# # Hammerfist Odious

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

Hammerfist Odious

So, I am a good little donkey: dutifully ordering Frank Zappa releases when they are announced and in as timely a fashion as finances allow.

This latest, a 3-cd set of live recordings from performances at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1978, I was able to nab at preorder – joy!

Somehow, however, the company that handles the sales sent my CD to an old address, long-since sans forwarding.

Am I to blame? Did I inadvertently switch the addresses while making my order or was the snafu their serve? My long-held account with them clearly shows my newer, correct address, an address they have successfully targeted for numerous releases, now.

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the error, whatever its source, until after the package failed to arrive at it’s determined outer limit of probability.

I went a-hunting with the tracking number and read FedEx claims that the cd set had arrived at my old post office in a Saturday shipment and was awaiting delivery.

There was a chance!

The post office in question is a grand old edifice in a quaint little town and you can get people on the phone when you call them.

Real people. On the phone. Every time. It’s quite amazing.

The woman who answered, Patty, sounded like she was wearing glasses. I further envisioned a tendency towards a wrinkling at the bridge of the nose when facing decisions beyond one’s station.

After much polite, some might prefer “pathetically manipulative,” arm-twisting, Patty allowed that I could swing by after work and rescue my wayward package. Y’gotta love small towns.

A couple of hours later, though, during an already stressful Monday morning, my phone rang. It was Patty and her news was not good: the shipment had arrived early Saturday morning and had already been sorted. Because of the nature of the shipping -FedEx “bulk rate,” apparently – when it was determined my package was aimed at a non-existent po box holder … THEY THREW IT AWAY.

That’s right, you heard right, they threw it away.

When I asked Patty if it could be retrieved – I’m not above dumpster diving, especially if it’s likely to be 95% unopened envelopes and out of date circulars – I was informed that the dumpsters in question are special, locked containers in which all “dead letters” of a certain size and type are not only deposited but secured until shredding.

I was aghast.

No, really. I know it’s just a thing. No matter how rare a pleasure for me new music is these days, it is still just a thing. There’s more where that came from and I have plenty of music already, believe me. But the thought of them just throwing it away? Even if it were a kind of music I wasn’t particularly interested in, that I hadn’t ordered, the thought would bother me. What a truly ridiculous, horrible waste! C’mon, people! Is this the best we can do?

Look, I know the post office is strapped but what an opportunity. Just think of the possibilities!

Wrong address? Rather than send it back only to have to ship it again, if circumstances allow, come on down to the post office! We can help you! Cut out the middleman and pay a minor finder’s fee for your mis-shipped items. Hey: It’s a green solution! (in many ways)

If not that, what about a little inside, under-the-table, independent operation willing to “locate” my mis-addressed package for a slight fee? Where are the entrepreneurs in this country when you need them?

To me, it would be better if even some postal worker had absconded with it from the garbage. That at least someone had the presence of mind to whisk it from a silly, stupid fate, and then went on to enjoy it (or at least gave it a listen – this is Zappa we’re talking about, after all).

I am, however, a realist. In my minds eye, I see that pristine, little package of three, relatively rare cds vibrating, purposeless towards the ugly, braying lips of a grinder.


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