Clearly, Owl had been dealing with delivery people. (If you’ve
never read Winnie
the Pooh, you should.)
Monday, as I was thinking about scheduling a run to the store
for paper, I got an email from Staples offering me a case at a
good price. I also had a coupon for $25 off an internet order, so
I ordered paper and some other office supplies, expecting them to
be delivered on Tuesday.
Tuesday, I was printing a copy of the music for the West Gallery
workshop, from time to time, and hoping the paper supply would
hold out until the delivery truck arrived. In the afternoon, the
doorbell rang, and instead of the paper, it was a package from
Amazon with the least useful 4 of the 8 items I’d ordered last
Previously when I’ve ordered from Staples, the truck has
arrived in the morning, so I went online to see what the status of
the delivery was, and it said the truck had left it on my front
porch in the morning.
I went out and looked on all my neighbors’ front porches, and
there was no case of paper. So I called Staples, and they asked
the delivery person, who assured them he had left it on my
front porch, and that he had rung the doorbell.
At about 6 PM, I heard a knock on my door (I was downstairs
packing for the workshop — I can hear a knock when I’m
downstairs, but there’s no chance at all of hearing it when I’m
It was my downstairs neighbor. The packages had been left in
front of his door, and he’d needed to move them in order to get
out. So he hadn’t rung the doorbell (his doesn’t work, so he
assumes that nobody else’s does, either), or called me, or
In addition to the two boxes from Staples, there was another
box delivered by the UPS person, who had also not rung the doorbell.
In the end, it turned out that enough people did print copies
of music for the workshop, so getting the paper earlier would
just have meant I’d have killed more trees than I had to.
But I’m going to make myself WOL-type placards. Here’s the
section from Winnie the Pooh, if you want it in
Owl lived at The Chestnuts, an old-world residence of great
charm, which was grander than anybody else’s, or seemed so to
Bear, because it had both a knocker and a bell-pull.
Underneath the knocker there was a notice which said:
PLES RING IF AN RNSER IS REQIRD.
Underneath the bell-pull there was a notice which said:
PLEZ CNOKE IF AN RNSR IS NOT REQID.
These notices had been written by Christopher Robin, who was
the only one in the forest who could spell; for Owl, wise though
he was in many ways, able to read and write and spell his own
name WOL, yet somehow went all to pieces over delicate words
like MEASLES and BUTTERED TOAST.
Winnie-the-Pooh read the two notices very carefully, first
from left to right, and afterwards, in case he had missed some
of it, from right to left. Then, to make quite sure, he knocked
and pulled the knocker, and he pulled and knocked the bell-rope,
and he called out in a very loud voice, “Owl! I require an
answer! It’s Bear speaking.” And the door opened, and Owl looked
“Hallo, Pooh,” he said. “How’s things?”