ASCII by Jason Scott

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Death Packet! —

One of my favorite mail-based items arrived today in my post office box: a death packet!



“Death Packet” is my little nickname for one of my BBS Documentary packages that heads out to a foreign land (in this case, the United Kingdom) and then makes its way through a variety of customs agents and mail systems, until finally getting the Big Bounce from someone at the end or nearly the end, at which point it sadly tromps its way back to me. Eventually, it ends up in my little PO Box, sadly awaiting pickup from the fellow who sent it out.

In this case, the postmark from when I sent it out is October 27th, 2007. It got to its destination somewhere in the November 10th period, at which point it got put into a “Nobody Wants This” bin, then sat there until February, and then slowly came back at what I assume was horseback, arriving here in May, 2008. So that’s a seven month journey for the little guy.

Not surprisingly, the package came back with the little nuggets inside totally safe and untouched. Normally, if someone’s going to break open the package and watch the films (this does happen), then it gets to its destination. I think opening stuff then sending back the dead husk must set off specific alarms, because I’ve not experienced that yet. But what amazing marks this one has all over!



Traditionally, the receiver has already contacted me and I’ve sent out a “replacement” by this time. In this case, it may be that someone orders something then leaves the company, or they have it going to a place that doesn’t know they’ll be picking up their private mail. I’ve had what appears to be family intercepts, or maybe ex-family intercepts. It ranges, and that part of the story is harder to discern.

All I know is that I’m glad it doesn’t smell like fish.


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3 Comments

  1. vossanova says:

    I could definitely see a punk-art gallery of these things.

  2. Flack says:

    Makes me appreciate e-mail even more.

  3. the teacher says:

    Brings back the momories of being a demoscene snail mail swapper. :)