Yesterday I received a call from the anti-terrorism unit of the U.S. Postal Service. That was a bit of a surprise since I wasn’t even aware that there was such a unit.Â After a round of twenty questions toÂ establishÂ that I was indeed who I am and they were indeed who they claimed to be., we got down to the reason for the call.
They wanted to know if I was expecting a large manila envelope. Another game of twenty questions ensued to establish that the envelope *might* contain a book. When I admitted that yes, I had recently won a copy of the Everyday Happy Herbivore from Little Miss Blogger over at A Little Blog About NothingÂ things went downhill even further.Â Trying to explain that you won a book from a blog and that that is what might be in the envelope in question to an anti-terrorism agent is an interesting exercise in futility.
Needless to say, some time later we had established that:
- I was not a terrorist.
- The sender of the book was probably not a terrorist.
- The U.S. Postal Service should go ahead and deliver the book to me.
Now you might wonder what really triggered this insane sequence of events. (I know that I sure did!)
Near as I can figure out, the whole sequence was set in motion by the fact that whomever sent the book to me (the publisher???)Â somehow neglected to put either postage or a return address on the package. Thus the postal people saw an anonymous bomb sized envelope suddenly appearing in their system which triggered all the anti-terrorism red flags.
The final upshot of all this: I won a free book, but will undoubtedly have to pay postage for it when it gets here. Certainly worth it to me for the interesting conversation with the agent. I am also impressed that they found the right phone number for me. All they had was the physical address and my name and they found the right number to call on the first try. (I have at least 6 phone numbers associated with me and my address – even more if you believe the errors that Google has propagated from time to time.)
Any one else live such an interesting life?