Social Question

girlofscience's avatar

Help me make up a story to tell my neighbor.

Asked by girlofscience (7464 points ) July 6th, 2012

Several months ago, my husband and I came home late to a large package on our doorstep. We brought it into the garage and realized it was not for us—delivery person made a mistake. It was for people on the next street over with the same street number. Since it was late, we planned to bring it over to them the next day.

Never happened. Totally forgot about it.

Just a few days ago, I noticed the package and realized we’d never brought this to the recipient. I looked up the return address to see what it was and found that it was a $375 jewelry press on Etsy.

In the seller’s feedback, “Great, when I finally got it. Thanks for nothing, USPS!”

I’d like to deliver this to the recipient now, but I don’t want to miss out on the person’s reaction to having finally solved this mystery. So I don’t want to just leave it there and run away. I also don’t want to admit to this stranger neighbor that I was at fault for forgetting about this.

So I need a story to explain to the person why I only just discovered this package. Ideas?

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39 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

You know, if you want to sour your relations with this neighbor forever (and perhaps with the Post Office, too, if that matters at all to you – and consider that there are real people there), then go with the “story” idea.

But I think if I were you I would walk it over to him and tell him what you said in the first two paragraphs. Just tell the truth, and maybe you can all laugh at it. Tell “a story”, and the truth will come out one day, and he’ll never trust you again.

Blackberry's avatar

There’s nothing you can say. You either forgot, or intentionally kept it. What other options are there? You found it on the side of the road?

chyna's avatar

Blame your husband. Say that he brought it into your garage and didn’t tell you until now and you looked at it and realized it wasn’t yours.

Coloma's avatar

Be honest. always the best policy. Leave the package and your phone number on a note and tell the truth! You forgot the package, you remembered the package, you did the right thing and returned the package. Why make up a story when the truth is as good a story as there is?

Trillian's avatar

Try telling the truth. Consider your question a practice run.

girlofscience's avatar

Ah, Fluther. No wonder I only visit you once a year.

Only @chyna has answered my question. I said I wanted to lie and asked for suggestions. I didn’t ask for opinions on whether I should lie.

Way too many disclaimers needed to acquire responses of interest.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
DrBill's avatar

….there was no alien, Beatrice, there was a solar flair, that reflected the light from Venus on some swamp gas…

Blackberry's avatar

@girlofscience A large Italian man dropped the package off at your house and asked you to deliver it to them personally to send them a message. Tell them the man’s name was Joey Two Fingers.

Coloma's avatar

and the winner for most creative story goes to @Blackberry ! haha

Bellatrix's avatar

(I do feel you should tell the truth but since you want a story…)

You have been living and working overseas for the last six months and rented your house out. The renter paid the six months rent in advance. You came home to find the renter had passed away unexpectedly and his family had moved out his possessions. What they didn’t know was their relative was a bit of a kleptomaniac and he had been stealing parcels from people around the neighbourhood. Their parcel is just one of the 52 parcels you found in your basement. You are now returning people’s property to them.

chyna's avatar

@Bellatrix Ah, but the story is too complicated. To be a good liar, you must make your lies short without too many details to trip a person up.

Bellatrix's avatar

Feel free to amend and simplify @Chyna. I will not be offended.

girlofscience's avatar

And @CWOTUS: Never met this dude on the next street over. Probably never going to see him again after this. Really don’t care how much he “trusts” me.

All other truth-insisters or leave-it-with-a-number people:
Come the f on. At least I’m bringing the package back the person. It was a ridiculous situation. Let’s live a little and have a little fun. Let me be friendly and tell this dude a crazy story about why this just appeared. Let’s see him be so relieved to have finally solved this ridiculous mystery. At this point, the outcome’s the same for everyone regardless. Why does Fluther insist on following some specific set of ethics to the letter of the law in all situations? Look at this one—really not harming anyone. Geez, people, loosen up a bit!

Coloma's avatar

@Bellatrix LOL

Okay, I’ll jump in….the package was misdeliverd to an eccentric womans barn and was shat upon and torn asunder by a flock of geese. It has taken you all these months to retrieve the sparkley jewels from the birds cache, clean and repackage the merchandise and remove all traces of barnyard tampering. There….your creative options are growing by the minute.

Bellatrix's avatar

Or, perhaps and in keeping with @chyna‘s request for brevity. While trying to deliver their parcel xxx months ago, you were kidnapped and kept prisoner until the police rescued you last week. You are now completing your mission.

Blackberry's avatar

@girlofscience Eff’ it, man. Just keep it, or sell it. Lol. Actually, try to sell it to the owner.

girlofscience's avatar

@Blackberry: lol if by “owner,” you mean the intended recipient of the jewelry press, it seems like he already received one. He probably had an angry conversation with the Etsy seller and then USPS, who insisted this was delivered, and the Etsy seller sent him another one—since he posted feedback that it was great when he finally got it.

Ponderer983's avatar

So the USPS guy came to house one day. He was looking especially fine that day. It was hot, so you asked him if he wanted a drink of water. He said yes, so you invited him in. When you turned around from the fridge, he had dropped his pants and his dick was hard. You figured, why not. The two of you had rough sex for an hour! When he left, he forget to take that package with him. You thought that day was so special you decided to keep it as a keepsake of that glorious afternoon. The next day, you expected this again, but you were denied his lovin’. So you got angry, and began to do African Voodoo on the box. You did it religiously for however long. You finally now feel you have done as much damage as possible, and no longer need the box for your deep, sordid deeds. So you have decided to give the box to it’s rightful owner.

girlofscience's avatar

@Bellatrix, your ideas are pretty solid! I just have to be able to deliver something believably, but I guess that’s on me. This is going to need some practice.

girlofscience's avatar

@Ponderer983: Yikes! So this one def makes me sound crazy. But can this brand of crazy have friendly neighbor potential?

