Dang it All
Trials and Travails of a 20-something
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This was me yesterday:
http://bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/out_there/documents/04747404.asp

Key quote:
"The smug little engine-walk-through charade is the worst part of the whole ordeal. It’s as if they’re simultaneously telling me they’re going to rip me off and challenging me to stop them. "You know what your rear differential is, right? So you can see here that it obviously needs adjusting. And, of course, if you look here, you’ll see you need a radiator-fluid exchange." They’re not just betting I don’t know anything about my car — they’re betting that I will actually pretend to know something about my car. You could say the entire quick-lube business model is predicated on the hope that people are too proud to ask for clarification."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My dad works at Fort Leavenworth. Like all military installations, they can be a bit security-conscious. Not much of a sense of humor. (Not the place to say things like, "That backpack is the bomb!"). With that in mind, my mom related the following story to me.

Last week, a FedEx guy came onto post to deliver a package to my dad's office. He made it through the checkpoint and guard stand at the gate and found the office. Everything was normal until he handed the package to the receptionist. She had an immediate allergic reaction. She collapsed on the floor, unable to breathe. Paramedics were quickly called and she was carted off. Obviously, the FedEx guy's package was looking a little suspicious.

The fort's detachment of Military Police were called and they marched in. The FedEx guy was detained and questioned about this suspicious package that choked people. Apparently Mr. FedEx's route is very long and he doesn't have a whole lot of spare time. So, in order to save time, he regularly urinates in a bottle. Unfortunately, this bottle had fallen over and spilled, all over the package he was delivering. The receptionist must have been allergic to something he ate or drank. While this is a funny, and somewhat plausible, explanation, the Military Police just didn't buy it. How could pee cut off a person's airway? They called in the local FBI office.

The agents showed up with their spiffy little taxpayer-bought x-ray machine and checked the package. It was full of wires and electrical components. 'It's a bomb!' they think. Mr. FedEx guy probably pees himself again. He tries to explain that it's actually a computer part, but no dice. The FBI take the pee-stained package out and blow it up, for safety reasons. After detonation, they pick through the pieces and determine that, well, after all, it was just a urine-soaked computer part. They let the FedEx guy go and my dad gets the job of trying to figure out who has to pay for the blown up part.

What does the FedEx guy tell his boss when he shows back up hours later? That's what I'm wondering.


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