When I got to the house the first thing I did was check the mail. As I approached the mailbox I saw something was tucked onto the newspaper holders. A gift box? But it was held on - with wire.
Wire? A bomb?
I went into the house and turned on the porch light. Yes, the package was wired to the mailbox. Common baling-type wire. I untwisted it and freed the package. It did not fill my body with shrapnel or spray acid in my face. I looked closer and saw a tag - a computer-printed tag:
I knew then what was in the box. Still, I had to open it.
Yes, it was a tree topper, of exactly the sort I was looking for.
The tree topper is from Sears, imported from West Germany, which places it from somewhere between the end of World War II and German Reunification in the early 90's. (I'm too lazy to look that up right now, and my computer would probably crash if I tried.) It cost $1.29, which should help place it in time a bit more.
So whodunnit? Who located this ornament, printed up this tag, wrapped up this present, took it to my house (possibly with the knowledge that I would be there), and took into account the Friday winds by wiring the box to the mailbox?
It could be several people. It could be one of my friends who I have interrogated since I found this and who have sworn that they know nothing about it. It could be other friends who are prone to elaborate practical jokes. It could be a neighbor who asked someone else to type up the tag for them. It could even be some unknown local fan of my blog, who was able to trace my house through its uniquely-colored porch.
In any event, I now have exactly the tree topper I was looking for. And for that, I am extremely grateful.