A long time ago, before I was married, my then fiancé, lived in a very remote area.
This place he in which he lived was actually the physical address of the depths of despair, and it was particularly horrifying in the winter. No cell service, no Internet, only a few other neighbors, no local amenities closer than a forty minute drive. It was dark, damp, cold, isolated, and the rent he paid was in no way fair for the condition of his apartment. I could really go off on the landlord, but that's another post entirely.
The point is, it's a legitimately scary place to spend a winter. And it's not at all inconceivable that someone might just not make it through the winter. That winter though, my fiancé was in a several month long training, and he wasn't even in the same state as his place of residence.
So when spring rolled around, a group of my friends were in his neighborhood, sitting at a picnic table, when the mailman rolled by. No doubt the guy hadn't seen anyone outside in that area in months, and when they waved, he said hi.
One thing led to another, and he asked if they knew my fiancé. Yeah, they said, why?
"I've been stuffing package after package into his mailbox and he never empties it. Did he die?"
And really, this was a totally reasonable question. You've read what the place is like, but also, despite being a child of the '80's, my husband's name suggests he's actually eighty. When people meet him they are always surprised he isn't a senior citizen.
My friends told the mailman my fiancé was in fact alive, which really made the mailman much happier, and they told him my fiancé had been away all winter. But they promised to get him to empty his mail, now that he was back.
So my fiancé went back to his house, which he'd been avoiding since returning from his training, and cleaned out the bazillion packages. He brought them back to my house, where another friend happened to be dropping me off.
We asked him what the deal was with all the packages.
"My credit card got stolen from a gas station skimmer this winter. Apparently part of the scam is buying cheap things and sending them to my house to keep the card on longer. I called the credit card company, but they said it's all done. I asked them what to do about all the stuff I got sent, and they said it didn't matter. The stuff was paid for."
My friend and I looked in the back of his truck. A mound of packages rose from the bed.
"Seems like it might be Christmas in May," I said.
And it was.
So we stood in front of my house and opened package after package. Here is a rough list of what we unwrapped:
- A pair of ice skate leg warmers
- A book on the Nazi's rise to power
- A book on MLK Jr.'s famous speech
- One plastic bag labeled "flet cat small" which contained one felt cat small (a small cat which appeared to be made of actual compressed cat hair)
- A chocolate bunny (which my friend ate while we unwrapped the gifts)
- A bumper sticker that said, Jet Fuel is my Coffee (which my neigbhor, a ten year old girl who happened to be walking by, asked for and was given)
- Several metal boot scrapers which were designed to be stuck into the ground by your door. (My friend, in charge of the local corral asked for one and was given one, and to this day is still excited about it)
- A catalogue on cheap children's toys
- Replacement pieces for a child safety gate
- A pack of five hundred 8.5 x 11 letter mailers (which were given to my friend's work)
- A myriad of other stuff for which we had no use
I kept the flet cat small, I mean, who doesn't like cats? But it turns out, my actual cat doesn't like cats, and she ate the felt cat small.
Which I think might have been actual cannibalism, but Wikipedia tells me that cannibalism is the act of eating the same species for food, and that's clearly not right.
She was doing it out of spite and power, not hunger.
I know that given the chance, she would probably eat me, although I like to think it would be out of hunger and not spite and power. I wonder how long it would take my mail backing up before anyone realized what was happening in my house... Not cannibalism, not credit card fraud, but nothing good either.