If Only I Had an Owl . . .
Of all the alternatives to In My Mailbox that are now available to us, it is Owl Post that sings to my heart the most. It takes the same idea of mail and multiplies it by magic. What's not to love?
But not all mail comes by owl . . .
In October of last year, I received one of those little white notice slips that my city's (Muggle run) central post office sends out when a parcel arrives for someone. (Unless you send something by first class mail, they do not deliver it straight to the recipient's door.) When I'm lucky, I can pick it up at customs without paying anything more than the "holding fee"--but sometimes I'm really unlucky and am charged a "tax" that is equal to the declared value of the contents and the amount the sender paid to mail it to me. Which amounts to me buying and mailing the whole parcel to myself. And I happened to be out of of Felix Felicis the day I went to pick up this particular parcel.
The tax I was charged was around the same price as four movie tickets, with pop corn and sodas for everyone. I told the clerk I didn't have that much money with me that day and that I'd be back the next week. I'm usually very good at paying up, rationalising that I get lucky so many times that all these "freebies" make up for the cost of those few parcels that get caught in custom's tax net. Besides, when someone goes to the trouble of sending me something--and when I am a complete stranger who just entered one of their giveaways--I consider myself honour bound to redeem it.
But finances were very, very tight at the end of last year. And just when I had set aside enough to pay for the parcel, something truly urgent came up that needed the money more. Feeling like crap, I gave the package up for lost and hoped that the post office employee who ended up "claiming" it would at least really love to read.
Then a few weeks ago, I got another little white notice. Wondering what it was for (because I wasn't expecting anything), I took a small dose of the Felix Felicis potion I had been brewing since last October, and made the trip downtown. And I really hoped that the tax on this new parcel wouldn't be excessive.
It wasn't. And neither was it a new parcel. It was last October's unclaimed package, with the tax invoice pulled off. My guess is that someone at the post office was tired of letting it take up shelf space and was willing to let me have it for no more than the holding fee. Which I was more than happy to pay. =)
Thank you so much to YA author and blogger Rhiannon Paille for offering her gently used hardbound copy of Heather Dixon's Entwined in last year's Canada Day blog hop! I promise that if last year had been any other year, I would have paid through the nose to honour her generosity in sending a prize halfway across the world to someone she has never even met.
Now, those of you who know exactly when Canada Day is must be appalled at the timeline of events. Well, whatever you're feeling is nothing next to the incredulity of any readers who receive mail only from quick, efficient, and above all, faithful owls.
Image Source: Frog and Toad are Friends: The Letter by Arnold Lobel