Well, my Field & Stream mystery has been solved. My good friend and neighbor also received two issues of F&S the same day I did – and she, being a vegetarian, anti-gun pacifist, called the magazine demanding to know who sent this offensive publication to her house. Turns out, we were both automatically subscribed to it when we made reservations for a two-family camping trip we took earlier this summer. So none of you did it. (Why the US Park Service believes everyone who makes a camping reservation would enjoy Field and Stream is beyond me, but …)

This got me thinking, I bet everyone has some good stories about the mail. Tell me about the strangest or funniest or most surprising thing you ordered through the mail, received in the mail, sent through the mail … extra points to you if it really qualifies as TMI.

This isn’t really TMI, but it still cracks me up when I think about it – when I was an overseas volunteer, my mother tried to send a Harry & David fruitcake to my host family for Christmas. I guess she thought fruitcake would be an interesting sort of cultural exchange, or it would survive the tropical climate … I don’t know. Anyhow, Christmas came and went and it never showed up. It was assumed that perhaps the package was ‘misdirected’ to some random postal worker’s family – it wouldn’t have been unusual for that to happen. Six months later, the thing finally arrived – it had been stamped “QUARANTINE,” opened and resealed, clearly poked and prodded and even slit with a knife from the bottom. Probably every postal worker in the office had autopsied it to figure out what the heck it was and whether or not it was worth taking for their own. But the sad little fruitcake was eventually rejected by all, it would seem, and eventually landed with a thunk on my host family’s doorstep.

And – against my urgings not to – they still tasted it.

18 comments to “TMI Tuesday (sorta) – Mail Order Madness”

  1. terrio
    · July 24th, 2007 at 9:59 am · Link

    You know, I can’t think of anything odd, strange or funny that I’ve ever gotten or sent in the mail. The only thing that comes to mind is from when I was a little girl. For years, my mother’s birthday present to my dad was a new subscription to Playboy magazine. I never thought about it but since at the time it was my grandmother, my mom, my sister and I living with my dad, I wonder what the mail person thought about that monthly delivery. I don’t even remember how it was packaged. I sure hope it wasn’t too obvious. LOL!

  2. Santa
    · July 24th, 2007 at 11:08 am · Link

    Was it wrong of me to ROTFLMAO when I read that your friend who’s a vegetarian got F&S in the mail?

    Honestly, I don’t think I can top quarantined fruit cake however ‘spot on’ that may be. (sorry but sometimes Regency speak says it all)

    I did get thongs in the mail. You can guess who sent them to me. Needless to say, after more ROTFLMAO, with my DH this time, they now have a hallowed spot waaaayyyy at the bottom of my unmentionables drawer.

    And, yes, you may now all poke out your minds’ eyes.

  3. Lindsey
    · July 24th, 2007 at 1:12 pm · Link

    I used to be a party to my cousin’s mail hijinks when he was trying to mess with his friends. If he found a book he thought a friend would like, for example, he’d send it anonymously from an unfamiliar city to see if they’d read it without knowing the source. And one year he sent all of his friends unsigned father-to-be cards on Father’s Day. I was always the source of disguised handwriting.

    Unsurprisingly, my strangest package came from him. I worked at a greeting card store in high school, so I was always sending friends the funny cards I found. I sent him a joke card that urged him to send all sorts of supplies for some sort of secret mission. I thought he’d get a laugh out of it, but I should have known better. A few weeks later I received a large envelope that included every item that had been listed on the card – a road map of Idaho, $40 in Canadian currency, three slices of cheese (ew!), and several other things that I can’t remember.

    There are also some interesting mailing experiments at http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html

  4. Tessa Dare
    · July 24th, 2007 at 1:46 pm · Link

    Terri – I’ve received my RT magazine slit open a few times… because it comes wrapped in that opaque plastic, just like porn! Cracks me up.

    Santa – extra points to you. Thongs are always TMI!

    Lindsey, I wonder if your cousin has an FBI file yet! Must check out that link…

  5. Christina
    · July 24th, 2007 at 2:48 pm · Link

    I don’t think I have ever received anything odd in the mail. It would more or less be like not getting my packages, because the mailman doesn’t like to get out of the mail truck.

  6. lacey kaye
    · July 24th, 2007 at 4:18 pm · Link

    Ha. Loved your story. Thought I had nothing, but maybe not.

    If this applies to any of you, ladies, here’s a lesson to be learned: You are NOT the first person to look at their UPS man and say, “My, what a big package you have!”

    Trust me. Most of them hear it at least five times a day. The UPS man is not quite as personal when you ride his route and see just how *popular* he is will ALL the ladies…

  7. Kelly Krysten
    · July 24th, 2007 at 4:35 pm · Link

    LOL! Lacey, Lacey, Lacey…I never even thought of saying such a thing to my UPS guy… Seriously how can you get past the brown shorts?
    I don’t really have an interesting story. Although once my friend(And this is a friend like really a friend not a ‘friend’ like I’m too shy to admit it’s me). But this friend ordered a vibrator through the mail and was expecting it on a day when her mom was out of town…her mom came back early.lol.

