by Todd Sharp
I’ve been going home for lunch since I bought a new car, spending money on car payments and insurance instead of melty cheese paninis and hearty soups at local restaurants. I miss the social connection of the serendipitous lunch guest or quietly writing correspondence during lunch break more than the convenience, savings or taste of leftovers.
Last Monday I headed home to eat a bowl of leftover Dal and basmati rice.
Rarely does my mailbox produce anything interesting or consequential. Written correspondence are exclusive to texting and email, up to the minute national and state news is found aggregated and organized on my phone and breaking stories are pushed by text alerts.
But on Monday, I received two small, bubble-wrapped pouches containing objects about the size of my fist. I hadn’t ordered anything. The street address was spot-on but the town was curiously hand corrected, first sent to a small town 20 miles away, Rosendale. Did the postmaster know me and correct it? I had never lived in that village.
Instead of opening the packages I called the number on the return address and found they had no record of me, the order or what might be in the package. Not wanting to expose myself to nefarious substances, the packages remained unopened on the countertop.
As I heated the Dal and rice, the doorbell rang. It was UPS with a big box from Healthy Eats, sort of like Blue Apron; food semi-prepared to easily transform into a “home cooked” meal. I called the number on the box and the fellow asked a series of questions and offered the explanation that I had been scammed and offered to refund the money. He told me to enjoy the box of food: It’s perishable and can’t be returned.”
I opened the food and put the shrimp, salmon and creamy tomato soup in the refrigerator.
I then opened the two pouches and wondered if the sender might know me, some anti-aging cream and a large jar of “brain pills” to increase memory and mental acuity. Maybe a practical joke, but who?
Yikees! This made no sense. Why would someone steal a credit card number and send this to me?
I called the bank and asked about unauthorized activity on my card and if someone was scamming me. She giggled. “It looks like there had been,” she said, “unless you had ordered some Booty Solution Cream yesterday.” She closed the account, ordered a new card and put the fraud team on the phone to get more info.
I sat down to eat my lunch and returned to work.
Thoughts of identity theft and practical jokes swirled throughout the afternoon. After returning home that same evening, I was greeted by yet another big box of food fixin’s and followed the same drill of calling the company, explaining my situation, they said they would refund the money and I should enjoy the food. I had too much food to prepare in the three-day expiration time frame, so I jumped in the car and brought it to a friend with hungry teens who could definitely use a free box of food.
I’ve been checking my bank balance often. All but the booty solution cream has been credited. Turns out booty solution is supposed to makes butts bigger.
I could use that… but it hasn’t been forwarded to me…yet.
Editor’s note: No ifs, ands and butts about it, The Prune and booty boy Todd Sharp sells advertising for the Green Laker, Express and The Ripon Commonwealth Press.