Come Unglued
Off the Wall, September 29,

So there I was sitting in my tower, an area in the far right section of my bedroom next to a window that overlooks Ligonier Street, Latrobe. Since I like to use my imagination, as I watch the traffic, I think of vehicles landing or taking off just as the planes do from the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. If one turns up James St., I visualize it going to one of many hangers.

I see a rectangular brown truck approaching. I don’t even have to guess. It’s UPS and the driver has my fishing parts I need to make lures. Minutes later, I hear two honks from his horn, a customary course of action mandated as company policy. The driver jumps out of his vehicle. I hear seven knocks at the door. That’s a little game we play. Got to have some fun in life.

I bolt out of bedroom door, run down the hallway, make a sharp 360 degree turn and hasten down sixteen carpeted stairs and fling open the door.

“Hi ya, Champ,” he states. If there is one name I’m beginning to hate, it’s being called Champ. I respond with an equally defensive name. “Hey, what do you say, Ace?” Then his comeback is, “Hey, I’ve got three for you today.” The great thing was that all three were for me. Usually two or more are my wife, and one is fore me.

This would come be an unusual day in more ways than one.

I laid them by the banister and went to eat lunch. Upon returning, I headed to the place where I used to have a store. There I have a number of tables I use for organizational purposes. I placed all three boxes on one of them. I procured the Exacta knife that was a sharp tool used for opening boxes of any size.

After cutting into the middle of the tapings, I was able to quickly open the first and second cartons to get to the goods. I was in seventh heaven. Many of the enclosed products were beyond expectation.

As I dug the blade into the third parcel, cutting at the appropriate edges, I noted plastic, green, air-filled little bags to take up the unused room in the packaging. Right away, I punctured them with my knife. The adrenalin was rushing. “What could be in this box that I could use to construct new lures that I hadn’t made before?” I asked myself.

Lifting up the flaps, there it sat in the corner, all by itself, a single box. I stared at it momentarily and then exclaimed in three outbursts, “Staples?” “Staples?” “Staples?” Then I got a bit more verbose. “ I didn’t order staples! Lord knows I’ve got these all over the house! I sure don’t any more.”

Looking immediately at the package slip, I read that the item came from Target.
Similar outbursts proceeded. “Target? “Target?” “Target?” “I don’t have an account with Target.”

So I went up to the tower where my phone was located and called the famous department store. The person on the other end asked me for my order number. Made sense to me. “It has to be a thirteen digit number. I looked for the section that disclosed the order ID number and read them off to the gentleman.

“You only have twelve numbers there.” He said. I explained that the number I read him was beside the words “ID Number.” “But you’re missing a number.” I wasn’t going to play ring around the Rosie here. If so, Rosie would have wilted!

Finally, he said my order was an EBay order and the shipment didn’t come from Target. Funny, the package slip stated Target with an address in Indianapolis, and even described my item in lengthy terms ending in three words, “Box of Staples.”

Here was the zinger. “Since these staples were purchased on EBay, it is out of our hands and I can no longer help you. You can put it back in the box, and seal it appropriately and send it back, you know. At the bottom on the label is a barcode for returns. Take to the post office and mail it back.” “Do I really want to?” I asked myself.

Maybe someone thinks I’ve come unglued or am parting at the seams. Could this be someone’s polite way of stating, “Get it together, Pee Vee?”

I’m just going to look at it as a senior’s belated birthday present!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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