(As part of the second round of competition for The Public Blogger’s Performance of the Year award, we have been asked to submit a piece on “Community” or “Family” to be voted on this Sunday at 7 p.m. I’ll be posting about my firefighting family. We also must post two additional pieces on the Public Blogger’s Facebook page between now and Sunday. In keeping with my theme, I’ve chosen this post inspired by a package sent a while back by my friend Ross Murray. You probably remember when it happened. It was the first time the Terrorist Threat Level was raised to “Keylime.”)
The afternoon started out like any other: leave the office, walk two blocks home, pass through our white picket gate toward the front steps, then holler “EVERYBODY STAY IN THE HOUSE” while dropping into an army crawl. Naturally, no one at home had any interest in coming outside until I yelled for them NOT to — at which point three of our children and both dogs attempted to squeeze through the doorway simultaneously, closely resembling a horde of diarrhea sufferers trying to de-board a subway car for the last working restroom.
“STOP!” I commanded, freezing them all — yes, even the dogs — on the porch, just inches away from a small white package with the word Liquid written in several places in black marker. The name on the return address wasn’t one I immediately recognized. The fact that it was from a foreign country (Canada) made it even more suspicious.
“Every one inside,” I said, explaining that I was going to open the package somewhere safe, away from the general population and in full firefighting gear.
My wife blew me a kiss and said something in her sweetest voice; and because I knew it could be the last time I heard it, her words resonated with extra meaning:
“I’ll heat up the leftovers.”
Wrapping the mysterious package in my coat, I arrived at the station a few minutes later. There, I could safely open the package without being a danger to anyone other than myself. This is actually a pretty routine scenario for me…
The next step was to decide on what is known in the fire service as an “initial entry” tool — something to breach the obstruction inhibiting us from eliminating the true source of danger. In this case, it was a 1/4-inch skin of slightly damp cardboard. After careful consideration, I felt a fire axe was the best tool for the job…
I then found what I felt was the weakest point in the package, which had been meticulously wrapped in thick tape to ensure whatever was inside wouldn’t leak out during its long journey from foreign soil to my heavily fertilized yard. I lined my axe with the breach point…
As expected, the box immediately EXPLODED! Or at least there was a loud pop. Probably caused by the bubble wrap. Inside was a metal can with its contents written on the front in a strange language: Sirop d’erable. Due to my years as a chef, and a limited knowledge of French, I deduced it either translated to “terrible soup” or “canned poutine.”
That’s when I noticed the label was also written in English on the back — and suddenly it all made sense: REAL MAPLE SYRUP! From my friend and fellow blogger, Ross Murray! In Canada!
Now that the crisis is over, I’d like to thank Ross for sending my this can of delicious 100 percent pure maple syrup. I’d also like to ask my captain to please destroy the footage captured by our station’s security camera. If necessary, I’ll even make a pancake breakfast.
But you’re not getting any of my syrup.
(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)
56 thoughts on “When it comes to strange packages from Canada, you can’t be too safe”
That was such a fun post – I really enjoyed reading it again. Thank You Ned.
Thanks, Paul 😉
But you’re still not getting any of my syrup…
Please distract Paul with your syrup, while I send the Toronto Bluejays back his direction. He’ll never know what hit him!
That’s IF they can hit him…
The Royals don’t have a chance – you might as well give them a taste of that delicious maple syrup. as a consolation prize. 😀
Not gonna like your comment…but, I still like you 😉
Indeed. I have rationed the syrup to the point I think my family is a little offended. More for me…
I’m not sure if you should be having Canadian Maple Syrup, I mean you’re not really Canadian?
We’ll call it even since we let you have our real bacon instead of those ham circles you Canadians call “bacon.” 😉
I don’t think I have ever eaten a “ham circle”. I have real bacon in my house, you know the kind.
Ok then, a Canadian/American exchange program is possible.
It could have ended tragically; it could’ve been canned poutine…
You’re one-in-a-million, Ned Hickson… Thank God.
