Fed-Ex and UPS trucks stop in front of our house quite often, but they’re usually making deliveries to the condos across the street. When a driver headed toward our door with a very large box recently, I threw open the front door in anticipation of a big surprise. The guy ignored my greeting and shoved the box in on its side. The address label side was against the wall and when I bent over to turn it to see who it was from, the guy mumbled “thebottomcameopensignhere” and stuck the electronic scanner in my face for my signature before I had a chance to look. He hurried back to his truck.
The bottom was indeed completely open–he’d been holding it closed with his hands, so I reached in and pulled out the contents: a lovely, HUGE basket containing several bottles of wine, nuts, crackers, dips, spreads, and chocolates, the whole wonderful assortment wrapped in that crinkly cellophane that is used only for good things. Jackpot!
There was no card. I turned the box over and yanked off the label envelope. Sure enough, there was a printed note from someone, saying Thank You and how much they’d enjoyed their stay at our mountain home. Uh oh. I yanked back my hand which had been ready to dive for one of the chocolates. A couple of issues popped into my head: (1) I didn’t recognize the names on the card and (2) we don’t have a mountain house.
Dang! Don’t you hate it when that happens?
I looked at the address label. Not our name, not our house number. The driver had transposed the numbers, like reading 4139 as 4319. Since he was long gone, I decided that rather than trying to contact the company at 5 PM, I’d simply take the basket up the street to the correct address. I shoved it back into the box and when I picked it up, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to walk up there carrying the box. Dearly Beloved took it out to the car for me. I drove up to the correct address. . . where no one was home.
I walked around the house and found a covered porch at their back door, so I left the package there. Immediately, I started to worry: What if they’re out of town for two weeks? I went to the house next door and the lovely old gentleman who answered assured me that the people were not out of town. He gave me paper and pen so that I could leave a long, convoluted note (the only kind I know how to write) about why the box was opened and how I came to have it.
A couple of hours later the rightful recipient called to thank me for my delivery. I told him that I thought the devil had made the carrier do it because it contained such a tempting basket of goodies.
I was in the bathtub when the doorbell rang a couple of hours later and I couldn’t get decent in time to answer it. When I looked out front a few minutes later, I found a pretty gift box by our front door. I opened it and recognized the chocolates that I’d seen a few hours earlier in the large gift basket. Ahhhh!
Yes, honesty is its own reward, but chocolate sweetens it considerably. I called him to say thanks.
A few days later, as Dearly Beloved and I were heading out for a hamburger, I noticed two large boxes of gift-basket size on our next door neighbors’ front porch. “STOP,” I yelled. “They’re out of town. We need to do something with those packages!”
DB backed up and pulled into their driveway. He went up to get the boxes and put them in the trunk of our car, but he examined them and came back empty-handed.
“They were delivered to the wrong house. They belong to Larry up the street.”
Once again, the carrier had transposed the numbers.
DB contacted Larry and told him the whereabouts of the boxes. Larry was thrilled because the boxes contained speakers that he’d been watching for all week. He rushed up to get them.
Every time I see one of the trucks on our street, I have to resist the urge to run over and make sure the package has reached its proper destination.
What do you think? Coincidence? Dyslexic driver? Or are our suspicions correct that yes, we really do live in The Twilight Zone?