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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Humorous Shipping Caper

Here's a little light humor for a change of pace...

The other day, I got an order for a large curio shelf that I had listed on Etsy some time ago.  the thing is, I didn't have a box big enough to ship it.  Two days, lots of driving, and two box stores later, I finally did! 

But that is not the funny part of the story.

While at the second box store, I purchased about 25 cubic feet of packing peanuts.  For any idea of how big that is, just picture a bag just over two feet in diameter and about six feet tall.  In fact, it was so big that I disappeared behind it, but not enough to miss the slightly panicked glances other customers gave the bag that seemed to be walking itself to the counter.

The proprietor's wife at the counter gave me a funny look and said, "I am wondering how you plan to take that home with you," as she looked significantly at my two-door Honda Civic in front of the building.

"I think it will fit in the back seat of the cab, if nothing else," I said, way too confidently.

What followed was a 20 minute struggle with a human-sized bag of peanuts, in a parking lot that was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at high noon.  I was sweating bullets, and not just because of the heat!  The store owner even came out to help me and my dad (who had come along to help me out), and said in a deadpan sort of way, "Hmm, this is kind of a square peg, round hole kind of thing."

Yes, I suppose a human-sized bag of shipping peanuts going into a compact car really does constitute a volume logistics problem of epic proportions!

After a couple more minutes of wrestling, the three of us figured out that the human-sized bag of peanuts needed to bend in the middle, and, unlike their human counterparts, giant white bags of shipping peanuts don't have waists.  Perhaps that is one reason why we never hear about criminals stuffing bags of packing peanuts into trunks in this country...

I had just suggested that we open the bag and fill the trunk with loose peanuts (okay, I was getting desperate), when Dad figured out we could lower all the back seats and stuff it through from the trunk.  Two people worked on stuffing the back end of the peanuts bag into the opening while another pulled on the top end from inside the cab.  With a little cramming, we bent the bag and stretched the sides out a little, allowing it to bulge like leavened dough into every crevice of the trunk and into the cab.  Some peanuts were broken, but at least the trunk closed!

The drive home felt a little ridiculous with a giant white bulging thing taking up the whole back seat, but it could have been worse.  I could have had to drive home with the trunk open.  At least now I have enough packing materials for a couple hundred more shipments!  Lesson learned:  Peanuts are designed to take up space, so bring a big vehicle if you are going to buy them, unless you are planning to pack your whole car in peanuts and ship it somewhere...

Ah, the trials of shipping large things!  At least now I can begin reducing my shipping rates.

Now that you've laughed with me (and at me) it's your time to share.  What is the weirdest thing you've ever hauled in your car?


  1. I hauled 5 Nubian goats (3 does, 2 kids) in the back of my old Land Crusier for a friend once. Taped heavy black plastic over the carpet in case of an accident . . . of the bladder or bowel kind. The back windows were half way open and the goats stuck their heads out and calmly chewed their cud as their long ears whipped back and forth. Think several cars about ran off the road when they realized the heads were goats and not dogs! LOL! Think I about ran off the road several times as hard as Gina and I were laughing. Made it to her house, backed the cruiser to the pasture gate and the goats gracefully jumped out and surveyed their new home. Oh, and no accidents of any kind!

  2. I laughed to tears at both of these stories. I can just picture the recipient of a box containing a Honda saying, " Oh, what ever could this be?"

    I probably would have been one of the gawking drivers doing a double take when I saw the goats. Too funny! :)

  3. I so enjoyed this story. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down and share with us. After all that and the heat too, I am sure you were exhausted.

    It was surely worth the effort.


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