After 3 weeks in the US, I left on Wednesday to return to the UK. My family and I had initially planned to leave the house around noon in order to eat lunch out on the way to the airport, but when the time came I still hadn't received a package that was supposed to arrive for me in the mail the day before. In the hopes of getting it before I left the country, we decided to linger for another hour and a half to see if the FedEx guy showed up...but no dice.
Shortly after we pulled out of the driveway, we passed a white truck driving the opposite direction, and I said "If that's FedEx, you know we're turning around and going back!" It wasn't--but the truck that pulled out in front of us at the next intersection was. My dad tailed him for about a block, then pulled up behind the truck when it stopped to make a delivery. Because I happen to know that delivery people for the US Postal Service are strictly forbidden to give you mail anywhere else but at the post office or on your property, I figured that no amount of sweet talking could get this guy to fork over my package--if, indeed, it was even in his truck.
(Thanks to http://www.greenrightnow.com/kabc/2009/07/21/fedex-sends-more-hybrids-to-california-says-feds-should-express-more-incentives/ for this photo.)
But what do you know, I glanced behind me through the rear window of my parents' van, and there was my dad, holding a box and signing for it. Because I've called this "my new favorite travel story," you will probably not be surprised to find out that the box was, in fact, the one I was expecting, and not something addressed to one of my parents. Thankfully, I'd gotten my order just in the nick of time, which saved me wasting both the time and money necessary to have it forwarded to my UK address.
However, the story doesn't end there. As I was tearing into the box in order to inspect my new goods, I discovered a little inchworm that must have been hitchhiking on the package. By the time I found him, we were already back up to full speed and were traveling down a road lined on either side with cement. Between the hard surface and the traffic, I didn't think I could safely return the little guy to the wild by flicking him out the window.
Before I could even make any requests, my dad pulled over a second time on the outskirts of town, next to a grass patch, so I could release my little captive. I said at the time that it was a worthy endeavor, not only because the worm was a fellow living creature but, also, because I thought he might turn into something even cooler. Thanks to the wonders of Wiki Answers, I now know that that "something cooler" is a small moth, such as this one, which previously was a red-headed inchworm:
My parents happen to have a serious issue with moths that are attracted to their porch light and then spill into the house when anyone enters the door, so my dad is not a big fan of the insects. Despite all that, he put his prejudice aside so I could give one little inchworm the chance to transform and then go make a nuisance of itself. Lucky bug.
More importantly, lucky me--not only for leaving the house just in time to get my package, but also for having such a generous (and tolerant!) father.