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Old 02-01-2020, 05:25 PM
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What is the weirdest thing that you have ever mailed?


Saw a dead deer on the side of the road today and it reminded me of something. I "know" a guy in Japan through a mailing list for a science-related hobby, and we used to trade things back and forth through the mail. I once mentioned to him that I had a mummified possum that I found under an old outbuilding I was tearing down. He happened to associate with some scientists at a university in Japan that had a collection of animal skeletons, and he wanted it for them. So I mailed a mummified marsupial from South Carolina to Tokyo via the USPS.

Anyone got that beat?
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:41 PM
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When we go on business trips my husband and I mail all of our dirty laundry back home. That leaves room in our luggage for souvenirs.

He's a librarian, so these trips are to the yearly American Library Association's meetings. This means we're mailing home all of the free books, posters, and bookbags along with the laundry. (Separate boxes, of course.) Everything goes to his office, and he has learned to open the lighter packages at home.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:42 PM
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I don't know about beating your story, but the answer to the thread title is: I mailed a "Hi, I turned 50" poop swab. Dropping that envelope in the mailbox I almost felt like a kid comitting vandalism. "Hey, what the hell did you just put in there, kid? Stop running!"
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:37 PM
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Back when I worked in the post office people would literally mail whole tires in the mail, no box either. Just a black tire with rim and the mailing address on the actual rubber. IIRC it was $15 postage.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:40 PM
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:01 PM
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A necklace made of human finger bones count?

They were real and I got them through an anatomical supply house. It was a recreation of an antique Crow necklace in a museum collection.

Reenactors/Living History folks mail a LOT of odd stuff.

Last edited by kopek; 02-01-2020 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:03 PM
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I can't tell you. It's a secret.
It was weird tho'
()

The next weird thing was buttons made from deer antler. To my brother in Oklahoma.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-01-2020 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:04 PM
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I mailed a package back home from Vietnam. It contained amongst other cool things, a bottle of snake whiskey, with a cobra and two green snakes. I never received it, so I'm also missing my Beer Lao shirt and "Danger Mines!" shirt.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Lict View Post
I mailed a package back home from Vietnam. It contained amongst other cool things, a bottle of snake whiskey, with a cobra and two green snakes. I never received it, so I'm also missing my Beer Lao shirt and "Danger Mines!" shirt.
Somewhere in the attic I may still have a "What do you get when you cross Vietnam and a helicopter?" shirt. Classics are always worth saving.

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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I can't tell you. It's a secret.
It was weird tho'
()

The next weird thing was buttons made from deer antler. To my brother in Oklahoma.
I once made a guy a toilet seat from lucite with cross-cut pieces of deer and elk antler cast into it but I hand-delivered that one.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:46 PM
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Back when I worked in the post office people would literally mail whole tires in the mail, no box either. Just a black tire with rim and the mailing address on the actual rubber. IIRC it was $15 postage.
My husband has mailed tires.

My strangest thing was probably cremains.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:02 PM
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I don't know about beating your story, but the answer to the thread title is: I mailed a "Hi, I turned 50" poop swab. Dropping that envelope in the mailbox I almost felt like a kid comitting vandalism. "Hey, what the hell did you just put in there, kid? Stop running!"
I sent my Cologard through UPS, and the guy at the UPS Store said not a day goes by that somebody doesn't come in and say, "I'm giving you some crap."

Back in the 1990s, the USPS sold these plastic envelopes for about $2 and you could mail anything that would fit into them with no extra postage needed. One of my friends mailed an answering machine in one, in part because it was a situation where she really didn't care if the person got it back or not. (FTR, they did.)

As an Amazon book re-seller, I've shipped some really bizarre things; by "bizarre", I mean that they are about things like woo-on-steroids alternative medicine (no pun intended), books about non-mainstream religious views, or things that would be highly offensive to most people. Probably the best example of that would be "The Turner Diaries."
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:05 PM
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My husband has mailed tires.

My strangest thing was probably cremains.
Here's a video featuring one Caitlin Doughty ("Ask a Mortician") doing the latter.

It never occurred to me that tires could be MAILED.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:15 PM
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Here's a video featuring one Caitlin Doughty ("Ask a Mortician") doing the latter.

It never occurred to me that tires could be MAILED.
Yep - USPS has the instructions for mailing tires here. FedEx and UPS will do it too.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:37 PM
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I pilfered a half-used roll of toilet paper from Graceland, and mailed it to my sisterr as a gag gift.

