Is One of My Boxes Being Interrogated?

Click to see more cartoons by Steven L. Cloud

Cardboard boxes, especially when duct-taped shut,  are infamous for standing up for their right to remain silent, which concerns me (a tiny wee little bit) at this moment.  They’re particularly known to be rather uncooperative when questioned at border crossings…

Story goes… I sent 4 boxes from Belgium to Colorado.  Three of my boxes already made it, as their tracking correctly showed:

Yup.  Got ‘m.  Screenshot of BPost Tracking (same for 3 boxes),  Feb 8, 2012.

But one box… has been stuck at “Handed over to customs” for over a week now…

GRRRRR…   Screenshot of BPost tracking of the missing box, Feb 8, 2012.

My gypsum skull cast decoration in happier days.  Well trained, it sure knows its right to remain silent… (Photo of item in 2008)

My description for that box was: “Books, Clothes, Candle, Personal Papers, Art Supplies, Skull Cast, Camera, Decorations  – Less than 2o Kg, my own things”.  

Haha! SKULL CAST !  ;-)  Could that be what intrigued them?  It sure looks a lot like ‘maybe someone’s cut-off head in a box’ when viewed through an X-ray machine… hehe.  I saw the screening monitor one time I had it in luggage and it totally looks like that…

Once they figured out that it’s only a bloodless cast, perhaps they started reading my ‘Personal Papers‘?  That sure could keep ‘m busy for another week or so…  Among other “subversive” reading materials, they could be pondering the detailed description of my interactive Three Times Watch”, a slightly dorky technosphere-transmutational times-piece fantasy, which you can read all about in my (future) blogpost, see HERE.

Otherwise, maybe the tracking’s behind and it’s closer than it seems…?

Sometimes that’s “an understatement”

The problem with disruptions in international shipments lies almost always with zealous customs, though.  In my utopian opinion, security obsession, like all other forms of inappropriate behavior (including terrorism, of course), dim the light of the beacon of liberty.  Mail privacy, just like all other private matters, ought to be respected in a free society.  Period.  No excuses. (See also this related article, here: Homeland Security opening private mail).

It’s just one of so many things we’re gradually being lead to accept.  On principle I won’t, but pragmatically I don’t know an alternative…   Personally, I’ve had boxes arrive in the past, clearly inspected and taped-closed with green DHS-tape, with a couple covers of books inside cut open (straight through the cardboard) and things broken (’cause they didn’t take the time to re-pack it as nicely as I had), without even a note.

Here’s a quote to ponder on the sanctity of mail from one of my favorite people from a century ago:

“We begin to think cosmically. […]  So far, however, universal harmony has been attained only in a single sphere of international relationship.  That is the postal service.  Its mechanism is working satisfactorily, but — how remote are we still from that scrupulous respect of the sanctity of the mail bag!  And how much farther again is the next milestone on the road to peace — an international judicial service equally reliable as the postal!”Nikola Tesla, 1905

In any case, I’ll just have to be patient.  It will get here when it gets here, all thanks to all the fine people at the postal service along the way.

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