Saturday, February 07, 2009

What Can Brown Do For You?

I had to ship something last week, and stopped by the handy UPS store in town. The clerk was already waiting on a customer, who had, when I walked in, been chewing the clerk's ear off with a long, rambling story about what he was shipping and why he had to ship it, and why it had to be at its destination in a certain time frame and what would happen if it wasn't. I missed the beginning (damn, I hate when I miss the beginning!), but I'm sure it had something to do with what the guy had for breakfast and what color socks he was wearing.

Luckily the box I had to ship was very light.

When the guy finally reached his conclusion (I had tuned out somewhere between the package's destination and the consequences if not reached), the ever-patient clerk beckoned me forward.

After the door closed behind Mr. My-Wife-Probably-Doesn't-Listen-To-Me-Anymore, I said to the clerk, "You must hear a lot of interesting stories."

Yes, he said, he did.

I asked him what was the strangest thing he ever shipped. He smiled.

"Someone wanted to ship a body," he said.

I assumed it was a dead one. "Uh...the body? Or was it cremated?"

"Cremated," he said. "But we couldn't do it because we couldn't take the liability if it got lost."

"So Aunt Sylvia could be sitting around in some warehouse somewhere?"

He nodded. "There was also a human skull, once. A guy wanted it shipped to a museum."

(insert your own head joke here)

He also said someone wanted a Picasso shipped. And a frozen cat. And, he said, grinning like he was saving the best one for last, a turtle. A live one.

I wasn't sure why he thought this one was the most interesting. What I wanted was the back story on the frozen cat.

He didn't know. He just ships stuff; he doesn't ask why.

But I'm sure if that guy ahead of me was shipping a frozen cat, we would have known.


Bubs said...

Have I told you lately what a bright, clever and well-crafted writer you are?!


Gladys said...

I remember when my Dad arrived at the house, in a small box, courtesy of UPS. The trauma lives on ......!