My little cousin once mailed us a box of her home-made fudge for Christmas. It froze several times in the postal truck and reverted back to its original dry ingredients, and we received a box of chocolate powder and sugar and flour.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:14 PM
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I don't have any personally interesting stories but a friend of mine attempted to mail a Wendy's Baconator from Minnesota to Finland. She wrapped it in several layers of plastic and foil, put that into a Tupperware style container, wrapped that in more foil/plastic then boxed it. Sadly, it never made it to its destination.

No, the Finnish (non)recipient was not expecting an edible sandwich; it was a weird gag even spurred by him lamenting how we had them here in the US and he couldn't get one.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:55 PM
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:59 AM
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A tortoise.
To Grandma.
For Christmas.
But it was dead.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:18 AM
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Here's a video featuring one Caitlin Doughty ("Ask a Mortician") doing the latter.

It never occurred to me that tires could be MAILED.
Oops, forgot to post the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JKfJGYaUGM&t=268s
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:07 AM
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Haven't actually mailed much odd stuff, but as a former mailman I've handled quite a lot. Cremated human remains were quite common (delivered to funeral homes in town), along with stool samples. Crickets (food for reptiles at pet stores). Had a car fender and tires come through the office occasionally. Blood samples from Highway patrol DWI arrests were picked up from a collection box on a street corner, which surprised me considering chain-of-custody issues. Delivered boxes of loose cut diamonds to jewelry stores in the mall.
The one that tickled my fancy the most was a large box that felt and sounded empty. Turned out to be a tumbleweed a lady ordered as a decoration.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:13 AM
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Not really odd, but my husband's coworker forgot his socks and underwear at the hotel and had them ship them to him.

From Switzerland to the U.S.

It was 3x the replacement cost to ship the dirty laundry.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:19 AM
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Lately about the "weirdest" item I've mailed is hardwood fig tree cuttings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
I don't know about beating your story, but the answer to the thread title is: I mailed a "Hi, I turned 50" poop swab. Dropping that envelope in the mailbox I almost felt like a kid comitting vandalism.
That's a mere trifle as far as the U.S. Mail is concerned. I pity the mailman/postal worker who has to deal with a poorly sealed 72-hour fecal fat collection.

"Use a one gallon, plastic leak-proof container with screw cap (warehouse item #2614). Record total collection time (24, 48, or 72 hours) and weight on test requisition. If entire collection is sent to the lab*, the lab will verify weight of sample. Keep refrigerated during collection.** Do no submit specimen in metal paint cans, as processing poses a safety hazard. Specimens received in paint cans will be rejected."

http://testdirectory.questdiagnostic...il/455/?cc=NEL

*I pity the poor lab techs as well.
**Not to mention the spouse of the "collector" who reaches for the wrong container during a late-night raid on the fridge.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 02-02-2020 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:51 AM
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I had a potato mailed to my sister, and it bore a picture of my nose.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:42 AM
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I have certainly mailed various car parts. I have shipped & received various chemicals hundreds of times. I get embarrassed for my entire industry every time I get a package that's leaking. It's not all that difficult, people.

Probably the item that was the most fun was receiving a metal pipe with end caps welded on. The mailing address label was stuck to the outside of the pipe. I took it to the maintenance shop - to use the band saw to cut the end caps off. The entire maintenance crew suddenly had to go on break. Inside was a container of fungicide. Wicked stuff. That was the only time I ever had to wear a Level A suit in the maintenance shop. Ah, the good old days.....
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:05 AM
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Three live turtles. I was sending them back to a friend in Louisiana (where they came from) to be released in the wild (after having been pets up north for a few years). I put them in a box and dropped them off at the airport at the place for shipping cargo. Of course I couldn't tell anyone what was inside. I was hoping nobody would hear them scratching inside the box. They arrived safe and sound.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:32 AM
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Going to the post office the day everyone's mail order baby chickens come in is quite a fun event. The whole place is just "peep peep peep peep" from hundreds of baby chicks.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:23 PM
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A couple of more somewhat funny incidents that don't reach the level of weird:

Back around the turn of the century I made a deal with a guy in California to trade some DVDs for some DIMMs. He sent the DIMMs first, and since the box was big enough, I mailed the DVDs to him in the same box. A few days later, he told me about how someone came knocking on his door early in the morning, and it was a postal worker and the popo (band name!) insisting that they open the package in front of them--something made them suspect that there were drugs inside.