  8. India Carolina
    · July 24th, 2007 at 10:32 pm · Link

    OMG. I almost missed TMI Tuesday. That just shows how distracted I am.

    No great stories. But will contribute what I have. When my son was 7 or so, he liked to look at cars online and signed up for porsche updates. He started getting credit card offers in the mail on a daily basis, and this is still going on- 13 years later. It’s not so cute anymore.

    Also I have to laugh when I get alumni mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. (fill in the name of my ex).

  9. Darcy Burke
    · July 25th, 2007 at 12:18 am · Link

    We belong to a wine club at a somewhat local winery (about ten miles away maybe?). The winemaker/owner runs the business (he does have help) and so the wine “club” is not the most organized. Sometimes we get shipments and sometimes we don’t. Last September we received our wine shipment just before we moved. Then I got my credit card bill and saw that I’d been billed for TWO shipments. I called him and he said a second shipment was sent the day before (or summat) and to just refuse it upon delivery. No problem. It took UPS days to find us because our house is in a new development and wasn’t on Mapquest (or similar) until a few months ago. The wine eventually shows up and we refuse delivery.

    After we moved, I ordered Thomas the Tank Engine wallpaper border and a Cinderella clock for the kids’ rooms. Never showed up. I tracked the package and it ended up in a different town. After some research, I learned it was delivered to the winery. After several phone calls with UPS (I won’t bore you with those aggravating details, but explain to me why the local distribution center doesn’t have a phone number that I can call to talk to someone…how does anyone call them? I had to leave a message with the guy in Kentucky or wherever, so how does he let them know to call me??? I digress…)

    When we refused the wine, UPS made a note that our new address was the winery address. So they delivered our package to the winery. They eventually got it to us, but what a clusterfork!

  10. ERiCA
    · July 25th, 2007 at 5:58 am · Link

    Although once my friend(And this is a friend like really a friend not a ‘friend’ like I’m too shy to admit it’s me)

    Kelly, this cracked me up.

    Darcy’s new address being the winery–Hmmm… Why do I think UPS got the right of it? 😉

  11. terrio
    · July 25th, 2007 at 6:41 am · Link

    These stories are hysterical. Santa was in the lead with the thongs but that vibrator story might have her beat.

    Lindsey – your cousin sounds like an interesting guy to know.

    I did remember a funny incident that happened earlier this year. I use proactiv and it comes in a nice box that just happens to fit easily through the back door of my small mailbox (where the carrier puts the mail) but does not fit through the front opening.

    In order to get the product out I had to somehow rip open the box but I was not about to destroy my hands any more than necessary. So I left the empty box in there. That was the beginning of the box battle.

    For more than two weeks my postal carrier and I pushed this box from the front to the back of my mailbox, neither willing to give up and remove it. I was not backing down. He never should have put something in there that I could not get out! Luckily for me, one day he had another package to put in there and was forced to remove the empty box.

    Score one for me. LOL!

  12. Tessa Dare
    · July 25th, 2007 at 8:19 am · Link

    Lacey, Kelly – you are cracking me up.

    India – Isn’t that irrelevant mail the best? We get tons of mail in Spanish because my husband’s last name is Spanish, but neither of us speaks the language.

    Darcy – I don’t know – Thomas the Tank Engine wallpaper could look cute in a wine-tasting room… Those kind of shows frequently make me yearn for a drink.

    Terri – Way to be persistent! You show that lazy postal person!

  13. Alice Audrey
    · July 25th, 2007 at 9:15 am · Link

    We don’t have a mail box. We have one of those slits in the wall that the mail drops through. My ds started laying in wait for the mailman. When the mailman would stick the mail through the slot, my ds reached through and grabbed him. We were all watching the day he actually grabbed hold. You should have heard the mailman shriek!

  14. Tessa Dare
    · July 25th, 2007 at 9:40 am · Link

    OMG, AA – that’s hilarious!!!

  15. ERiCA
    · July 25th, 2007 at 2:55 pm · Link

    AA-hysterical. I can just picture that!

  16. Gillian
    · July 26th, 2007 at 9:33 am · Link

    Nothing too odd, but our mailman knows he can drop off extra magazines at our address, cause I love periodicals. A benefit of living in a small town 🙂

    I have a regular blogging schedule now, and hope to stick with it, so come and visit 🙂

  17. Cynthia Falcon
    · July 29th, 2007 at 7:05 pm · Link

    Strange was getting an adult toy catalog in the mail. WTF? The only strangest thing I’ve ever sent in the mail was a piece of plus-sized lingerie that I’d sold on ebay. After my weight loss, I sold all my clothes, including this gaudy looking scrap of a teddy that I never wore. I paid like $25 bucks for it and it sold on ebay for $50.

  18. Alyssa Goodnight
    · July 30th, 2007 at 7:59 pm · Link

    Too funny! (Both stories) I don’t think I have anything that can top that. Sometimes I think nothing ever happens to me. And sometimes I think I just miss it all.