Gone Postal

My father called me asked me to do him a favor.  Like a good daughter, I said “Sure, whatcha need?”

Maple Syrup.

Seemed an easy enough request.  I went to Trader Joe’s and bought a big jug of Pure Maple Syrup.  The catch – my father lives in Portugal.  Apparently they don’t have Maple Trees over there and they must not like to eat pancakes or they’d import a few maple trees.  At least they’d import syrup.

I packed up my bottle of syrup and headed to the post office.  My hands started sweating, my eye began twitching, and I was nearly paralyzed with guilt by the time I reached the counter. 

You see, I have troubles with libraries and post offices.  The post office people know that I sometimes mail liquid makeup and they don’t like it one little bit.  It’s like contraband.  You’d think I were mailing moonshine or something.  I knew my Maple Syrup wouldn’t make it past the Stamp Man, but I was determined to lie try anyway.

I hate those little custom forms almost a much as I hate grounds in my freshly brewed cup of coffee.  I was all set to write “Maple Products” on the customs form when Mr. Stamp Man zoned in on my hesitation and like a lion stalking his prey, lunged for the kill.

“You have to be specific.”  He said. 

“What’s in that box anyway?” Continued the Stamp Man.

This is where things got tricky.  You see I don’t lie well.  I’ve been taught since birth that lying will cause swift and severe  punishment, like bolts of lighting striking from a clear blue sky.  I knew it was going to come to “The Lie,” but I figured it would be easier on my conscious to write the lie instead of speaking it.  Makes no moral sense, but I’m expecting to be struck by lightening at any moment, so I don’t feel compelled to be logical.

I give the Stamp Man the stupidest answer possible.

“Maple Candy.”  I say with a smile and nervous chuckle.

He picked up my twenty pound box and looked at me like I was a sixth grader whose parents were about to be called into the principle’s office.

The funny thing is that I never did get to send that Maple Syrup.  I need to repackage it to save some money.  If you haven’t shipped internationally, it’s not cheap.

Next time I’m going to muster all my courage, tell the truth, and get this syrup shipped.  I will not be bullied by Mr. Stamp Man!

If you want to know about my library problems, click HERE.

So what’s the oddest thing you’ve shipped?


People, if you haven’t taken a look at yesterday’s post and comments, you should.  There are fifty-something comments and some interesting discussion.  Click HERE.


18 thoughts on “Gone Postal

  1. Dani Joy

    It´s been awhile since I have been able to come over for a visit! You never disappoint me! you make even a trip to the post office hilarious.. Ok so I know it wasn´t funny for you. I think my mom might have some of the same problems when shipping to us here in Spain. She has sent some funny things. Like Huge bubble liquid for the worlds largest bubbles! Don´t know how she did it but it got here in all it´s bubbly liquid state with the rope on poles to form them.
    Hope after school is done to follow your blog more regurally.
    Don´t worry about the lightning you´ll find a way to do it with a clear conscious. I would send maple flavoring like Nina said. Oh, i would love some too. JK.
    Have a great day in Jesus! Sending some blog love!

  2. robinaltman

    I wonder if they’re worried that liquids in containers will explode. They always seem to explode in my suitcase, that’s for sure. But if maple syrup exploded, what’s the worst that could happen? Ants in the post office?

  3. Nina in Portugal

    Maple Syrup…never liked the stuff. Good thing since I, like your Father, live in Portugal.

    I make syrup for our pancakes. It’s actually pretty good and one could use maple flavor instead of vanilla flavor….and get a close substitute.

    That’s what our meals here consist of…’close substitutes’.

    I hope your daddy can get his syrup soon….without you being ‘hauled in’.

    (I hope bobxxx went away)

  4. Dawn W

    I’m a newer reader and love your stories!

    I always get nervous when I go the PO to mail coffee beans to my Canadian friends. I don’t know why I get nervous – I mean, I understand that caffeine is a drug, but not “that” kind of drug.

    I once mailed a big box of rocks to my mom. She loves rocks and my kids had collected some really cool ones. They lived several states away and we didn’t have any road trips planned to visit them so I did the next logical thing: mailed them. When my dad retrieved the box from the porch and handed it to my mom, he literally asked her, “Good grief! What’s in the box – rocks???” We still laugh about it. (Although I still haven’t ‘fessed up to my husband about the cost of mailing rocks – even parcel post. Ha!)

  5. KathyB!

    I don’t think I’ve ever mailed anything odd… I’m thinking and thinking and now I feel odd for not having mailed anything more odd than a sweater for my dad at Christmas.

  6. David

    I searched for a cartoon on my computer, but couldn’t find it. I’ll try to describe it, but I’m sure it won’t be as funny. A woman is standing at the post office counter. She is holding a package wrapped in brown paper. It is the shape of a sphere, but with a flat top. She says to the postal clerk, “Please be careful with this. It’s goldfish.”

    Yeah, I know… it definitely loses something. But if you saw the cartoon, I think you would laugh!

  7. Debbie York

    So does the fact that I worked for the Post Office for 20 years intimidate you…are you now scared of me?
    While I have never mailed anything noteworthy, I thought you might get a kick out of hearing about a few things I saw mailed and received. Baby chicks were always a spring event. We had to keep the little darlings warm until they were picked up or delivered. We had a guy who mailed out honey bees and received queen bees. That always made us a little nervous. Then there were the eternal optimists who would send little Johnny’s school picture to granny complete with frame and glass! You just knew that wasn’t going to go well.
    While I was a rural carrier, I was asked to help with a drug bust. A shipment of cocaine was being mailed in a madonna statue…now why I had to help is beyond me. Couldn’t that have been handled a little different if the inspectors knew about it? Then there was the ticking package that turned out to be an alarm clock! Never a dull moment.

  8. Hat Chick

    My mother-in-law once mailed us a frozen goose. It wasn’t frozen by the time it got to us. Big Daddy had to go to the post office and pick it up on the back loading dock. The postal workers wouldn’t go near it. She’s probably the reason they ask what’s in the box.

  9. jeannie

    i’ve only sent cookies via usps and fed ex but have recieved frozen pasticio from a friend via fed ex. she had to have me sign for it because she didn’t want it thawing on the front porch.

  10. Janna Qualman

    I have to drop stuff by the PO for my husband (who sells on eBay) quite frequently. I have the questions down.

    Anything liquid, glass or fragile?

    Do you need insurance?

    How do you want to send it?

    We have a really nice (and cute PO guy), so I try to go when I know he’s behind the counter. Come here! He wouldn’t make you nervous. At least, not the same way. 😉

  11. Jo@Mylestones

    It’s been a while since I’ve mailed anything myself, but my dear friend did send me some TJ’s dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt. They arrived a couple days ago, but there isn’t a smudge of chocolate or grain of sea salt left to prove it. 🙂

  12. caprik

    You can’t EVER mail liquid?
    Like it’s against the law?
    I did not know that!

    I don’t ship much, and nothing noteworthy.

    You had better watch yourself! We don’t want to hear you are in jail on trumped up liquid mailing charges!

  13. Jen

    Well, I feel his pain. We just get sugary syrup here in S. Africa. After living in New England, I so miss the maple syrup goodness.

    That is funny about the PO, though! I’m not sure what the weirdest thing I’ve shipped is. I used to send candles, food, clothes, candy, etc. to my brother-in-law and his wife when they lived in Zambia. That’s not too interesting, though!


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