Like everyone else, I've seen the videos of so-called porch pirates making the rounds.
The lady making off with a couple big boxes only to have them turn out to be cat litter.
The people who send their little girl up to the porch to pilfer a parcel.
The clown who makes off with the flat-screen TV and then slips and falls with it before he can get to the getaway car.
Heck, there's even a video of a dog running up to a porch and making off with a package.
Which is why I was so surprised to find a cardboard box on my front porch on a soggy Saturday morning. Since it was tucked in behind my wildly untrimmed bushes, lord knows how long it sat out in the rain.
I stopped the car and dodged raindrops to grab the soggy mess, figuring one of my daughters, who live hours away in two different directions, must have sent me a Christmas present despite my instructions not to ... or perhaps a secret admirer had sent me something special.
Then I noticed the label. The name and address didn't match up. It was my address all right, but it wasn't my name. Kind of like the time that chess set from Santa ended up with my sister's name on the tag.
So it was quite the quandary. Do I open it and see if it really is for me. Do I call the girls? Do I call FedEx?
I called my girls, and just as I'd instructed, they weren't sending me anything for Christmas. Not even a lump of coal.
So I was forced to put my Columbo skills to work. Somewhere in the Buckle.com shipping department did somebody pick the name off one line and the address off another? Not likely since I hadn't ordered anything from Buckle.com.
And since it was Saturday afternoon, I decided against bringing FedEx into the equation since calling it probably wasn't going to lead anywhere other than involving me somehow in returning a package I didn't want or order to its sender.
So I left the soggy cardboard box in the car overnight. But as I watched some basketball and messed with my phone, curiosity got the best of me.
I googled the name of the apparent intended recipient, James Toomer.
First I found John Toomer, New Zealand artist. Next up popped John Toomer, director of intelligence, information and cyber systems within the Intelligence and Missile Defense Space and Security Group. And then John Toomer, American poet and novelist.
Finally, a couple screens down, I spied James M. Toomer, 621 Highwood Ave., Greencastle, Ind. Google was kind enough to tell me he used to live in Salt Lake City but all I really need to know is that my 612 address is the result of his being transposed.
So I drive over to his house on the corner and ring the bell, wanting for all the world to say, "I am not a Toomer."
He answers the door. I hold up the box and point at the label.
"This you?" I ask.
"That's my address," he smiles and says.
"No, it's my address," I laugh.
"Oh, yeah," he says, spying those transposed digits, "the numbers are switched."
Soon I'm apologizing for the box being soggy and he's telling me it's probably just a new pair of jeans.
So another case solved from 612 Highwood, and I'm headed off to new adventures.
But hey, you porch pirates. You'd better watch out.