Friday, December 23, 2016

The Christmas Unicorn

The mysterious package arrived a week or so ago.

In a distinctive DHL yellow bag.  Addressed to me from:

Suzhou min Huan Mdt Info Tech Ltd

I don't know anyone in Suzhou.  So, I was a bit confused from the start.

Then I opened the package.  A bit confused immediately became wildly confused then to paranoia then to laughter then to concern then to WTF and finally reaching the sane confusion that it was just a mistake.

There was a bizarre little unicorn costume in the bag.  Not my size.

Was this Twatson playing a joke?  Was it some sort of shaming thing?  What did unicorns symbolize? Who did I piss off in China?  Is someone videoing me as I'm in shock on my front porch?

I asked my sweet wife if perchance she had any idea.  Nope.  Not a clue.

I became convinced that it was just a mistake and somehow DHL's system had a glitch.

DHL has great customer service.  The nice lady I spoke with tracked the package in their system immediately.  She was as confused as me.  She promised they would send someone to retrieve the package.

DHL did come by at some time that day but missed us and left a nice note on the door.

I then left the package on the front porch so the driver would easily find it on his next stop by. We were leaving town for a few days so we asked the world's greatest neighbor to watch for packages on the front porch, collect our mail, etc.  But, we explained that DHL would be coming to pickup the mystery package.

While out of town, my wife got the sad news from the world's greatest neighbor that someone had ripped open the mystery package but to add to the mystery, they had left the package and the contents on the porch.  Wow.  It even freaked out porch thieves.  Then, I remembered I was the dunce that had ripped open the package and placed it back on the porch without sealing the package.

The world's greatest neighbor placed the mystery package inside our house to prevent further mayhem.  When we arrived home, there it sat with our mail and a few Amazon deliveries.

There it sat for two days.  DHL was no longer interested in trying to pick it up.  We couldn't for the life of us figure it out.  So, to the trash it went.  It was too strange and had too much voodoo attached to dump it on the sweet folks at Goodwill.

Last evening, we had a family Christmas gathering and gift exchange.  As happens when kids grow up, they marry and have to split time between the in-laws.  One of our married couples was here at Thanksgiving and was spending Christmas with the other side of their family in Houston.

My son called just before the party to make sure that the gifts they had sent had arrived.  My wife spoke with him an explained that we had received an Amazon box and all of the gifts were clearly marked.  Hallelujah.  All was good.

Then my bride had a thought.  Do you know anything about a package from China with a unicorn costume?

Well, of course he did.  It was a gift for his niece Piper who loves unicorns, fairies, elves, princesses, Santa Claus and all things wonderful in her imagination.

Like Shimmer Laglinda.  That's the name she gave the new Elf on the Shelf.  Shimmer Laglinda had replaced Sprinkles, the previous Elf on the Shelf.  Sprinkles had survided a near death experience a year or so ago only to be revived with positive thoughts, some crystals and a touch of incense.

But alas, Sprinkles has wandered off again (maybe to New York City to join Buddy) and had to be replaced by Shimmer Laglinda.

As I'm driving home from work to help make last minute arrangements for the party, my wife calls me repeatedly.  It was a Christmas emergency of the highest order.  To make matters worse, I didn't answer her call as I was speaking with another daugther.

As I walked in the house, she was panicked.  She told me the story and immediately began the last minute search for the unicorn.  We found the DHL envelope under coffee grounds in the trash compactor.  But where was the costume?  Did we take it to Goodwill?  Was it stuffed in a closet where Christmas secrets are hidden?

OMG!!!!!!  It's in the trash!

I rushed outside and looked in the trash bin.  It was dark, but I saw two bags of normal glossy white Kirkland Signature kitchen trash bags.  "It's not there", I reported dejectedly.

Undeterred, my wife dumpster-dived and found the unicorn costume under the trash bags and saved it from a sad, mistaken, unintended ending.

Piper did get her unicorn outfit.

I once again proved to be an idiot.

My wife saved Christmas.

And, somehwere, Sprinkles is smiling.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Well, at least we didn't get blanked by the Biscuits

On a recent trip to Birmingham, we went to watch the Barons play.

You know, the minor league baseball team that Michael Jordan wasn't really good enough to play for?

There's not much more fun than minor league baseball.  It's cheap.  You're close to the field and the players.  There's lots of fun and hi-jinks.

You get to see a combination of Crash Davis and the future of MLB.

On this particularly lovely Southern summer evening, the Birmingham Barons were hosting the Montgomery Biscuits.  Yep, the Biscuits.

How can you not love a team whose logo is a flaky biscuit with a slab of butter in its mouth?

The Biscuits have produced David Price, James Shields, Jonny Gomes and Evan Longoria (the Rays third baseman, not the actress that married Tony Parker and then cost himself a heap of trouble by messing around with Brent Barry's wife).  This is not only a lovable team, they produce talent.

We were blessed with seats a few rows in front of one of the Barons' most ardent fans.  He loves him some Baron baseball.  And, he loves to talk about it.  Loud enough for all 6,000 fans to hear him.

Seems the Barons season isn't going well.  And, the team had suffered a rash of injuries and call-ups that had resulted in a long losing streak.

Superfan explained this to all with gusto and just a touch of defeatism.

The Biscuits are apparently THE rival of the Barons.  Being separated by just 93.4 miles of I-65, this is to baseball in Alabama the same as the Barners vs.the Gumpers in semi-pro football in that state.

Anywho, this game got out of the Barons control early.  It was 10-0 Biscuits after 4.  If this had been Little League, it would have been game over.

Thankfully, in the bottom of the 5th, the Barons designated hitter Nicky Delmonico cranked one over the wall in right center.

That produced one of the greatest baseball sayings this fan has ever heard.

The Baron Superfan exclaimed, "Well, at least we didn't get blanked by the Biscuits."