austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Mailman, bring me no more blues

My parents get what seems to me like a statistically improbable number of packages through Federal Express or an equivalent cardboard box provider, but it may be that I just get very little stuff delivered so have a skewed sense of the plausible. Anyway there's usually something every couple days, and that Federal Express left us a note about needing a signature for something didn't stand out. My father signed it, put it back out, and the next day there on the doorstep was a box, and stuffed through the door handle was a bundle of fabric, the kind one might make curtains or a dress for Carol Burnett out of. I took them both in and set them in the designated mail position.

My father asked me what the fabric was for; I told him the total of my knowledge of it, which you now know. He guessed what I had, that it was something my mother had ordered for mysterious purposes of her own. (She has a slight tendency to think she's told us when she's started a plan for something, and is annoyed at us when it turns out she hasn't.) So he went back to watching Crazy People Spending Enormous Money On Home Renovations For Negative Returns On Investment, on one of those home-repair-foolishness channels and sulking.

My mother asked me what the fabric was for, and now we had an official mystery because she didn't order it or ask for it or anything. She also asked my father about it, and he deferred the question to me, so now we have it firmly established that we have a bunch of ugly curtain-grade fabric which just appeared in our door handle. Either somebody had the wrong address (and I'm reminded here of the stranger from Ann Arbor who left me a bag of groceries one night in Singapore) or we're victims of a bewildernig practical joke with no discernable payoff.

Trivia: An early 1881 stockholders report for the American Bell Telephone Company reported that there were only nine cities in the United States with populations above 10,000 which did not yet have a telephone exchange. Source: Telephone: The First Hundred Years, John Brooks.

Currently Reading: How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Thomas C Foster.

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