Lol! I’m sure everyone has breathed a sigh of relief. God probably most of all.
And thank you, Robert 😉
The ending came as such a relief; I was sweating it when your wife exclaimed she would reheat leftovers. I’m so glad that wasn’t a metaphor…
HaHaHa! We only use that kind of sexy inuendo when the kids are around…
The rerun works, Ned. And I still think of the stir Ross would have caused if he’d also packaged and sent the pancakes with the can of syrup. 🙂
Us Canadians will always be allies unless you keep talking about us that way and stealing our maple syrup!
Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
Fellow “Performance of the Year” nominee, Ned Hickson
Thank you, Robert! (But I’m still not sharing my maple syrup…)
Yeah, still funny, and no one gets my syrup either! 😉
Is that a euphemism? 😉
Ha ha… well, you do know us euphemistic women. We never get anything past you. 😀
Hahaha… Touche, Robyn 😉
Hilarious Ned! I have a funny feeling this is not an isolated case, but rather another typical day in the life of Ned Hickson.
Thanks, Oscar! I think sometimes my wife wonders what she got herself into…
Hahaha. 🙂 Good luck, Ned. 🙂 May your sticky, maple syrup encrusted fingers grasp the trophy. 🙂
I’ll be careful not to touch anything else in the meantime! (And thanks, Lynette 😉 )
Your aging yourself you know, since the bubble wrap still “popped “. Ps, I know I’m not getting any syrup, since I’m still waiting for my pastry. It’s okay, I’ll take the early morning laugh over the calories anyway.
Yikes! I must’ve sent that pastry through the postal service’s new “6 months or it’s free” program… 😉
I do believe that is the new generations form of saying ” The check is in the mail, and if it’s not, well, it’s someone else’s fault.”
Poor post office — they have become everyone’s scapegoat.
How else would anyone go postal?
It’s appropriate that the word ‘leftovers’ is used in a reconstituted blog
A strange thought just dropped on my head — have you ever sung lead for the B52s?
No, but I visited the Love Shack once.
Did you hop in your Chrysler?
Of course! Terrible gas mileage, though. It’s as big as a whale!
I just spit on my phone. HENRY!!!!!
Good stuff! Hope you enjoy Ned! xo
Thanks, Eden 😉
I’m a Canadian and our Quebecois maple syrup is the bomb. Nothing can beat that sh*t. And the best part is pouring freshly made syrup on snow and eating it. (Not on yellow snow though lol)
Good grief. 😛
Ah-HA! That explains why, when I visited Quebec many years ago, someone told me yellow snow was made from pure maple syrup drippings! Dang It!
Yellow snow is pee!! LOLOLOLOL
At least I didn’t fall for the “chocolate” snow…
LOLOLOL yessssssssssss!!! Exactly! 😛
Now that it’s over you’re probably thinking…
“What was all the flap about, Jack??”
I’m just glad it all ended well. And by that, I mean not puncturing the can of pure maple syrup.
You can’t have leftovers AND syrup!
Oh wait…sounds like a cookbook in the making.
“Easy Ways to Make the Most of Your Leftovers by adding syrup.”
*Steals title and puts it into the NaNo notebook…
First it’s friendly words on the internet, then some maple syrup. Next it’ll be an offer of hockey tickets and a case of Moosehead. Then you find yourself moving north and taking Politeness 101 courses, and the conversion is complete. It’s an insidious plot by those wily Canucks to take over and convert the US, one person at a time…..
On another note, a firefighter friend of mine was telling me he went out on a call, and they found a closed door inside a building blocking their way. As the other two firefighters raised their axes, about to smash in the door and destroy it, my friend suggested they first check the door knob and see if it was unlocked. Which it was……
We firefighters are always looking for a reason to break something. It’s how we work out our frustrations since hockey isn’t as big here as it is in Canada.
LOLOLOL I love this. I’m Canadian .. and guess what? I’m coming to convert the heathens. LOL 😛