It’s no secret that I mess with the humans’ mail. Every piece of political literature, every add, every tax bill, every begging letter from a charity I let through on principle. Checks, letters from loved ones, presents, mail-order goods, etc.–the odds are about 60-40 that those will ever actually show up. Why, right now, the list of missing items includes the humans’ pension checks from last December and several orders of stamps, one of which was mailed last July.
Not to mention the human female’s sister’s gifts to the human male from Yule before last. The humans are owed so many letters and parcels that they’ve forgotten some of what is supposed to be coming! It’s all surprises! They get really excited to find something in the mailbox or on the front step.
Sometimes, the postal person will leave a key in the mailbox, one which will open a larger, parcel-sized box in the multiple-user-postbox array. Finding one of those keys in the mailbox means something good is sure to be here!
Today is one of those special, key-in-the-mailbox days.
Except it’s three keys, and they look like they’ve been through a war.
Yes indeed, three mysterious keys, all dull and dirty. Come on, humans, open the parcel box! I want to see what you got.*
Eehehehehe! Oops! I mean “Great Frigga’s Hairpins!” The keys don’t fit the parcel box! They don’t seem to open anything. How are we meant to recover the loot if we can’t open the box?
The male, after a good long while trying to reach an actual human capable of speech and reason via telephone, has gone to the post office and has managed to confirm what the humans suspected. Those are not parcel box keys. The Helpful Clerk tried to explain to him that those are his mailbox keys for his new mailbox and—
At this point, the male informed her that he had been living at the same address for twenty-two years and it was most certainly not a new box.
Oh. Then they must be for someone else then. Well, duh.
So many questions left unanswered! What sort of mail person doesn’t recognize a user box key? Why were they in the humans’ mailbox at all? Why are they so dirty and dull? Who was actually supposed to get them? How is anyone supposed to get their new mailbox keys if they are left in the locked mailbox? And where is the missing fat parcel of Japanese stamps?
The world may never know.
*So if it’s any good I can steal it.