It was last year at this time that parcels and packages started coming to the stoop one after another.
For my wife, it was our first online Christmas.
It went so well that this year we’ve returned to the store.
First and foremost, this new system of everything coming to the doorstep doesn’t take into account the inventiveness of crooks in dirty old Boston. Petty thievery has thrived here for decades, and so is it any surprise that hundreds of packages are stolen during the holidays as these inventive thieves simply follow the delivery man around – snatching what looks good and taking off?
So it was, there were a fair amount of our holiday goodies that the neighborhood crooks got their hands on. One guy told us to have it delivered to the store about a block away.
Now how does that make sense? The deal is you have it delivered to the door. Why would I get it delivered to the door, but instead walk a block or two to a store?
That part certainly hasn’t been worked out in this brave, new era. You have to laugh when humanity outsmarts innovation.
But it ain’t funny when it’s your new ‘lectric razor.
Nevertheless, my wife would order things off the online and I’d receive them at the door to drive away the crooks.
There were fancy umbrellers, a set of fancy towels, Lego sets for the kiddoes, a box of fine frozen hamburger patties, steaks from Omaha, chocolates from Wisconsin, a phone case die-rectly from China and every possible color of Alpaca scarves you could imagine.
I got to know our delivery man pretty good. I learned he had a replaced hip from up at the Baptist. Now he can leap a chain link fence or a short wrought-iron.
First I thought I was supposed to tip him, but he was coming every day. So, I just give him a hot Swiss Miss for the road.
It all seemed to work out fine until Christmas Day.
Seems she had bought me a refurbished computer to help me write this very column every week. But we couldn’t find the darn thing anywhere through the Christmas paper and boxes of chocolates and clothing.
She said she knew she ordered it and double-and-triple-checked it.
We went on and on with the computer company that sent it, and they were positive it was delivered – and delivered inside the doorway.
It was no luck.
We tore up the house. Nowhere.
We concluded it must have been them crooks prowlin’ the street after the delivery guy. I was irate. It was a whole process of delivery insurance and the like to go through.
But it all passed.
Sometime in August the next year, I was in the mood for hamburgers and remembered those fine frozen patties.
I suggested we fire up the grill and knock out about six or seven of those fine burgers.
“What burgers?” she asked.
“The ones you ordered for Christmas,” I said.
“I didn’t order any burgers,” she said.
We ran downstairs to the cellar icebox and grabbed the nicely taped box that read ‘Omaha’s finest beef patties.’
But it wasn’t beef patties.
Inside was a nicely packaged, perfectly refurbished personal computer – frozen solid!