Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Waiting on the Truck


Blogger always assigns the time for a post when you push the New Post button. That is- the time signature that appears for a post is the time when you start writing, not when you finish. So this one's going to read something like nine minutes after three, or somewhere thereabouts. At any rate, it's the middle of the afternoon. I made a good hike up the hill, took care of errands, and the only thing left between now, and dinner is to write something. And wait for the UPS truck. The tracking code lists the package as having gone out for delivery just after seven this morning. It is somewhere in a truck, on the street, and not here. Of course, the probability that the package will get here is pretty high. UPS does good work. But once I got a toy I ordered on line delivered to a house three blocks away. Nothing is one hundred percent certain. And it is after three, and usually they come by around noon. I'll sit here cooking up scenes of disappointment and disaster until the truck shows up. And then I'll be all relieved, decide that the world is not such a bad place, and forget about it until the next time I buy something on line.

In a way, it's fun. There's something of Christmas, or birthday in getting a parcel delivered. Similarly, there's something unreal about ordering something from an on-line vendor. You look at pictures, click the mouse, type in the numbers. If you feel the need for tangible evidence of your transaction, you can print out the confirmation e-mail. Nobody does. And then you wait. It's the waiting- the dead time between the last mouse click, and the sound of the delivery truck, that breaks the connection between buying something, and receiving it. That makes the appearance of the merchandise seem magical. It's a Santa in April thing. Unless it doesn't come. Then the connection is immediately reestablished. Because they already have your money. And you have nothing. So then it's phone calls, and e-mails, and all kinds of bullshit just to get back to square one. And now it's after four. And the wait continues, exacerbated by the time. Looking at it optimistically, the later it gets, the closer it gets to the time the package will be delivered. On the other hand, the later it gets, past a point, the more likely it becomes that you got skunked. And that's where the afternoon's writing project ends. Waiting.
And of course as soon as I got off line, the truck appeared. I'm all relieved. And the world's not such a bad place, you know?


JWM

5 comments:

walt said...

Yeah, I've been "onto" the Santa thingie for many years now. But most of my purchases are boox from 'Zon, so I'm more attuned to our mailbox and its "potential" contents. The Hermitage is a good quarter mile up a dirt road from the highway, so even if the boox come UPS, the driver puts them in the mailbox. Being a greedy little boy, I try to have presents in the pipeline el mucho!

By the way, at the lower left corner of your Blogger New Post box (where you write the post), there's a sign that sez "Post Options." Click it and it will reveal the date and time. You can change either of those to suit yourself. I always prepare the post a day ahead, since I hang 'em out very early; I just enter the correct time when I actually post them. I'm sure my readers look to Froth for total accuracy!

jwm said...

Thanks for the tip, Walt! Yeah, for a while I was buying the new issues of all the Japanese robots on line. I was ordering stuff from vendors in Hong Kong, New York, and Minnesota, of all places. Just getting mundane stuff like today- vitamins, is one thing. When it's Bandai's Soul of Chogokin very first die cast issue of the Neon Genesis Evangelion bio-robots, Evangelion Unit One (the Purple figure from last Wednesday, April 1, and more important, the star of The Greastest Toy Story Ever Told, Doesn't Play Well With Others- see right sidebar!) The wait becomes excruciating. Especially since production got delayed a time or two. But dang it, it's sure fun when the Big Brown Truck is bringing toys.

JWM

walt said...

Somehow those calcium and chewable vitamin C tabs just don't measure up, eh?

I forgot to tell you: you can also set your post for the time (and I presume, the date) that you want it to post, and hit Publish, and Blogger will send you a little message sezzing that it will be posted automatically at such and such time. That way, you can fool all of us!

mushroom said...

My house is only half a quarter from the pavement, and I don't have a mailbox, so my UPS and FedEx guys always drive right up to the door. Now if it comes USPS to my P.O. Box (about 8 miles to town), they hold it in the back or put it in one of the parcel boxes.

The only problems I've had are ice storms and DHL. I don't miss either one -- though the ice will be back one of these days.

Robin Starfish said...

To fool or not to fool. You don't think I wait up until 12:05 each morning to post do you?

Well, I generally do, but don't tell anyone cuz I'm supposed to be asleep.

My wife's very best days are those that Brown delivers her prized Green Mountain coffee k-cups. It's too funny how she gets all giddy and everything.