By Ralphie A Burcke:
Being an intrepid internaut, I took it upon myself to order the novel Skallagrigg by Whatshisface, from Amazon, so that my lovely wife could read it and hopefully enjoy it as much as I did. This was early January and, fool that I was, I intended to present my beloved with it a couple of weeks later, at the most. I mean, had I legged it from Nice to Calais, swum the channel and proceeded on foot to London and the same way back, it could not have taken me more than a month. What with our modern means of transportation, it should have been easy peasy, don’t you think!?
After only two days, I received an email stating that my order had been shipped by Royal Mail. As I am a distant relation of Her Britannic Majesty, via Adam and Eve, twice removed, I did not worry in the slightest, although what with travelling and the like, it did slip my mind. Imagine my discombobularity when at the end of February I received an email from Amazon enquiring about my satisfaction with the product and its delivery. When I regained consciousness, I sent a message to the sender informing them of the above-mentioned email and asked them if it would please be possible to take delivery of my order some time during 2015. They conveyed their condolences and were kind enough to send off a second copy of the book… albeit again by Royal Mail. I wrote my relative and asked her to keep a royal eye on the proceedings.
The second week of April (2015!) we went on a holiday to Belgium for a week and when we got back I found TWO ‘failed delivery’ slips from our postman, Pierre. The poor man must be overworked, because the slips were from two different post offices. Not, as you might be forgiven for presuming, from the nearest post office, which is but two streets away from our abode, but from postal infrastructures on the other end of town and as there were two slips, both offices were spaced apart, rather inconveniently for poor postman Pierre, I thought, by several miles.
I did notice however that both slips contained the same phone number for the customer harassment department of the French postal services. And true to form, when I called, Godzilla on the other end of the line told me I should have rung the same day as the failed delivery and further instructed me in the nicest possible way to bugger off. It took me half a day to circumnavigate postal strikers and such, but I did make it home with no less than two copies of Skallagrigg by Whatshisface. Today being April thirteenth, luckily of the same year of our Lord 2015.
At this point in time, I would like to state, for the record, that I consider it an incontrovertible certainty that, had the sender strapped the book to the back of an admittedly oversized snail, it would surely have made it here in half the time. Were the employees of the Royal Mail perhaps still waiting on the outcome of the battle of Waterloo, before daring to take it upon themselves to entrust my order to their snail-loving counterparts? Good Grief!