Tales of Treat-Shipping Woe

It's almost Put Boxes of Things in the Mail day, and if the things you are putting into boxes are edible, well: Pack carefully. If you don't, you could end up like some of these hapless shippers and receivers, who shared their stories of parcel sadness with Sean Timberlake of DIY website Punk Domestics.

Put a label on it. "I make bath salts and bubble baths, and bath fizzies and the like," says Heather Mills Thompson. "I made them up in baskets for my sister and mother one year. My father saw the baskets, and assumed (for some strange reason) that the fizzies were really marshmallows, and gave one to my 18-month-old niece. She started foaming at the mouth (they were made with citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch). My sister freaked out until I told her what they were made from." The niece "suffered no ill effects."

Glass? It's breakable. "My mom once mailed me a quart jar of homemade maple syrup, and only the soaking, sticky box with crumpled newspaper made it to me," says Abby Brown. "She had wrapped the jar pretty well, but apparently it still broke along the way, so UPS pulled the broken glass out and delivered me the empty box!"

You like cheesecake. So do microorganisms. From Frekky: "Girl in college made me a homemade cheesecake and [ground]-shipped unrefrigerated from MN to upstate NY. It arrived ... alive!"

Beware of hissing packages. "My son, who likes to make homemade sodas, made some for his uncle," writes Monique Boudreau. "They were in plastic bottles that we very carefully wrapped and I had the package rush shipped (because of the yeast content). I get a call from my brother saying that they delivered the package as it was hissing and foaming and leaking homemade root beer all over the inside of the mail truck, and then his living room."

When your pie is declared hazardous. "I sent two shoo-fly pies via USPS and [wrote on the shipping documentation] that they were perishable," says Connie Nour Hinkle. "The post office told me it would get to the destination within two days. Ten days later, my friend told me this tale: She came home from the night shift (as an ICU nurse) and hubster told her she had a package on the dining room table. When asked, he just pointed and said 'What did your friend send you?' When she looked, there was my package with a bright orange HAZMAT sticker on the side. Even though the package needed signature on delivery, the postman just dropped it and didn't even ring the bell."

Image source: Flickr member dustin_j_williams under Creative Commons