Every year I send navel oranges to friends and family. Since navels are “Christmas oranges,” I usually mail them before the US Post Office gets overwhelmed with packages. And again, this year I did so on December 11. The boxes went to New York, Ohio, and to Texas. Since they were sent priority mail, I had tracking slips.
However, I usually get a text or a call from the recipient long before I get around to checking on them. I’d heard from New York and from Ohio, but not from my sister in Texas. Curious. I texted: Did you get the citrus? “No” was her reply. Now, I was involved in a mystery, for according to geography, Texas is much closer to Phoenix than NY or OH. I entered the tracking number to find the lost parcel. OMG! I was astounded! The oranges and limes must have decided to go on adventure!
They fled my sister’s Houston suburb, went to downtown Houston–perhaps to ride the Ferris wheel, and then took off to Dallas. In Dallas, they were sent back to my local post office–less than five miles from my home. According to tracking, those bad boys arrived on December 18. Christmas and New Year’s came and went. No citrus returned. Weird.
On January 4, I received a brown envelope from the mailman. Enclosed was this box top. (Since the original was addressed correctly and neither my sister, nor I want to be deluged with fan mail, I altered the label.) Also enclosed was a letter, dated December 24 from a Dallas postal facility. It read: An empty wrapper with your address was found in the mail and is believed to have been separated from a parcel during handling (see attached portion of the wrapper.) Really? The package was allegedly in Phoenix on the 18th. How could the top of a large, flat-rate box been separated from it…unless, someone in the postal service knoshed on oranges and squeezed lime in beer?
Included was a form to file for missing items. A laborious form that mandated receipts for whatever was in the box, plus serial and model numbers, sex and size of clothing articles, etc. I tossed the form. I have better things to do than worry about errant citrus. However, the next time I send a box to my sister, it will be filled with….