Years after that, I ordered a number of ammonite fossils (in matrix) from the UK. So one Saturday morning someone from the post office (the city branch, before it reached my town branch for distribution) called me and told me the package was there, and if I hurried I could get there before they closed at noon to pick it up (my phone number was on the customs label.) I told him that it was a box of rocks, so there was no hurry. I don't know if that package was suspected of suspiciousness or what, but it seemed oddly above the call of duty to call somebody like that.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:51 PM
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I purchased an iron manhole cover with my old home town's name cast into it. It arrived damaged. Somehow, either the seller or the P.O. managed to break the thing in half. I had to mail it back and got a full refund including my shipping cost.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:06 PM
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It's not particularly weird, but I had to get around customs to mail sourdough starter to my cousin in Australia. At first, I just tried to mail it normally, properly declared and all. Got rejected and destroyed at customs in Australia. So I emailed her a birthday car with a photo pasted onto it -- the paste being the sourdough starter (which can be flaked off and reinvigorated fairly straightforwardly.) That one got through.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:12 PM
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Tell us more how you e-mail a car with dough pasted to it...
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:17 PM
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Tell us more how you e-mail a car with dough pasted to it...
Goddamn fat fingers. "Mailed a card."
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:58 PM
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I can't tell you. It's a secret.
It was weird tho'
()

The next weird thing was buttons made from deer antler. To my brother in Oklahoma.
I think the destination was weirder than the product....

;-)
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:32 PM
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Not mailed, but as a pilot the weirdest thing I had to transport was a large, industrial scale. Which meant I found myself in the position of asking, "Um... how much does that scale weigh?"

No way to find out. Very meta.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:32 PM
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Going to the post office the day everyone's mail order baby chickens come in is quite a fun event. The whole place is just "peep peep peep peep" from hundreds of baby chicks.
I had no idea live animals could be mailed until a former coworker of mine who grew up on a farm told me they ordered chicks this way every spring.

Then a couple years later I ordered a tadpole, which arrived safely packed on my doorstep a few days later.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:44 PM
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Not weird, but stress-inducing. When I was in college, the person who had mentored me during my summer job was having a hard time. So to cheer her up I mailed her a joint (from Boston to Washington, DC), tucked into a box of loose herbal tea so it would be fairly inconspicuous.

The moment I dropped it in the mailbox, I was terrified - "what the hell have I done? Mailing illegal drugs through USPS is a huge crime!" (This was circa 1978, so such things were indeed considered felonious and likely to be prosecuted.)

Anyway, the FBI never came a-knocking, so I guess I got away with it. But what a dumb-ass thing to do!
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:59 PM
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Maybe not as exotic as some, but when I was attending ET “A” school in Great Lakes, IL, I’d send a Brailled letter to the eventual kaylasmom every week in an unsealed manila envelope marked with “Free Matter for the Blind” written on it where postage would normally go. The weird thing was that twice a month, I’d include five $20 bills from when I cashed my paycheck. Still unsealed.

Never had a bill go missing.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 02-02-2020 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:58 PM
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I mailed a blood sample (my blood) encased in dry ice to a lab in MA one year. That was entertaining to prep and I was left with quite a bit of dry ice to play with. I'm also one to mail dirty laundry home from other places so I have room in my luggage for purchases. And that dirty laundry is truly dirty, smelling of sweat, oil, brake dust and who knows what else. I feel a bit sorry for the postal carriers who deal with it. I mailed homemade alcohol across the country to friends and then discovered that we are no longer allowed to do that (mea culpa).
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:08 PM
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I can't beat the op; never mailed a live or dead animal. But I once found a small toy that emitted a low wail when turned over. I put it in a small box and mailed it as a joke to a friend. But I punched holes in the box as though there was a live animal inside. My friend told me that the postman was spooked and said there might be a live animal inside.

Back in the day, there were these single page letters on very flimsy paper (almost onion skin weight) called aerograms. The word aerogram was printed along the edge. I made up a facsimile except it was in the shape of a parallelogram and so labeled. I mailed it to a friend who was at lest somewhat amused.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:12 PM
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Never mailed anything weird myself but here's an unboxing video of a live black mamba. It was clearly shipped via some parcel service, not sure which one.
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:10 AM
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Received by mail rather than mailed personally:

Horse semen.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:56 AM
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.......
Back in the day, there were these single page letters on very flimsy paper (almost onion skin weight) called aerograms. The word aerogram was printed along the edge. I made up a facsimile except it was in the shape of a parallelogram and so labeled. I mailed it to a friend who was at lest somewhat amused.
Holy cow, I forgot all about those! My mom used to use those to mail letters internationally. I think they were cheaper postage or something.
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:55 PM
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While staying at the Coco Palms resort in Kauai in the 1980's, they made a big deal of husking and peeling the dropped coconuts for their guests. One of their recommendations was to mail it "as-is" without any outside packaging, which they would do for you. We wrote my brother's name and address on the shell (it was about the only I knew the zip code for), and for a few bucks he got a fresh coconut in the mail a few weeks later.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:41 PM
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Received by mail rather than mailed personally:

Horse semen.
We have a friend who owns a canine breeding facility. You can guess what she mails out …
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:48 PM
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It wasn't weird compared to you guys! I mailed a single shoe to my daughter after she moved away. I mean the story is obvious.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:31 PM
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While staying at the Coco Palms resort in Kauai in the 1980's, they made a big deal of husking and peeling the dropped coconuts for their guests. One of their recommendations was to mail it "as-is" without any outside packaging, which they would do for you. We wrote my brother's name and address on the shell (it was about the only I knew the zip code for), and for a few bucks he got a fresh coconut in the mail a few weeks later.
My grandfather mailed a couple of coconuts still in the husk from Hawaii back about 1925. My mother has one and another one of her sisters has one. The address was written on the husk.

I'm really boring. I've never sent anything interesting.

When I was on my mission in Japan from 1981 to 1983, we had to write home weekly. I got bored once and wrote a letter backwards then tore it up like a jigsaw puzzle. Apparently, it took my family a while to figure that out.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:08 PM
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While staying at the Coco Palms resort in Kauai in the 1980's, they made a big deal of husking and peeling the dropped coconuts for their guests. One of their recommendations was to mail it "as-is" without any outside packaging, which they would do for you. We wrote my brother's name and address on the shell (it was about the only I knew the zip code for), and for a few bucks he got a fresh coconut in the mail a few weeks later.
We still get those in my facility. They drive me bananas, on account of their tendency to roll aimlessly around the conveyor belts on our automated parcel processing system.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:12 PM
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Holy cow, I forgot all about those! My mom used to use those to mail letters internationally. I think they were cheaper postage or something.
Well, yeah. When you pay by the ounce, every gram you save is money in your pocket. Dunno how much more expensive the onion skin paper is, or was, or if its cost outweighed (heh) the postage savings.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:21 PM
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We have a friend who owns a canine breeding facility. You can guess what she mails out …
Dogs can be artificially inseminated? Cats definitely can't.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:14 AM
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When we go on business trips my husband and I mail all of our dirty laundry back home. That leaves room in our luggage for souvenirs.
I went to India in 2005 on a dignitary detail. A Capitol Police Officer who had done the detail in the past advised me to go to a thrift store and buy a bunch of khakis and polo shirts. He said by the end of the day my clothes would be caked in sweat and I should just peel them off and throw them away as it wouldn't be anything I'd want in my luggage.

I followed the advice and it worked out well. Until one of the last days. I was in my hotel room in Delhi when I got a package delivered. WTF? Who the hell knows I'm in India?

I opened the box and like a punch in the face! The hotel we were in in Mumbai tracked me down and mailed me the clothes I had thrown in the garbage can in my room there before checking out. Blech! {Stereotypical Indian accent} "We could not believe anyone would throw away such fine clothing. So we mailed them to your next stop on your trip".

Probably karma for the weirdest thing I ever mailed: fecal matter, urine, and 2 hard boiled eggs in a jar. Mailed it to a teacher I absolutely loathed when I was in the 8th grade. I painted the outside of the jar so she couldn't see what was in it. I heard that after she opened it the stench putrefied her entire house.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
Dogs can be artificially inseminated?
I believe it's the only way to breed French Bulldogs.

Last edited by pkbites; 02-04-2020 at 02:16 AM.
  #49  
Old 02-04-2020, 03:42 AM
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I mailed a series of tiny postcards to myself, to test the lower limit of size* for the UK post office handling - the smallest one was the size of a stamp - 2 x 2.5cm (stamp on one side, address on the other) - it didn't make it. The smallest one that survived the process was 3.5cm x 2.5cm

*Because I noticed that the postal service says a lot about maximum sizes and weights, but nothing at all about minima
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:24 AM
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Early on living here some relatives came to visit. We drove them around and out into the country. One thought the boiled peanut stands were funny. So we decided to send some to them.

Bad idea.

To their office address.

Really bad idea.

The description of the smell on arrival we got back was terrifying.

Note to self: Peanuts when boiled don't keep.
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