today I got a text off DHL saying that they were going to deliver my new glasses this afternoon, and that I’d need to sign for it unless I went on their website and specified otherwise. I – and everyone I live with – am at work 9-5, and DHL doesn’t deliver on Saturdays, so I figured I’d ask them to leave the package somewhere, concealed. BUT HERE’S THE THING: our front garden is very open, we don’t have anything you can feasibly hide anything behind, and the front of the house faces out onto the street. last time amazon left a package hidden in my garden, someone stole it. ‘Where do you live?’ asked my colleague, when I relayed this information. ‘Hahaha,’ I replied. I briefly considered asking DHL to just throw the package over the back wall and hope for the best, when suddenly I realised – the hanging baskets. we have two hanging baskets on either side of the front door, full of flowers. a package with a pair of glasses in it isn’t going to be very big. they can put it in a hanging basket! no one would look up there! there’s no way anyone would steal my package out of A HANGING BASKET! so I went online. my special instruction: please hide the package in a hanging basket next to the front door. I was delighted with myself. new glasses, definitely going to be delivered today, no faffing with redelivery because there was no one in to sign. stupendous. I get off the bus, hotly anticipating trying on my new, cool glasses, walk up the road, turn into the drive, walk up to the front door, and– there are no hanging baskets. I blink up at the bare face of my once beflowered house. no hanging baskets. did I… imagine the hanging baskets? have– have there ever been hanging baskets hanging there? maybe… maybe my aunt MOVED the hanging baskets? I take a step up to the porch and– petals. underfoot. there are flowers strewn across the steps. flowers. that means… I did not imagine the hanging baskets. here is the proof: corpses of flowers, torn asunder from their hanging homes. the baskets are real, and they were here. but where are they now? I call my aunt, ask where the hanging baskets are. ‘On either side of the front door,’ says she. ‘Not anymore,’ says I. I search the garden. I search the back garden. I check under the hedge. in the green bin. in Mr Next Door’s garden. nothing. endless scenarios play out in my mind. the conclusion I come to is this: someone saw DHL hiding a package in our hanging basket, decided to steal the package, took one look at our lovingly cultivated flora and thought, ‘might as well, as I’m ‘ere.’ in hiding my glasses in a hanging basket I drew undue attention to them, and some Artful Dodger seized his moment. my thumb is so green and my plants so beautiful that some parcel van-trailing, thieving little lout was STRICKEN by them, overcome, and went home, eyes full of tears, a hanging basket dangling from each hand. the same opportunistic tea leaf who stole my amazon marketplace copy of Giovanni’s Room is now reading in his garden, lounging among the flowers. my hanging baskets are gone. may they rest in peace.
my glasses got delivered, to my complete and utter open-mouthed shock, at the completely normal time of 9:57pm. DHL’s scarlet-clad delivery man didn’t lure a thief to my flowers; my flowers lured a thief to my flowers. my hanging baskets were stolen on the very day I just so happened, for the first time in history, to ask someone to hide a package in my hanging baskets. nice.