The Missing Book

When I knew Ron was going back to the States, I started ordering books for him to bring back for me. Many of them were books I would use for teaching in the fall semester. Hunting for the best prices, I ordered from a variety of sources and then had them sent to his friend’s home in Iowa.

When he had left this friend’s home and was on his way to another friend who was hours away, I received an e-mail from her saying Ron had left one book behind. It was an essential book for a new course I would be offering in the upcoming term, so I had to have it. I suggested Ron turn back and get it, but it was not viable. The alternative was Postal Express via the USPS. She shipped it the next day, Monday. I insisted on paying the costs, knowing they would be beyond her budget regardless of her generous nature.

On the following Friday, the downstairs door buzzer starts ringing at 7:30 am. Having unsteady nerves with any buzzing, alarm, or beeping sounds since the burglar alarm incident, I jumped out of bed as Ron was asking “Who is that?” I keep telling him my psychic powers have dwindled with age, but he insists I should know these things. My initial thought was that we overbooked our rooms again. Oh, dear!!!

When I answered the intercom, a male voice said something not comprehensible, but it could have been the hour. When I asked again, I swore he said “Steve Turner“. My mind raced, but I knew we were not expecting any Steve Turner. Finally, he said “Is THIS Ryan James?” Well if you can name me, I will let you in the building. Minutes passed as the elevator cranked up to the fourth floor and a short man in a postal uniform appeared at the door. “I need your passport, is how he opened the conversation. Forgetting I am now a resident with proper ID, I went for the passport, signed my name and received a package. My book arrived officially at 7:39 am.

$33.50 and “the check is in the mail”, seriously!

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