Every year around the holidays things get a little crazy on the home front. Gift shopping, holiday baking, tree decorating, stringing up lights, family visits and, the cherry on top, my birthday (which coincidentally is today). However, this year things have taken a turn for the criminal.
It all began with an elementary school science project . . .
A few weeks ago I was home visiting my parents when a friend of the family called our house in a panic. Her eight-year-old daughter desperately needed snails for a science fair project due the next week. They found a place to order them on-line, only the company (heretofore known as Snails-R-Us) only ships to two states – Texas and New Mexico. They live in Louisiana. Fortunately for them, we lives in Houston.
Happy to help, we agreed that she could have the snails shipped to our house . . . however, we still faced the challenge of getting them to her in Louisiana. Shipping them was out. To attempt that would be
mail snail fraud. So instead we hatched a plan to meet at the Texas/Louisiana border for the exchange.
Of course, these sorts of endeavors rarely run smoothly. First, Snails-R-Us cancelled the order because it was made with a Louisiana credit card. My mom then had to re-order the snails and pay an extra fee for express delivery in order to get them in time. Then the snails got lost somewhere between the snail farm and our house, resulting in several hours of phone calls, endless frustration, and a high stakes game of Marco-Polo via walkie talkies.
Stupid snail mail.
But finally – FINALLY – we received the wayward snails and sped our way to the drop point. Thus began our new careers as illicit snail dealers.
Unfortunately, the insanity didn’t end there. A few days after the snail incident, my mom and I were sitting in the kitchen when our good friend and neighbor came knocking at the door. She was trying to send out Christmas cards to her nieces and nephews and wanted to slip twenty dollars into each one. Only, because they were Christmas presents, she didn’t want any wrinkled twenty dollar bills; she insisted that each one had to be perfect. Since everything we in our wallets looked like vending machine rejects, the three of us headed to the bank where we annoyed numerous customers lined up behind us as three different bank tellers dug around for the crispest twenties they could find. Sadly, they came up a few short (my neighbor apparently has an OVERABUNDANCE of nieces and nephews).
However, as we drove home my resourceful mother got an idea. She hauled out our iron and got to work on the remaining wrinkled bills. And in case you’re wondering, yes, you absolutely CAN iron United States currency. It took about forty-five minutes, but by the time we were done, we had a nice stack of freshly pressed twenty dollar bills. So how did we spend our Friday afternoon?
Money laundering . . .
That’s right. We deal snails. We launder money. What can I say, we’re rebels. Never a dull moment in the Hennessy household. Happy wacky holidays!