The day I thought Amazon had sent me a bomb

What would you do when a mysterious package appears on your doorstep?
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

It looked something like this.

Screenshot by ZDNet

The world is currently a shifty place.

Too many powerful people want humans to be paranoid. They want them to be suspicious. Sometimes, they even want them to wish and do each other harm.

So I'd like to blame the whole world for this curious story of disturbingly managed e-commerce. Well, with Amazon at the world's controls.

It's A Gift. Or Is It?

It was just another day. The sun was shining. The pretty blue birds were chirping. All seemed normal, at first.

Then I looked toward my doorstep, where lurked a package.

Ah, an Amazon delivery, I thought. And then I paused. I hadn't been expecting an Amazon delivery, but perhaps my wife had. So I stepped to the door to investigate.

It was a brown paper bag, but without any Amazon markings. It was a brown paper bag without any markings at all.

On it was a small sticker that carried perhaps five random letters and numbers, and a QR code. On the sticker was no recipient's name. There was no sender's name, either.

This was, quite simply, a mysterious package with nothing to tell me what it might be or whom it might be for. Or, I now decided, where it had come from.

Was it some twisted prank? Was it something more dangerous than that? Had a commenter finally lost it? Should I touch this package? Should I pick it up? Should I call the police? Yes, even that last one really did cross my mind.

I've been known to take irresponsibility a little too far once or twice. Well, too far for other people's taste. So, after a short period of staring, I thought I'd at least touch it.

I tried to convince myself that the world really wasn't so bad. No one would have sent me something nasty. Or would they?

Finally, I grabbed the bag. It didn't immediately explode. I felt it a little and there didn't seem much inside. Yet, instead of doing the sensible thing and leaving it outside, I took it indoors, sat down and nervously opened it.

It Was Bit Of A Choc.

The fact that I'm writing this gives you a clue that it didn't explode.

But I was still flummoxed -- perhaps even more so -- when I opened it. Inside the brown paper bag was another brown paper bag. Inside the second bag were two bars of chocolate. That's it. No note. No receipt. Just two bars of chocolate.

Clearly, something bonkers had occurred. More questions swam in my innards. Had this gift been meant for someone else? Was this someone's idea of a joke? If so, what was that joke, as I couldn't quite see it. 

Perhaps, I thought, the mystery was contained in the QR code. I scanned it. Nothing.

But wait, what if the chocolate had been poisoned? What if this was, after all, nefarious agents trying to do me harm? (I don't usually think like this, but this was just weird.)

I resolved not to try the chocolate, even though I was hungry. Moreover, I had no idea how to find out who had been behind this delivery.

What do you do when a mystery package arrives on your doorstep and you have no idea who sent it, which company delivered it or why it even existed?

Oh, It Was You, Was It?

I tried to forget about it and carried on with whatever it is I do to fill the days. I cooked dinner, then went to bed, still none the wiser.

My wife was away camping in some remote part of Arizona, so I couldn't even tell her about what had happened.

Thirty-six hours later, I got a text from her. She was alive and she'd found some tiny part of wherever it was with a hotspot.

We texted back and forth, until she asked: "And did you get the chocolate?"

"What? That was you? Was this meant to be funny?" I texted, my fingers are little peeved.

"What are you talking about? I bought it on Amazon and they sent it from Whole Foods," she explained. "I just wanted to make sure you had enough chocolate while I'm away." (Yes, I like chocolate.)

I explained that it came in a mysterious bag, with no name attached. "But it was supposed to have your pet name [don't ask] above the address line," she said.

So it was that a romantic gesture bombed spectacularly.

To this day, I'm still confused how an Amazon/Whole Foods delivery could arrive at my door with no address, no recipient's name, no sender's name and no brand name on the bag.

But please, don't be like me. If a mysterious package arrives at your door, be careful.

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