Bellatrix's avatar

It wasn’t someone else’s package but this did sort of happen to me years ago. I had signed up for one of those ‘get a range of cosmetics delivered each month’ deals. The first couple of months were fine but then nothing arrived. I didn’t even think about it really until I started getting demand letters for payment. So I phoned up and abused them for not sending me the stuff in the first place. A few months later I was tidying up in the garden and there, hidden behind the wall, was a parcel. I can only presume the postie put it there so it was hidden from view and wasn’t stolen. I was a teenager though and gardening was not my bag – so I didn’t notice it either.

nikipedia's avatar

I think you can make the overseas thing work without the dead tenant. You were gone, your mother in law came to look in on your place once a week, and she didn’t mention the package to you.

girlofscience's avatar

@nikipedia: Yeah, this seems like a reasonable one. Whoever was checking after my house was just bringing the packages inside. Upon our return, we realized one of them was not addressed to us.

Of course, if something more preposterous could be believable, that could be more fun for everyone, especially the dude who got f’ed over by my forgetfulness. He probably bitched about this to three friends and could now call them up with a wild story.

Bellatrix's avatar

Sort of restitution for the pain he went through. A great story to tell over dinner. “Did I tell you about what happened to…”

Ponderer983's avatar

@girlofscience Absolutely!! Make sure you go over with big wood bead jewelry and a dashiki, skull in one hand, package in the other, wreaking of incense. After you tell her the story and give her the package, you can say that for her troubles, you will offer some free voodoo for those “problem people.”

Supacase's avatar

Your sister was going overseas for a few months and you were storing her things in your garage. His package got mixed up in all of that and you didn’t realize it until she came back to retrieve her things.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
thebluewaffle's avatar

Just keep it. An easy 365 rupees!

Dv8or's avatar

Keep it and give it to someone for Christmas, just six short months away.

jca's avatar

I say at this point, just keep it.

Please post an update as to what you do and if you return it, how the exchange goes.

Thanks.

JCA
The Update Lady

funkdaddy's avatar

I love me some fun and games. But…

For what it’s worth there are enough details here to find the seller, probably the buyer, and possibly you.

I know this will be taken the wrong way, but if someone decides you caused them enough trouble that they want to return the favor, you’re exposed. Which won’t be fun or games.

Maybe just make it as right as possible and call it cool. I can’t imagine the jewelry press business is growing so fast that $300 isn’t worth an hour of internet research.

So, the story is

Say playa,

This big ass box appeared in my garage. It’s got your name on it.

The only thing I can figure is my neighbors put it there when they were watching my house. We just tucked it in a corner and finally realized it wasn’t just stuff we moved in with.

Do you still need it or should I ship it back to Fred?

Much love,
@girlofscience

Sunny2's avatar

What would you want done if someone had not delivered a package that was addressed to you? They’d just forgotten they’d put aside for later? What would you want to hear? The truth or a made up story?

girlofscience's avatar

@Sunny2: No preference, why?

girlofscience's avatar

@funkdaddy: I was aware this information would be available when I posted this. I thought it would be interesting if Fred and/or the recipient stumbled upon this.

funkdaddy's avatar

@girlofscience – So I’m curious now. I have no idea how to word this so it doesn’t sound like an accusation, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. I was trying to point it out without addressing it directly. Do you understand someone is out $300?

Your neighbor isn’t out anything at this point, he might laugh with you.

The seller, who seems to be one guy, selling stuff in his spare time, might be out that money. Or it might be USPS if the seller purchased insurance. Either way someone has paid that money for the box in your garage. That’s an expensive joke. As far as I can tell, the plausible deniability you’re relying on goes away if anyone finds this question.

Can you see how a business owner, running a one man shop, might not be as amused? That $300 is real to him. It’s a car payment, or a month worth of groceries. Do you understand you could be liable? I’m not trying to be dramatic, but think of it from the other side.

You’re basically hoping all parties laugh it off or consider themselves lucky to have their stuff back. I don’t think that’s a safe bet if you make it into an elaborate story or use the situation for your amusement.

So I guess I’m just another person that needs to lighten up, but I have no beef with you. I see how I could have done the same thing and maybe it’s an honest mistake at this point.

But if you look at this from any perspective other than yours, it’s not fun times. It’s angry emails and spending extra time and money to try and make it right. Trying to make sure everyone gets a laugh just feels like you’re trying to take advantage of the situation.

So I’d encourage you to make it right and try to get this question removed rather than hoping someone finds it. People don’t always play nice.

Sunny2's avatar

I’m with @funkdaddy . I don’t understand how you can make a potentially serious problem and make a joke of it. But then, I’m was brought up to believe that telling the truth is a virtue.

hearkat's avatar

I’m not creative at making up stories, so I don’t bother trying to lie. If this were me, I’d probably just bring the box back to the shipping company (FedEx, UPS, USPS) and leave it for them to straighten out, since it was their error in the first place.

Sunny2's avatar

@hearkat Best answer yet! It’s practical. Doesn’t involve deceit. Wish I’d thought of it.

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