“Did it come in the mail yet?”
I’ve never been a great fan of the ‘Calvin and Hobbes experience’, but that has always been more because I never got around to reading the comic strip regularly rather than because of any other particular reason.
So it was a strange coincidence that the particular episode of Calvin and Hobbes that my local newspaper was running the last week and the current one coincided perfectly with what I was going through in my life.
I’m sure that die-hard fans of Calvin and Hobbes would recognize the ‘Beanie’ episode when I mention it. To those who are like myself however, the Beanie episode is all about how Calvin orders a propeller beanie by mailing coupons that he collects by munching through several boxes of cereals. After undergoing an excruciatingly painful six week wait (and a slightly stressful Beanie assembly phase), Calvin is finally disappointed when the propeller Beanie does not allow him to fly. But what is most amusing about the entire episode is how Calvin goes through the wait.
So you may ask why I am talking to you about this. Well let’s just say that like Calvin, I have also been waiting for something in the mail (for more than 6 weeks now). And no, I didn’t order a propeller beanie for myself. I’m really not into beanies… It’s actually a magazine subscription. A magazine that is neither available in India nor viewable completely over the internet and so like Calvin I suffer.
Everyday I run to the mailbox and look eagerly to see if the magazine has come, only to find the box empty or filled with other ridiculous things (like Calvin himself says at one point: The longer you wait for the mail, the less there is in it). And like Calvin, I try to think that after several weeks of waiting I have finally become numb, that it doesn’t matter to me anymore. But I still run every time I think the mailman may have come to the building.
Quoting from the dialogue between Calvin & Hobbes:
C: I can’t believe this. Every day I get all my hopes up, thinking my beanie will come… and then it doesn’t. And then for each day that goes by, I figure the odds are better that it will come the next day, so my hopes get higher and higher before they fall. It’s awful. But I’ve been disappointed so often now, I’m finally getting numb to it.
H: Maybe the mailman made a second trip today and delivered it in the last five minutes.
C: Wow! I never thought of that! C’mon!
H: He’s not numb!
Anyhow just as in the comic, I’m probably going to get the magazine the one day I walk in preoccupied with other issues, confident that the magazine wouldn’t have come.
Or there is always customer service, I can get the satisfaction of actually calling/ emailing someone at the other end and wailing: “WHAT’S IT TAKE, HUH?!”
For those who are interested you can read/ view the entire beanie episode here.