Sunday, April 24, 2011

Puzzling Parcel

Mail in Canada is only delivered to your door if you are one of The Chosen. Those would be the people living in higher density urban areas. The Unchosen, those of us living in the country or less densely populated areas, experience what are called super boxes. Canada Post has some sort of secret formula for placing these super boxes so they are the farthest point possible from all customers using them. These are our neighbourhood boxes.

When my boys were little they had a book called The Jolly Postman. They loved that book. Each page had a little envelope attached, and they never tired of pulling out the letters they contained. Apparently the guy delivering mail to our boxes never read The Jolly Postman. You could learn human anatomy just by listening to this poor fellow's litany of complaints. Judging by his constant need to talk about his aches and pains I would say the only body part that doesn't given him trouble is his tongue. One learns to time mail retrieval appropriately.

The best mail days are the ones when I open my little box and see a red key. The red key is Canada Post's version of an inverse Matryoshka doll. The key in the small box opens a bigger box. And the bigger box holds Parcels.

Usually my parcels are what you see above - books from Chapters or Amazon. Well, sometimes there might be a parcel with yarn in it too. I was somewhat surprised when I got the magic red key a few weeks ago and found a package I hadn't ordered. Even more surprising was the fact that this parcel did not contain books or yarn. Instead, it contained candy.

This isn't just any candy. This is the candy I have been eating every Easter since I was a kid. Last year when I headed South of 49 for Easter I was looking forward to my annual indulgence, only to discover that they had packaged the candies minus the jelly beans. I realize we are in the midst of an economic crisis, but this was one cost cutting measure that had gone too far. I promptly flashed off an email to the Russell Stover candy company suggesting they return the jelly beans, and just as promptly forgot all about it.

So here, one year later, was a parcel with two of my beloved candies with jelly beans along with a letter saying:

"I wanted to let you know the milk chocolate and green butter bon Coconut Nests with jelly beans that you remember will be available in all of our Russell Stover retail stores and online at through Easter. We value loyal customers like you and hope you enjoy the enclosed, complimentary coconut nests as a sign of our appreciation."

There is a certain amount of shame in knowing the result of the only successful letter writing campaign I have undertaken was the return of jelly beans. Not enough to keep me from eating the candy though.


  1. Don't like jelly beans but we do get our mail delivered to our mailbox and we are deep in the bush. Ten miles in from the paved road, on a dirt road but we get out mail delivered!!
    We have often wondered why but never ask in case they stop! :)

  2. HAHA!! I love that last paragraph! If one doesn't stand up for jelly beans, what is the point.

  3. lol ;-).

    We do have a jolly postman, he comes and chats and tells me if he thinks I'm buying too much online. I am fascinated by your boxes and your jelly beans. Could you please sort out world peace next? It sounds like your campaigns are successful ;-).

  4. @amelia - Ten miles is pretty impressive for mail service! Be thankful you don't have our super boxes or they would probably locate them 20 miles from your home. :-)

    @Lori - There are definitely some things worth fighting for. :-)

    @Susie - Unfortunately I think the success of my campaigns is inversely proportional to the importance of the matter I am campaigning for.

  5. @Susie - I forgot to say I think it might be better to have a postman who complains about his ailments than one who keeps watch over my online shopping. :-)

  6. I remember that book! It was awesome.

    Think how many other people are really happy to see the jelly beans! It seems like a worthy campaign to me.

  7. I love the sound of my mailbox lid shutting.. Especially if I'm expecting an amazon parcel! I don't think I'd appreciate superboxes much.

  8. Oh we do have the superboxes!! Many, many of them, even in the bush where we live but we are of the very few who still get delivery. Don't know why!!

  9. I think it's amazing and touching that you got your Easter candy at the right time of the year. There's a company that's on the ball. I'm sure it's good, but it looks rather nasty :)

  10. LOL, I'm picturing the Post Master, with a drafting compass in hand, determining the best location for the boxes. When we've lived in apartments or townhouses, we've had boxes like those. Our house had a tiny mail-box attached to the house when we moved in--but it was too small. So I put up a real, old-fashioned mail-box in the flower bed next to our front door.

    My parent's mail used to be delivered to a row of mail boxes (rural route 1, box 101) on the main road in front of my grandmother's store. Then they graduated to having a mailbox right in front of the house on our little dirt road.

    I've never been a big fan of Russell Stover candies, but this makes me want to give them another try.

    PS - I had no idea my brother was so hard working--holding down a job here in DC and delivering your mail. Wow! Haha! I hope your mailman doesn't turn around and tell other people, "I bumped into Kristie this morning and I just couldn't get away from her. She kept talking and talking."

    Happy Easter!

  11. @Thea - Someone else who remembers The Jolly Postman! I think we might have the book packed away in a box somewhere. I wonder if it is still in print?

    @Maureen - To be honest it isn't the healthiest thing one could eat. Definitely something to consume just once a year.

    @Ric - If I have the misfortune of running into the mailman again I will ask him how things are in DC. :-)

  12. Gosh.. in Taiwan you can get everything via mail in one day straight to your home and if you don't like it, you can ask them to pick it up (for free) and return. So convenient to live here. You can order anything to home, from food to furniture and clothes for virtually no money and no hassle. Well... Slovenia is another story. Where I lived feels more like your home :P

  13. I think that newer developments have the superboxes. When we bought our first house, some of the places we looked at had those.

    I like mail coming to my house. That's why we live in older houses. :)

  14. @MKL - That is amazing service you get in Taiwan! I can't believe they will come pick up something you don't want to keep and not even charge you. I can't imagine what our grouchy mailman would do if he had to go pick up parcels that people didn't want!

    @Kate - You are right about older houses. Part of the charm is they are in established neighbourhoods that operate by the old rules. My parents farm in Idaho was like that. The mail lady would drive the 1/2 mile down their country lane even if it was almost drifted shut after a snowstorm just to get the mail to their box.