Southern Man

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lost and Found

In Southern Man's continuing quest to ensure that his older kids are adequately entertained when dragooned into enforced visitation with their Dad (which, for various reasons, is increasingly a problem) he ordered the DVDs for the second season of Lost a while back. The kids really like Lost (as does Southern Man) and it would probably amuse them to review the second season before the third gets underway. Besides, Southern Man doesn't watch much tube and never saw any of the second season episodes anyway. And don't you dare spoil it for him, either. That goes double for you, Goldie.

Then it got interesting.

Yesterday afternoon, Southern Man paid a visit to his order-tracking page and found, much to his surprise, that Lost showed as having been delivered on Saturday. Sorry, no. Insert joke about lost Lost DVDs here. Southern Man's duplex is served by one of those mailbox clusters down the street but there are a couple of lockboxes there too. Alas, no lockbox key was in his mail. However, the USPS often just dumps packages on the front doorstep instead of actually securing them in the lockbox like they're supposed to. Could Lost have been lost to a nosy neighbor? Delivered to the wrong doorstep? Orbiting somewhere in post office limbo? Only one thing to try, and that's to call and find out.

After a bit of exploring on the web (no luck - and oddly enough the tracking link on Amazon worked fine but plugging the number directly into a USPS tracking page did not) Southern Man got the brilliant idea to call his local post office. Sometimes he gets so deep into the Internet that he forgets that there's a perfectly good hard copy phone book downstairs. Alas, all of the "local" post offices had the same 800 number. Oh, well, that was the only game in town, so he called,,,

...only to enter a maze of twisty voice menu options, all alike.

Southern Man eventually said "lost package" at the right place and time and with the proper voice inflections and actually got a live human on the other end. And that live human actually offered to submit a "lost package" report to the local post office. That was more than was expected, so that offer was gladly accepted.

And, believe it or not, today Southern Man got an early-morning call from yet another real live postal worker that worked right here in his home town. Amazing. After some checking this nice man reported that the package had indeed been left at Southern Man's doorstep, not on Saturday, but on Friday. And he distinctly remembers the dog barking furiously inside the house.

Problem is, Southern Man doesn't have a dog.

Hmmm, said the nice man. Let me talk to the sub that ran your route on Saturday and see if he knows anything. And I'll call you back today. I promise. That was good enough for Southern Man, who has the bad habit of taking people (even government bureaucrats) at their word.

Like I said, it's a bad habit. Southern Man gave up at about five this afternoon and called the nice man back (thank the Lord for "recieved call" lists on cell phones). He wasn't there. The equally nice lady who answered the phone took my information and said he'd get the message in the morning. And Southern Man pretty much gave up his Lost DVDs and a hopefully pleasant surprise for his kids that weekend for lost.

And then he got home after his evening class and, lo and behold, there was an Amazon package on the front step. And sure enough, the lost Lost DVDs were found again. How this was accomplished is a complete mystery (much like the plotlines in Lost itself). But it doesn't matter how or why - throw some popcorn in the microwave and open up the chips, it's gonna be a Lost lock-in on Friday night at casa Southern Man!

UPDATE: Ran into the mail carrier on Wednesday afternoon; he said that they'd been left in a mail lockbox at the other end of the street. Mystery solved, but it does make one wonder how things like that happen.


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