Slippery Grip: Returned to sender

I like surprises. There is nothing more exciting than an unexpected gift, but let me start at the beginning.

For those of you who don’t know, I write novels. This fact led me to think that I might enter one of my novels in a competition. Easy peasy you say and so it was. I just filled out the entry form and complied with all the requirements. One of those requirements was to send six copies – yes that is six! – for the judges to read. Not an insignificant thing when you are on a budget. But the first prize is $50,000 so you can see the attraction! I gathered up my copies and trotted happily to the post office.

Now, at the post office there is a logic that is akin to Murphy’s Law. A big parcel is cheaper than a small parcel if it is in a bag. A box is more expensive than a post it note…well, you get the idea. So I picked out a box and addressed the thing all the while crossing my fingers and took it to the counter.

The ladies at the post office are really nice. They are friendly, chatty, and we are on a first name basis. So I offered my box and the lady said that it would be cheaper if I put the box in a bag, re-addressed it and bingo. The other thing I like is saving a buck in the form of a bargain so I took the opportunity to save and did as I was told. Bonus!

I presented my rebagged package with my hopefully long listed/short listed/winning entry and went away happy that I had a tracking docket to make sure my books arrived.

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One gets on with one’s life after the deed is done and I did.

I go to my post box every day. It’s a good walk and you never know who might send you a letter. So imagine my surprise when my box had one of those blue things in it to say there was a parcel inside waiting for me. What could it be? Who could be sending me something? I was curious and excited at the prospect. I watched the lady (the same lady I had dealt with the other day) bring out a bag. A bag that look suspiciously like the one I had sent the day before.

On closer inspection it was the bag from the day before. Ah…returned to sender. Maybe something was wrong with the address. No. Everything was correct. All too correct, because I had filled in the addresses the wrong way around and sent the damn thing to myself.

I ripped off the bag in private (no need to share my embarrassment) and popped it in the bin and then waited until another lady was at the counter and presented my original box (without a bag) and paid…again.

So not only did I not get a surprise, I paid twice for the privilege. Slap forehead with open palm.

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Of course the real surprise would be if I win 🙂


Have you had a ‘doh!’ moment recently? What was it? Share it below.