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SisterSchmooze: Special Delivery

Marcia Stark Meth / Emmy Leah Stark Zitter / Miriam Stark Zakon

A box that disappears mysteriously, a truckload of floor tiles that brings back memories, a sandwich stuffed with much more than tuna fish… Join us Sisters as we share some of our most special deliveries

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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Photo: Shutterstock

L et’s wax nostalgic. Let’s talk about life before e-mail. Anyone remember the old blue aerogrammes? You’d write in tiny letters all over the pre-stamped airmail envelopes; if you were really cheap, you’d write on the back flap, knowing the mailman would enjoy reading your “private” message as much as your friend would.

Then there were the goofy letters we sent our friends from camp. We’d take a paper plate, write in circles all over it, fold it in half, address, stamp, and staple it, and send out a combination letter-and-origami creation!

They don’t make deliveries like they used to… But although deliveries have changed, they can still be special.

Even in our high-tech lives, there’s plenty of room for enjoying deliveries. A wedding invitation is a wedding invitation, whether it’s opened with a letter opener or at the click of a mouse. Online shopping has made package deliveries an everyday joy. And there’s still the fun of receiving everybody’s favorite home delivery: Mishpacha magazine!

As long as boxes can hold surprises, as long as people relate to other people, as long as life brings us wondrous and unexpected packages, deliveries will continue to be part and parcel (pun intended!) of our lives.

A box that disappears mysteriously, a truckload of floor tiles that brings back memories, a sandwich stuffed with much more than tuna fish… Join us Sisters as we share some of our most special deliveries, with or without gift wrap.

Marcia theorizes about…

The Perfect Crime

My husband’s company is paying for a new computer. He orders online, waits a few weeks, and gets e-mail notification from FedEx: package delivered and signed for. Huh? Nobody’s home! How could anyone sign?

Sure enough, when he gets home… no package.

After days of phone calls and e-mails, FedEx finally tracks down the delivery person. He remembers the situation: He’d rung the bell, no one answered, and he was about to return the package to his truck when a man ran up our driveway. Breathlessly, he explained he’d been working in the yard. The delivery man believed him, allowed him to scrawl a signature on a form, and handed the package to him — without asking for ID.

My husband lets FedEx, the computer manufacturer, and their insurance companies figure out who’ll pay for a replacement computer. Meanwhile, I try to figure out how the thief managed to pull off this cunning heist. As a teen, I’d grown up on a literary diet of whodunits — Agatha Christie and Carolyn Keene were my favorites. Now… a chance to use deductive reasoning to solve the crime à la Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Nancy Drew. Time to put on the Sleuthing Hat. The Great Detective starts reasoning…

Hmmm… Timing is the piece missing from this puzzle: If he was behind the house, how did this mastermind (let’s call him Moe) know precisely when to run to the front to claim the package? Aha, I’ve got it! An accomplice!

The scenario plays out in my head. The accomplice (let’s call him Larry) follows the truck down the street. He’s on foot as the driver proceeds slowly, stopping for deliveries. Maybe Larry’s walking a dog, just to make it look convincing.


But wait… How do the two master thieves know which street to be on? And when? Duh… of course, the Diabolical Duo has planned this caper well. They’ve been tracking this truck for weeks. They know its route. They know this quiet street. They know how to recognize interesting packages.

Anyway, back to the main plot… while Larry and his dog nonchalantly stroll down the street, Moe parallels Larry across the backyards. Maybe he’s got some gardening equipment — probably a rake, because it’s fall — so people will think he’s doing yard work. Before climbing any fence, he checks that no one’s watching. Hardly necessary, though. Most people are at work that time of day. Meanwhile, Larry’s getting frustrated. Deliveryman keeps ringing doorbells and leaving boring-looking packages on doorsteps. Wait… now he’s taking a large box from the truck. And holding paperwork. Must be something important! Deliveryman rings the doorbell. When no one answers, he starts back to his truck, box and forms in hand.

Larry whips out his cell phone and calls Moe. “We’re a go!” he whispers. Moe drops the rake, runs up the driveway, goes into his act, deceives unsuspecting Deliveryman, and voil?! The Perfect Crime! Days later, a news story catches my attention: As people are increasingly ordering goods online, the incidence of package-delivery thefts has increased alarmingly. Aha! Theory confirmed!

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