OMG! Did An Angry Critic Send Me A Package Bomb?
In these paranoid times, disrupted logistics made a package from an old Spanish dude in Altamonte Springs seem sinister
Who the hell was this Spanish guy who sent me a package from Altamonte Springs, Florida in the summer of 2021?
I didn’t know anyone from Altamonte Springs. Sure, I was born in and grew up in Florida but I can remember exactly two Hispanic Americans: A Puerto Rican lady in our church and a Cuban classmate whose family fled Castro.
My first completely, No, not-at-all-an-irrational-thought: A new style of Unabomber!
Sure, not THE Unabomber, but maybe a new one. Maybe with a hate-on for moderate extremists now, rather than technology geeks! Or it could be a she! My phone harasser early in the year was a girly!
I have no angry exes to worry about. Not even the one who went bugshit Trumpy over the years, especially as I already know he occasionally harbours dark revenge fantasies, but doesn’t have the motivation to carry them out.
My second thought: Biowarfare!
Because, you know, whoever sent the last round of anthrax packages in the mail might want to go to all that trouble again of sourcing it and managing to cover up all his tracks (or her!) to target a widely unknown Internetz writer like me.
To paraphrase (badly) Casablanca’s Rick, I know my content doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
I didn’t consider this thing might be dangerous because I’m oh-so-important, which I’m not. But maybe offing someone unimportant sends a message that terrorism can happen to — target — anyone.
I’m a little paranoid. Hey, even if I'm a Canadian, I’m also American, even if I don’t live there anymore. And I lived in Connecticut when shit happened.
Like when the Unabomber famously hit a professor at Yale University.
And in the tense, terrifying weeks after 9/11, one of the anthrax packages made its way to Oxford, a 35-minute drive from my home in Bristol, and killed an old lady.
I was two hours from Ground Zero, where, a week and a half before 9/11 I drove over the Whitestone Bridge, obliviously admiring the Twin Towers for the last time. I was supposed to go back the following weekend with my then-boyfriend to squire his visiting parents around New York for a day, and take them to Windows On The World at night.
I wondered sometimes why Al Qaeda didn’t pull off a second, minor terrorist attack on some random small American town. The message being, You don’t have to live in New York for us to come for you, too, you American skanks!
But that was then, and this is now…not 2001 Connecticut, but 2021 Toronto.
After the 2020 election and the January 6th terrorist attack, some American might just be crazy enough to mail something to kill me, however unlikely and egotistical that might sound (but there was no reason to kill the old unknown Oxford lady either).
I didn’t want to take any chances. When Crazy Witchy Trump Gal (bizarrely, a Canadian) got pissed when I blocked her on Facebook and made threatening phone calls, it forced me to make an embarrassing call to the Toronto Police to report something I knew was a silly cat fight but, just to be on the safe side, What if she pulled something and no one knew?
That’s how Americans think. Even long-time removed from the motherland.
So, getting back to the mysterious package from the arguably craziest state in the Union, was there the slightest possibility that I’d pissed someone off to the point of derangement?
It wasn't here, on nice normal Vocal. It was another blogging platform I was on at the time, famous for its social justice warriors so far to the left Antifa yells into a megaphone, "Hey! Dial it back a bit!"
Maybe this package came not from some hopped-up, out-of-his-head Florida Man, but some crazy victim feminist? Or a snowflake antiracist? If I can shut up this American-removed Canadian-implanted loser, I can shut you up too, white boy/girl!
Look, I know I’m a Big Nothing in the world of content, but seriously, Americans be crazy!
I’m much harder to stalk personally in Canada. If the sender was a crazy-ass Trumper who wanted to take my head off for my article making fun of Trumpers who wouldn't vaccinate, their Evil Plan would be thwarted, ironically, if they couldn't provide proof of vaccination at the border, and I’m not sure any MAGAt wants to kill me that badly.
Whoever it was had spent $42 to mail this package. I hadn’t ordered anything, especially not from Florida Man.
Okay, enough with the silly concerns, I told myself. I hadn’t felt genuine fear, just — well, did I mention America be crazy?
“This is probably a scam,” I thought, and I hied my arse off to Google and learned about something called ‘brushing scams’. Third-party retailers sending people unordered goods hoping you’ll write them a good Amazon review. You’re legally entitled to keep whatever they send, whether you write the review or not.
Problem was, this wasn’t Amazon.
I put the suspected Death Dispatch in the bathtub while I figured out what to do, in case it got tired of waiting for me to open it and exploded all over my neighbourhood. Yes, really.
Americans be paranoid! Even in Canada.
I spent another day or two Googling scams. I’d found the mysterious Florida Man did exist, and at the return address. He appeared to be older and retired, which explained what he was doing in Florida, I guess.
I concluded it can’t be a bomb as it surely would have exploded by now, wouldn’t it? Or did I have to open it first? Did anyone really want to kill me, even crazy-ass extreme-left victim feminists and antiracists who can’t stand empowerment if it stands in the way of victimhood?
Not likely groups to want me dead. The perp(s) might go to jail and stuff, where they might learn the real definition of ‘victim’.
Neither fit the reigning American terrorist profile of ‘Angry White Man’.
I decided to open the box. Without even updating my will or saying my goodbyes to my loved ones. I’d documented the package on Facebook with a couple of snarky posts. Everyone would know The Killer was some Florida Man easily accessible by Google.
It turned out to be…
Not a bomb, not a brush scam, not a poison attack by a hateful far-lefter or righter!
It was company schwag from one of my sales campaign clients.
I work as a contract salesperson for a freelance sales agency, conducting 3–4 campaigns a week for various clients. A recent one had been quite happy with my work and asked for my address so they could send me some schwag.
But alas and alack, I never received it. After awhile I messaged them so they didn’t think I was so rude as to not acknowledge it and told them whatever they’d sent, it had likely been pinched by a documented ‘lobby pirate’ in my neighborhood.
“Thanks for whatever you sent, it’s the thought that counts,” I wrote. And completely forgot about it.
They’d re-sent it. I don’t know why it came from someone in Florida as the company is based in California, but I got the two-knocks announcement so maybe they paid for special at-your-door delivery this time. Maybe they got a friend or loved one to handle it. Maybe one of the client associates was in Florida and the shipping rates are cheaper there.
I chalk it up as a likely workaround to a globally disrupted logistics chain.
The package may well have been covered in the COVID variant-du-jour but I was fully vaxxed so no worries there.
Okay, in retrospect I seem a little silly. Maybe it wouldn’t have been a concern if it hadn’t been for recent events in the United States. I wasn’t even thinking about Crazy Witchy Canadian Gal. I was all like, Americans be crazy, and the left is getting as crazy as the right.
I think it was the old Oxford lady who juiced my paranoia. The poor helpless creature has been stuck in my craw for twenty years.
Heads up, MAGAts, snowflakes and permavictims: You’ll have to do better than COVID variants from Florida to snuff out my annoying outspoken ass!
Good luck sourcing the anthrax. Bite me!
When I’m not lining my apartment with plastic against biowarfare attacks or ordering semiautomatic hockey sticks on totallyillegalshitforcanadians.ca, I help women reclaim their power on my website, Grow Some Labia.