Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Box at Harris Teeter Causes Alarm

The Christmas season, much to my dismay is near. I'm sure you notice and asiles stocked to the ceiling at Lowes and Walmart. I've been turning off the Christmas music at Lowes when I can find the switch, but I guess it's time to let the leaf blower snow globes run.

Editor Chris Haire at The Charleston City Paper has a post on a strange "gift wrapped box" left at the Downtown Harris Teeter.

"We were at the downtown HT when we noticed a present, red wrapping paper and a tag reading something to the effect of “A Holiday Gift for You.” Some guy was calling the cops about it and two employees there had no idea what was going on. When I got home, I called HT. They said the Art Institute of Charleston put it there. I called AIC and they said Redux put it there. I called Redux and they said some interns had evidently put it there. When I called Redux, the gal there was talking to the cops."

Years ago, back before practical jokes caused most people to panic, my office had a running practical joke that lasted everyday in December until Christmas Eve.

Just after Thanksgiving the staff put up the company Christmas tree. Not bad for a 12 foot fake tree, but somehow without presents it just looked bare. So I sent an email to everyone suggesting that should someone feel the holiday spirit and want to wrap up a box or two, I'd be happy to approve the nominal expense.

Two days passed with no replies or offers, so the tree remained gift less.

Then on the 1st, a very small package wrapped in gold and red paper, with a perfect red bow, showed up under the tree. It was without a tag and after each available employee checked out the gift, it was determined it was just an empty box, as I had suggested.

But the present was so small that it was dwarfed by our tree. Hoping to encourage the responsible party to make another box or two, and being an email savvy guy, I hit the send to all button and thanked the mystery gift provider for their work and the holiday cheer it brought to the office.

A few days had passed when I was walking by all the poinsettias, cards and a massive tin can of carmel popcorn when I noticed the package had grown. I nearly stumbled into a co-worker as the package had ever so slightly expanded overnight.

The six inch by six inch square was now eight maybe nine inches, same wrapping paper same bow just a little bit bigger. From then on, every day or so the package would grow, the same wrapping paper, same bow and in the exact same place as it was the night before, a little just bigger.

Soon the mystery package became the talk of the office. How big will it get, who is behind this mischief, and what is the purpose?

The week before Christmas the package had grown into a box that was 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. The package that once was overshadowed by our 12 foot tree now looked pretty good.

In fact it looked real good, except the package continued to grow. The weekend before Christmas, we had the company Christmas party and sometime during the party the package increased to 3 feet. On the 21st it was 4 feet, and on the 23rd it had swelled to five feet across and was starting to look pretty odd and out of place.

On the morning of the 24th much to my surprise the lobby was filled with 24 packages all square and in ever increasing sizes. Each perfectly wrapped in red and gold the smallest had a small envelope attached. The tiny card inside read: “One alone does not make a team, but altogether we put on quite a show. Merry Christmas, Santa”.

To this day I don't know who was behind the fun and the Christmas Eve team message, but I have my suspicions.

One more thing the best practical joke is one where the joker is never revealed, it's the same with charity gifts don’t you think?

1 comment:

JanetLee said...

That's a great story!