|The dreaded Royal Mail 'Something For You' card.|
We've all been there. You've been waiting on the delivery of something you've spent your hard earned cash on. Something awesome, and the sooner you get your dirty little hands on it the better. Sometimes you know the exact day it's meant to arrive, but this only adds to the nervous tension you feel as that day arrives. "Will it come tomorrow? What time will it be here?? What if I'm on the toilet? What if I don't hear the door?" are a just a few thoughts that run through your mind ad nauseum. It's probably better that you don't know. It makes the pain of seeing that little red card lying at the foot of your door a bit easier to take. God knows I've spent entire days waiting on a scheduled delivery, only for it to not arrive at all, and I've cursed every God and postman imaginable. No, it's better not to know. Which leads me to my story. Follow me, if you will, beyond the break...
It is twelve noon on an overcast but warm day in the heart of Belfast's Rathdrum Avenue. I've overslept. I feel groggy and sore from the long but uncomfortable sleep of the night before. I venture downstairs for my morning (or afternoon) business in the WC. Upon finishing I splash some cool (it's always cool here) water on my face to drive the tiredness away, somewhat successfully. In the hallway I meet Gaz. He's brushing his teeth, but we indulge in conversation regardless. We discuss the night before and the plans for the day, just the usual chit-chat, you know the drill. He finishes up and dashes upstairs to finish getting ready to face his day, meanwhile I continue into the kitchen for my secondary business of the morning; Corn Flakes. I polish off two bowls while lazily thinking of something to do with my day, a day off from the usual grind. The door opens, and there stands Gaz. He's ready to go; plans made, teeth sparkling, backpack full of unknown but fascinating trinkets - however before he leaves, he tells me something which will no doubt change the course of my day completely. A little red card.
|Dramatic reenactment of Gaz's finding of the card.|
I race upstairs and turn on my laptop. This will give me answers. Within a few clicks, Amazon, Play and Ebay appear on my screen. I desperately browse to each respective account I hold with these companies; they'll have the records of my previous purchases - I probably just forgot about something I ordered a while ago, that's it. Wrong. Each website returns inconclusive results; not what I need right now. I'm going to the source. Ulster Bank will surely give me a detailed record of all transactions out of my account, it has to be able to point me in the right direction here. Wrong. All payment accounted for and correct. No outstanding orders. I've wasted enough time, only BT1 1AA holds the answer. I'm leaving now.
The time is approaching one o'clock, it's warm and humid. Looks like rain, but I don't have time to search for a jacket (do I even own a jacket?). I've rarely walked faster; it's not quite a run, think more along the lines of those Olympic speed walkers. Belfast is busy today, must be something going on. I can't possibly think of what, not that I want to. My mind is still racing, struggling to comprehend this situation. Did someone send me something? Like an actual person I know? What would somebody send me, and surely they'd tell me they were doing it? My brain hurts, and the newly shining sun does nothing to help as it shines brightly in my still-not-wide-awake eyes. It's warm today. Thank God I didn't bring that jacket. I'm finally shaken out of my worrying state of mind by a familiar and welcome sight.
|BT1 1AA. Therein lies salvation.|
I gently tear along the end of the envelope, being very careful not to damage anything that may be inside. As I pry the package open I close my eyes and think of my journey; how it began in earnest as I sat eating my Corn Flakes earlier in the morning. I remember Gaz, my dear Gaz, how long has it been since I saw him? I hope whatever he did with his day was enjoyable, but I wish he was here for this. I keep my eyes closed and reach inside...
How could I be so stupid? I pour the contents out of the bag and laugh uncontrollably. Of course. How could I be so stupid? Memories flood back to me in an overwhelming series of pictures which explain everything. A month ago, maybe more, maybe less, Steve (the third and last hero of my tale) had given me quite a few old Nintendo Star Points cards, which are redeemable for Nintendo prizes. I had redeemed thousands of these points and had ordered these strange, wall-mountable foam Nintendo characters. They sent me an e-mail shortly after explaining that delivery would take anything from two to eight weeks. That is why there were no records of anything being taken out of my bank account. I continue to laugh, as tears begin to flow from my eyes. I'm happy, relieved, but also a little bit disappointed. My journey has come to an end here, and all I have to show for it are these foam characters. Then I realise; these foam characters will forever remind me of this day. All the highs and lows, the emotion and suffering that I endured while on my Royal Mail adventure. Yes, these characters will do just fine. Just fine indeed.
|Thank you, my friends.|