wii. So until GameStop accepts electronic trade ins and offers Lairds Vodka in return the game is worthless to him.  He probably has no use for 0.12g plastic Airsoft Pellets (nor do I for that matter because at long range they have no accuracy or power).  As for the window insulation, this is the same guy who in the dead of winter walks around without a jacket and I have seen on multiple occasions with his front door and all his windows open playing music loudly.  I suppose now that he has window insulation he is going to suddenly care about keeping his apartment warm. No. 

Like the Apollo 11 crew when they
returned from the moon our package
may have unknown foreign illnesses
& parasites on board.
The true fear came about an hour after his visit.  When we realized the package that had been sitting on dinner table for the past hour had been sitting "safely" in his apartment for the past two weeks.  It has been sitting safely in his flea and bed bug ridden apartment decorated with untold years of dumpster discards.  We even entertained the thought that Bonnie, still angry at us for not being the source of her own bedbugs, picked swollen bed bugs off her scabbed oozing skin in the dead of the night to occupy the cardboard box. Our package was assuredly a teeming blood sucking parasite Trojan Horse of Bonnie's revenge.

It would spend the next week quarantined on our porch.  Our table cloth was laundered and the area around the table and rugs were vacuumed.  To this day we have no fleas or bed bugs.

Better luck next time Bonnie. 

Missed Shots and Fate

I need a faster camera.  A camera that can be ready to take a fairly decent picture faster than I can get my cellphone out to take a mediocre picture.  The above shot is taken with my android razor and its standard camera program.  What is being shown in the photo is a perfectly missed moment of irony which I will explain later to give you a moment to look for it.  It's still there. Faintly. 

I was seriously driving all over Eatontown trying to fax college transcripts to a university before a Friday afternoon deadline.  The fax machine at Brookdale Community college refused to send the fax regardless of what number I fed into the machine.  Well, I could not actually do it myself because the clerk was adamant about her fingers being the one that strokes the Hewlett Packard touch screen. 
After spending close to a half hour trying to leave the Brookdale college campus and their death grip level of traffic I made my way back towards Eatontown.  All the while keeping my eye out for locations that might have a fax machine.  They are no UPS stores.  No fax machines at 7-11's or Quik Cheks.  You can not send faxes from Post offices and I could see the look of betrayal in the Postwoman's face when I asked her.  I was the reason they were going bankrupt. 

Perhaps the look was just the thought I was stupid waiting 10 minutes in a line for a service they have never had.

The Staples and Office max near me went out of business or moved.  I have now spent nearly an hour and a half since I walked away from that woman at Brookdale trying to send the fax that I SHOULD have been able to send there.  Which brings me back to the above car accident photo.  It is a photo I would have missed had I been able to send my fax an hour ago.  Fate.

In the distance there is a building under construction and within that block of stores is a "FedEx Office" location.  This is the place where I ultimately send my fax.  In the foreground there is a one of New Jersey's ingenious inventions of Urban planning: The NJ Jug Handle.  The cars are attempting to cross over route 35 to make left turns or enter the Eatontown Mall.  The driver of the silver Hyundai 4 door compact was just in a car accident. 

Two accidents if you count his horrific hipster haircut as well.(not shown) 

I'd like to imagine after the hipster was rear ended he looked up from the steering wheel and saw that he was physically okay he then surveyed his surroundings. In his side view mirror he can see the dark Nissan which struck him looking up from her steering wheel aghast at what had just happened.  He looks out of his drivers side window at the long line of cars stretching out their necks to warm up for some serious rubber necking.
The hipster quickly imagines what is next? Can his car still run? How bad was the damage? Should he call the cops? Was it his fault?  How much was this going to cost?  Should he call his insurance company?  Should he call the shift manager at Houlihan's to tell them he will be late to serve watered down drinks and speak down to the customers?   He is lost in a swirl of questions, lingering adrenaline, and head trauma.   Just when he considers crying in front of the police officers he sees something that quiets everything and puts him at complete ease.  A sign that reads: 

"Coming soon...AAA"