I was feeling all full of myself because the Thunder Road chapbook odyssey finally came to a successful conclusion. The books sold out. Demand is still strong. (I continue to get emails requesting a copy.) During the eight years it took to make them, I had a terrible falling out with a great friend but I am happy to report that we are communicating again and it feels like nothing ever happened! I just submitted a fat check to Ambitious about Autism, the designated charity, for $15,778.27. As you can imagine, they’re thrilled.
Then I get this from one of my customers:
Unfortunately, it looks like someone purposely targeted your package, tampered with it, and switched the contents. The Post Office is taking responsibility for the damage to the package…
The book looks beautiful. My grandfather was a lithographer and ran a letterpress early on. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to see a chapbook ‘in person.’
The book meant a lot to this person and all they got for their money was a Disney DVD. I am in a terrible bind because it is completely sold out. There are no more copies. I reject the assertation that my part of the transaction is complete and it’s the post office’s responsibility. Sending the money back is unsatisfactory to me. I want this person to own a book.
Dear Post Office: I do not understand, nor do I accept your apology. Call me cynical, but do you know what I think happened? I think the package accidentally tore open, as stated in your templated apology, and one of your shitheel employees saw a beautiful hand-made book fall out and decided to steal it. Chalk up another one for mankind. It never fails to disappoint.