Suspicious Packages – Don’t Trust Anyone!

December 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 2 Comments
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I’m sure you’re familiar with this experience: you head to your nearest post office or shipping facility to mail something, and they ask you if there’s anything liquid, perishable, hazardous, etc. in the box.  You, of course, answer no, and life proceeds as planned while your package of cookies/wine/explosive devices reaches its destination unmolested.  Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to happen!

Suspicious Mail

What's in YOUR package?

A few weeks ago my colleagues at Dark Water Fowl and I received a notification that a package we shipped across the pond (that’s England, y’all) had been held by the Fish and Wildlife Agency for further investigation.

As employees of a wicked nerdy software company, it took us a moment to figure out why the Fish and Wildlife Agency would have anything to do with our package.  We hadn’t sent anything inappropriate, illegal, or otherwise suspicious.  We deal in the world of software, not creatures! What was the hold up?

Glad you asked.  The box we sent to jolly old England contained a few hundred of Dark Water Fowl’s mascots: adorable little rubber duckies.  The packing slip said “rubber ducks” – hence the government intervention.  Those fellas are on their game!  (And maybe a little bored…)

Hide your children – plastic toys are migrating!

The Bad Bride Strikes Again

July 27, 2010 at 9:35 am | Posted in Around Boston, Married Life | 10 Comments
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Well, dear reader(s), I’ve done it again: I’ve demonstrated my bridal ineptitude to my hubs-to-be, and, to make it worse, a member of the USPS, too…

Our wedding invitations recently arrived and I was so excited (shockingly excited – I had no idea a piece of paper could have that effect on me!), I commandeered Saturday morning so Andrew and I could stuff them and send them out. As you can imagine, he didn’t share my unbridled enthusiasm, but we put on some tunes and found our wedding-invitation-stuffing-rhythm.     

The USPS’ most delicious stamp

It took a couple of hours, but we forced every last one of those invites into their inner envelopes along with the RSVP card and RSVP SASE, and then forced the inner envelopes into the outer envelopes, while doing our best to avoid the inevitable paper cuts. We sealed a big ol’ stack of ’em and took them to the post office where the USPS employee weighed them and informed us that we would need 61 cent stamps for each invitation. No problem! Andrew dutifully bought enough wedding cake stamps to mail himself to Malaysia.
The delightful postal employee then offered to mail the sealed stack we brought with us – huzzah! She asked us if we were ready to mail them, if we were sure we had everything we needed in them. Invitation? Check! Response card? You betcha! Self-addressed, stamped envelope for the response cards? Yup! Map/directions to our venue? Yea–wait, what?!?
Well, dear reader(s), I didn’t have the map/direction cards to our venue. So clearly I didn’t put them in the envelopes. Which meant that, not only were we unable to send the stack of sealed invitations that day, but that we would have to…  

  • Unseal the sealed invitations and reprint the envelopes.
  • Unstuff every single invitation!!
  • Call the venue and request that they send the map/direction cards.
  • Re-stuff all the invitations.
  • Bring the invitations back to the post office to weigh them again and pray the added paper doesn’t put us in a new stamp price category.

Granted, this could have been much worse. We could have sealed all the envelopes, not just a stack, and had to reorder and reprint them all. But the question remains: is there any hope for me?
~Sarah (the Bad Bride)      

Photo Phriday: More Mail Mix-Ups

June 4, 2010 at 6:59 am | Posted in Photo Phriday | 2 Comments
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It seems Sarah isn’t the only one getting oddly-addressed mail these days. The Other Sister (real name Vanessa) apparently has been promoted to the true head of her household. At least according to whomever sent her this:


Mrs. & Mr. Vanessa?

What’s going on with here, reader(s)? Is the USPS getting sloppy? Is a mass conspiracy to make us all question our identity afoot?


Movie Delivery Fail

March 4, 2010 at 9:34 am | Posted in Misc. | 7 Comments
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Andrew and I love cuddling up on the couch to watch movies together and, thanks to a little service you may have heard of that Rhymes-With-Jet-Clicks, we do so about three times a week. But sometimes Rhymes-With-Jet-Clicks and the USPS conspire against us… For example, one night we had three movies waiting for us:

These arrived in the same shipment! Movie related to the number 9, anyone?

Yes, that is District 9, 9, and another copy of District 9. Can you hear me banging my head against the wall?

You see, the first copy of District 9 (alien sci-fi thriller in cinema verite-style) was supposed to be at our house nearly two weeks ago, but it never arrived. We reported it missing so they sent us a second copy (thank you!). Miraculously both copies arrived on the same day… with 9 (post apocalyptic robot v. machine world co-produced by creep-master Tim Burton). Now, if only Nine (Daniel Day-Lewis as movie director, adulterer and singer) were also out on video, we could have had a week of nines!

By the way, what’s with all the nines??? Hollywood, please explain yourself!


The lights may be on, but no one is home!

January 26, 2010 at 10:51 am | Posted in Around Boston | 8 Comments
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Last week April, RWC and I decided to brave the post office again, risking life and limb– or at least really bloody tape-cutter-induced injuries– to mail some bills, wedding To-Dos and gift exchanges, when we happened upon this notice on their window:

That’s right, the cameras might be working, but no one cares. And no one checks them. So go ahead and do whatever you want. Sounds like a great deterrent, folks!



If It Fits, It Ships!

December 18, 2009 at 10:17 am | Posted in Around Boston | 1 Comment
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You know that slogan for the USPS, “If it fits, it ships?” Yesterday they proved they’re dead serious. I had to return some coats and a dress, but I knew it was going to be tough to fit it all in one box. So I brought Sarah and the Lady Gaga-loving colleague Rhymes-With-Spiesah from our office. We crammed all that clothing in a large flat-rate box. And when I say crammed, I mean Sarah had to sit on it to get the box closed. Sarah and I both had to hold the box together while Rhymes-With-Spiesah wrapped it in packing tape. And that’s where things went horribly wrong.

Somehow, Rhymes-With-Spiesah cut herself. And I don’t mean a tiny paper-cut. We’re talking stitches, or at least a butterfly bandage. Sarah and I didn’t realize the extent of the injury until we handed the package to the clerk. And then I noticed that the package was covered in blood. I fully admit that I am prone to exaggeration and dramatization. This is not one of those times. It looked like I murdered a small animal and wiped my entrails-covered hands on the box. Too much? It’s true. But I have no photographic evidence because Sarah and I both forgot our Blackberries at the office and Rhymes-With-Spiesah was too busy tending to her wound.

There are two great parts of this story. The first is that the clerk had no reaction to the overstuffed, bloody package I was shipping. None. He didn’t even ask if there was anything fragile, perishable or hazardous in it. Probably because he didn’t want to know. The second is that while Rhymes-With-Spiesah held her bleeding hand above her heart to slow the flow of blood and I calmly completed my transaction as if this were all completely normal (and let’s face it, in my life, it is), Sarah matter-of-factly announced, “Don’t mind me, I’m just removing the blood from my hands with a little packing tape.” And our clerk still did not bat an eye.

So apparently even hazardous material like someone else’s blood will ship as long as you can fit it in a flat-rate box. Which is pretty convenient and economical. It’s probably the one thing brown can’t do for you.


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