Where Have You Gone, George Corbett?


About a month ago, on a misty night, Sari & I were taking Plaza Street East on our way back home from Park Slope. As we walked along, I spotted something strange. Lying there on the trunk of a car was a Canon Sure Shot (in a vinyl protective case) and a bunch of papers. Going up to investigate, we discovered the camera contained a partially shot roll of film and, among the miscellaneous papers, newspaper clippings, and bank receipts, a little red notebook. The items obviously hadn’t been there for long, because it being so windy and wet, they were still relatively dry and undisturbed. But there was literally no one else around.

Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued by the mystery. Had someone been mugged, and the contents of their bag dumped there by the thief? Or was there another reason for their abandonment on that particular street, that particular car? We decided to gather everything up and try to return them to the rightful owner. Leafing through the papers and the notebook, we determined that they belong to a guy named George Corbett. Unfortunately, everything in the little collection is almost three years old, with the most recent dates being late 2002. There are a couple of contact numbers in the notebook, but two of them are out of service, and the third has an automated message which has so far not resulted in anyone calling me back. Other papers point to Corbett being a resident of Valley Stream, but none of my Internet searches have revealed any such person.

Besides the mystery angle, I find a certain connection to Corbett because he was such a pack-rat. I mean, he’s got old horoscopes, coupons, notes on napkins, index cards — a guy after my own heart! I wanna do the right thing and reunite George with his stuff. I know if I were him, I would want it back.

But this is were it gets creepy: from what I’ve been able to piece together, back in 2002 George was in school, at Nassau Community College. His major? Mortuary Science! So what’s next? The obvious, right? Develop the pictures in the camera. But you just know they’ll reveal something grisly. I’m not sure I wanna know.

Where’s a good private investigator when you need one?

Loose In The Mails


The term “dysfunctional bureaucracy” is a redudancy, but the U.S. Post Office exemplifies it nonetheless. Early this year, I ended up with a spare CD wallet. You know, one of those zippered pouches people use for carrying around their CDs, DVDs, computer programs, files, and the like. Since I enjoy trading on eBay, I put the thing up for sale at a nominal price, and it was won by a guy in Texas. I was glad to pass the thing on to someone who needed it, and shipped it right off via my local post office.

Couple of weeks later and I got an email from the high bidder saying that the CD wallet never arrived. I didn’t have any way of tracking the package, so after another week of it not turning up, I refunded the guy’s money. Shortly thereafter, I received a distressing letter from the “Loose in the Mails” section of the Post Office. Inside the envelope was a torn section of the package I had shipped the CD wallet in, along with a form letter explaining that it had ripped open at some point during its journey from Brooklyn to Texas and — lo and behold — the contents were missing. They also included a Parcel Search Request form for me to fill out, should I so desire.

Well, being the compulsive type that I am, I dutifully filled out the form, describing the item, its color, approximate size, brand name, etc., and sent it off to the Mail Recovery Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. I probably have too much spare time on my hands, and there’s something about a hopeless task that gets my dander up. I mean, it certainly wasn’t about the money, right? So, like I said, I sent off the form and then promptly forgot about the whole thing. This was in late February.

Well… yesterday I got a little package in the mail, from the U.S. Post Office! Inside was my Parcel Search Request, now with a proud green highlighter mark indicating the Result of Search: “Articles described above are returned herewith”. I love that “herewith” part. And inside the package was not one, but two (2) CD wallets! No, neither of them was the one I lost in the mail — the item won by the poor Texan eBay high bidder — but two totally different CD wallets! Isn’t that terrific?! I bet the person who lost these is just thrilled!

Now if I sell these CD wallets on eBay and they got lost, will I end up with 4 of them? And then 8? When will the rain of CD wallets end? And where are they all coming from?

Anyone need a CD wallet?