Ah, the Dead Cat Ballet. That yearly pageant of shipping, unloading, storing, counting, and sweating. How will it go? I am sure my populace is waiting with bated breath to hear all about this year’s production and my part in it.
The post has been taken out of the double door, so that has gone as planned. Except, of course, that Facetious Facilities Services (FFS) has decided to charge for taking the post out this year.
And here comes the truck!
In the rain. (Shut up, mortals. You can whine about the drought or the rain on shipping day, but not both.)
There are only three pallets of Dead Things this year, and there are six people helping unload and stow, so this is actually going fairly quickly.
The Purveyor of Dead Things has added to the fun and mystery by packing a number of the smaller items in boxes marked “Mixed specimens.” Cow eyeballs? Spiders? Snakes? Nobody knows! We will have to open them all and peek. It is like Yule, minus the colorful wrapping paper!
But what is in these totally unlabeled boxes? More surprises!
Whew! All done. Twenty minutes. These mortals are quick. Sweaty and quick.
Now comes the counting and checking, to make sure that the Purveyor of Squiggly Things has sent what was ordered. Pig kidneys? Check. Frogs? Check. Actual DEAD CATS? Check! Sharks that were ordered LAST YEAR? Check and check!!
Oh, no! Ehehehehe! I thought this had all gone too quickly and smoothly. There are 775 raw calimari on the packing slip, but only 87 have arrived. The packing slip shows 204 clams, all of whom appear to be playing hooky.
Cue the e-mail flying back and forth between the human female and the Purveyor of Dead Things.
HF: Um, where are my dead things?
PODT: We sent them! You should have 113 boxes of dead things. They’re in there. Count your boxes.
HF: That will be hard to do. We’ve unpacked all the mixed boxes and split up the contents and put everything away. We’ve checked the contents of the boxes. We think we’d have noticed clams and enough squid to fill at least three shelves.
PODT: We remember packing them. We had to unwrap a pallet to put them on. Maybe you overlooked them. How many pieces were in your shipment?
HF: Read my frowny lips: Never mind the number of boxes. We counted the dead things in the boxes. We checked the entire contents of our Dead Things Stockroom. We received no clams and minimal squid. That much defunct seafood would make a BIG pile. Are you sure you don’t have a fourth pallet sitting around somewhere?
PODT: We’ll look into this and get back to you…
The human female is now plowing through some e-mail that accumulated while she was out of the office for a few days. Hello! What’s this? “This” is a forwarded shipping notice that was originally sent to the University’s accountants, outlining three big boxes coming from the Purveyor of Dead Things via Fed-Up and Exhausted. Running the tracking numbers shows that these packages are currently in Tiny Podunksville, Texas, scheduled for delivery tomorrow.
More e-mail! This is fun!
HF: What are these three Fed-up and Exhausted shipments? Could they be the missing dead things?
PODT: Have you counted the boxes you received?
HF: Please. Check. And See. If. The missing dead things. Got. Sent. Via. Fed-up and Exhausted. And if they did, can you tell to what address they were sent? Central Receiving or the Biology Stockroom? And if they did, are we going to be billed for shipping, or will they come free, as everything on the truck did?
For those of you keeping score, there are now three P.O.s involved here, two shipping carriers, and at least two deliveries. There may be three, because all the lampreys and the REST of the clams are still on back-order!
Guess we’ll find out what’s what tomorrow, if and when those three double-unicorn-secret-mystery boxes show up.
I live for this stuff.