The first Christmas after September 11, 2001 I assembled a box full of Christmas goodies to mail to my in-laws. The box I chose to use happened to be a box I got from the grocery store, and it had the word “Clorox” on it. When I took that box to our local U.S. Post Office, the clerk informed me she could not accept that box. When I asked her why she replied “It says ‘Clorox’ on it.”
I must have stared at her blankly for a full minute before saying “Well, there is no Clorox in that box. It’s full of Christmas gifts.”
“But it says ‘Clorox’. I can’t accept it.”
I was completely floored. “Well, if you’ll hand me a black marker I’ll scribble out the word ‘Clorox'”
She looked at me like I just dropped down from mars and said “Well, I already KNOW what it says. I can’t accept it.”
I promptly took the box to our local UPS and they accepted, shipped, and delivered it with no questions asked.
That was a long time ago. I had honestly all but forgotten about that incident. But it all came rushing back to me when I, once again, filled a box full of Christmas gifts to mail to my in-laws this year, and decided to use this box:
That box contained empty bottles that I ordered over the internet. Just bottles. But see those bottles that are drawn on that box? Well, you guessed it. The local U.S. Post Office refused to accept the box because it “looked” like there was beer being shipped in that box. So do you know what I did? I spray painted over the drawing of the bottles.
And the U.S. Post office gladly accepted, shipped, and delivered that hideously ugly box with no questions asked.
I understand and appreciate the need to limit some items from being shipped through the postal service. But. It’s. A. Box. Just a box. If I was honestly trying to ship something illegal (not that I would ever do that) I can assure you I danged sure wouldn’t be plastering a picture of it or the name of it all over the dad gum box.
OK, enough of that. Here’s a happier picture for you:
Those bottles are filled with the hard cider that just finished bubbling. And it’s pretty darned tasty. And I assure you I won’t be shipping that through the U.S. Postal Service 🙂