Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Mystery Box

UPS delivered a well wrapped and labeled package to my front door. When I looked out the front door window, I saw the delivery truck turning up the hill. This is an important piece of information to the mystery. The package was from Backyard Beehive company. I was expecting a package, but it was a bit smaller than anticipated.

I opened the package and was supremely puzzled when its content was clean stacks of used clothing. I took photos of the different clothes and the shipping label, and sent an email to Karen, an employee at Backyard Beehives. She didn't reply and after three days of mulling over the strange package, I decided to send the package back and warned Karen in an email. Finally a response: We are a bee company and wouldn't send used clothing. Furthermore the shipping label is from a year ago.  You need to check with your post office.

Still stumped and frustrated, I gave up on solving the mystery, closed the box, put it in my car with plans to drop it off at goodwill. But I started to wonder. What if questions swirled and haunted my thoughts. What if a company employee was embezzling and in danger of being caught, and stuck the evidence in a box of clothes and shipped it off? Was there really an insider who was dealing in espionage? Was Guito going to land on my doorstep looking for the computer chip? Was I in danger? Illogical, I know, but I was looking for any explanation to the package of used clothing.

Sitting in my car before driving to goodwill, I realized I hadn't carefully checked through the clothing, so I took out each piece, searched through pockets and voila! In one pocket, I found a student ID. I didn't recognize it at first, but it belonged to my neighbor's daughter in law. The mystery was about to be solved.

Hypothesis #1: my neighbor must have needed to send a package to her son and daughter in law who were doing an internship in Chile. She grabbed a box out of my recycle bin, readdressed it and sent it off. Somehow, the label must have been torn off revealing only the original label, which then was delivered to me.

Hypothesis destroyed: She knew nothing about the package. But her son and daughter in law surely would know, and they'd just returned from Chile.

It took two days of trying not to bug my busy neighbor, before the couple came to dinner and solved the mystery: the real story with a twist no one could have guessed.

When the couple left for Chile, they had to pack up their apartment in a hurry. They had indeed needed boxes and took the Backyard Beehive box out of my bin. That box was filled with clothing, taped up, and carried into the basement of my neighbor's home. Six months later, when the couple returned, they started moving boxes from the basement to a truck, to their new apartment. Somehow, the mystery box was left on my neighbor's front porch. In the meantime, the UPS delivered another package and sat it on top of the box of packed-up clothing. When they picked up the new, legitimately delivered package, they found another box with a delivery label addressed to me, underneath. Assuming, it was just delivered, and to the wrong house, failing to recognize their own package, they acted like good neighbors and promptly brought it to my front porch.

They had put their own package on my front doorstep! To think their clothing was minutes away from never seeing it again!

There isn't much of a moral or sustenance to this story; the only value is the irony, the mishap, and a good laugh.  And the strange coincidence of the UPS driving by when I opened the front door to retrieve the package.