The doorbell rang, there was the voice of the postman, and my wife came in with a box that I recognized as a USPS box.
My wife got the scissors and started to open the box, and exclaimed, "Oh my god, look how much it cost to mail this box!”
I looked at the $61 dollars and thought, “Shit, this international postage to Switzerland is a racket.” The last time I got the postman, he charged me another 100 dollars on top of the American shipping because my dad wanted to list everything instead of labeling “gift.”
The last straw of shipping anything is linked a bit lower in this post.
Then I noticed the shipping manifest and I just started to laugh. As my wife asked, “what is so funny?” I just kept laughing, louder and louder. It was the second belly laugh in a week in what seems like months where I am the only one missing all the jokes due to my inability to understand fluent German, and the even more subtle meanings with a native speaker.
Between the laughs, I pushed the box to her and got out, “Go ahead and open it!”
In the box was a glass pie tin, one small metal one and a tart kit. Now you have to read, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story” now with “bye bye miss American pie.” When you finish the link, hit return.
As I sat holding the glass Pyrex pie tin, my mind started wandering…lemon meringue, cherry, apple, coconut crème, and chocolate crème? Somewhere there is an actual business plan for an “all pie” shop my friend Bret and I wanted to do because of each of our travels through pie town, NM.
I figured my mom could have talked to the lady at her school that made pies for people with such a delicious and decadent thin crust. Maybe she would teach me “how” to make amazing super thin, crisp, and delicious piecrust's.
I digress. I am so grateful for the gift from doc and his wife, Andrea. The timing was funny as my one sister in law actually looked all over for an American pie pan for my Christmas present. “I couldn’t find any…tarts...no problem…but deep dish or just a regular American pie tin...nothing.”
The stranger part is that I thought about my mom and dad listening to me lament about the lack of Pie pans and it was the end of us sending anything to each other. She paid 5 times more in postage than the actual value of the pie tin, and I guess the box arrived in tatters with shards of glass.
Until this day, I have no idea what or how the USPS destroyed a pie tin wrapped in that much bubble wrap, but I am still going for the idea that the United States Postal Service is going to start a demolition company some day to pay off the huge losses they are incurring.
Now I have a spiffy glass, and one “back-up” metal pan. I don’t think it was because Andrea wanted to buy two- but rather, “if the glass one breaks, here is a metal one that “should” make it in one piece.
The operative word is “should.” If they saw the original box my parents sent. They would have never been so brave to even try mailing anything.
So I have a $211 pie pan now. It saddens me, that with coupons, you might be able to purchase them brand new for 5-10 usd.
You hear stories of how a toilet seat with the government costs $1,250 dollars. As a businessman have to wonder "how?" Now I know "how" and "why" after using the USPS international delivery. Is the waste, inefficiency and/or sweetheart deals in the system that big?
Alas, this grumbling still doesn’t answer the dilemma; Do I use the pie tin, or get a frame for it and stare at it?
To my Mom, Dad, Doc and Andrea – thank you. I needed a laugh and you inspired me to get creative and have some fun with pie making again.
My wife will say that I am a messy baker in the kitchen, but I am sure she will have no problem sampling the pies!
After all, swiss butter should make an amazing American Pie crust!