Friday, July 11, 2008

Corn starch, and hazmat, and cops, oh my!

The town I live in doesn't get much excitement. It's quiet, unassuming, and generally minds its own business. So today, when I went to get my mail at the post office, I was surprised to see all sorts of commotion.

I saw several police cars, one rescue squad, and at least two fire engines. The entire perimeter of the post office was cordoned off, and workers were leaving. Great. Just great. How was I supposed to get my mail?

Across the street is a skating rink which offers a kids' camp (I guess), and the kiddies were outside playing, so it couldn't have been a bomb threat or a shooter. The gas company wasn't there, so it couldn't have been a gas leak. It turns out that it was something pretty simplistic--a package had burst open and something white had come out.

According to the news, the po was evacuated, the FBI and a hazmat team showed up, and five employees were decontaminated. The post office reopened about three hours later.

The mystery white "stuff"? According to the news, it was tapioca mixed with corn starch. Apparently, the letters SOS had been written on the side of the box. One of our networks reported (and that really boggles my mind--they NEVER report on this town (we're like the red-headed step-child (no offense intended to red-headed step-children (and I wonder if there are really that many red-headed step-children, anyway, and if they would actually get offended)))) that the "boys in blue" went to the home of the person to whom the package was sent and made him eat the tapioca. I assume it was to be sure that it wasn't actually dangerous.

And, wouldn't you know it? After all that, I had NO mail. Zero. Zip. Nada.The very least they could have done was throw some junk mail into my box...

And, yes, Melissa, the parentheses are JUST for you! 8-)


Blogger Melissa said...

Thank you. But really, you should send apologies to the late Lewis Thomas who used the parentheses thing first.

9:16 AM  

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