Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Inescapable Package

James Kirkup's booklet, Modern American Myths, consists for the most part of retellings of stories from Brunvand's The Vanishing Hitchhiker, but it does contain one humorous personal experience story.

James Kirkup, Modern American Myths: The Folktales of the Young Today in America (Tokyo: New Currents International, 1985), p. 52.

[I am reminded] of an experience I once had in Japan, when I was trying to get rid of a parcel of dirty old clothes. I wrapped them up neatly, and tried to leave the parcel in the Tokyo subway: but just as I was leaving the train, a kind lady ran after me with the parcel, and handed it to me, smiling and bowing: I had to pretend to be grateful. I left it in a coffeeshop, but a waitress came running after me in the street with the parcel. Finally I threw it into Lake Yamanaka, but it was washed up on the shore. The parcel was taken to the local police, who suspected that the clothes must belong to a suicide. So they checked the dry-cleaner's marks on the clothes, and found the cleaning shop where I usually had my clothes dry-cleaned. You can imagine my surprise when the delivery boy from the dry-cleaner's brought me the parcel of clothes one morning -- all freshly washed and cleaned!