We sent a wedding present, hand made by a local artist, to our nephew and his new bride in Tampa a few years ago, and it never arrived, went to the wrong address or just disappeared from their doorstep. A while before that, we sent a valuable book to a San Francisco address, and the same thing happened. The pattern changed in the last few weeks when we sent a magazine, containing a well-illustrated article on Scotch whisky to our friend Gene in Richmond, and although it also disappeared in the mail, it was not in itself valuable.
We never found out what happened to the two previous packages, despite trying to follow the tracking, but the Amazing Journey of the Magazine in the Manila Envelope to suburban Richmond can now be told!
Tracking service for a "media mail" package costs a little extra, and comes included with a Priority shipment. Despite having found that queries to the tracking service doesn't always, or often, solve mysteries about disappearances, this time DW (dear wife) got her hackles up and decided to go all Sherlock Holmes on the USPS. She found that the last record of it was when it was scanned here at the local post office on October 27. Several phone calls and e-mails over time showed that it had arrived at Jersey City, NJ on November 23, and then at Capitol Heights, MD on November 25. Today it is at Henrico, VA -- mere miles from its destination --and should, unless Fate takes a final, deadly swipe and ends the journey at the last moment, be in the recipient's hands tomorrow. USPS, mess with DW at your peril!
(Closing sound cue: the Hound of the Baskervilles howling across the foggy moor)