Your Happiness Photo

One of Brother Josh’s Christmas presents was a pair of pants. These pants were advertised as being, and I quote, “Fashion Sports Wear” by their manufacturer. That manufacturer is in turn listed as a one V.A. TOR 189 Unco & Boror.

The pants arrived in a pretty standard USPS waterproof shipping baggy, with a return address of Xinhualiu, Jiangxi Xinjian County, Industrail PARK 338100 [sic].

Josh is big, and so the pants had been ordered in what the Chinese unironically refer to as a 5XL, which is evidently a localized measurement. I imagine a man, sitting in a restaurant in Xinjian County, frowning perplexedly at the ripples forming in his water glass. I imagine his confusion deepening, shifting into fear, as the sound of thunderous footsteps reaches his ears. I imagine villagers screaming, fleeing at the sight of Brother Josh, the foreign ice-giant tripping over passenger vans and laying waste to the countryside.

The pants do not fit.

We put off trying to send them back, mostly because nobody could figure out exactly how to do that, until a few days later when the cat pissed all over the packaging and thereby put an end to the endeavor in its infancy.

The pants had come with 3 paragraphs of washing instructions printed in Mandarin on one side, and with a translation on the obverse. Those instructions tell us, for example, to “Charge clothes after heavy rain,” though no charging cable is in evidence, and none of those we have lying around seem to be compatible.

The washing instructions also make reference to “the alkali and niter ingredient,” which is ominous. Alkali and niter ingredients might be fine, but might also be extraordinarily toxic. I am not totally sure what alkali and niter actually are, but I’m pretty sure one of them is in lye.

The pants themselves are totally uninteresting. They are pants, and that’s pretty much all she wrote. But, included in the package were 3 more items of greater interest.

Exhibit A is a slip of paper, which appears to list some kind of contact information. We don’t know that for sure, because it is handwritten in Chinese, but I am reasonably certain there  is at least one phone number.

Exhibit B is a small, telescoping selfie stick, which is no more than 8 inches long when fully extended and so entirely defeats the purpose of its own existence.

Exhibit C is another slip of paper, but this one was typed out, and had Christmas-y decorative watermarks on it. The text of Exhibit C is replicated here.

Dear Friend,

    Thank you for shopping with us. Merry Christmas to you and your families in advance! May the glow of Christmas Candle fill your heart with peace and pleasure and make your New Year bright. Have a love filled Christmas and New Year.

    This selfie Stick is our Christmas gift for you, we hope you could use it to get your happiness photo and share them for your families and friend.

    If you are satisfied with our product and service, could you please give us a feedback and review? We will listen carefully to your feedback and do our best to improve our products quality and customer service.

    Our best regards to you and your  family.

Sales Service

Exhibit C is so quaint, so childlike that it almost sounds sincere. I’ve gotten dozens of similar messages from retailers, albeit generally speaking with proper grammar and in email form – Jiffy Lube, or Comcast, or some other shadowy, faceless corporate monolith, thanking me for my visit and asking me to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. But none of those cold and impersonal missives ever wished Merry Christmas to my families [sic], or implied that I have only one friend.

The message touched me such that I actually tried to leave a review, only to find that the company doesn’t really seem to exist anywhere. I searched Amazon, and the only thing I could find was a jacket purportedly manufactured by Messrs Unco and Boror, but sold by some third party called Wishtime whom I have no particular desire to endorse.

So here’s to you, Sales Service. The holidays are over now, and I am actually having a little bit of difficulty remembering what all I got. But I remember the sad little selfie stick, and the garbled, unintelligible washing instructions, and the fact that they forgot to send the charger for the pants. I remember good wishes brought across the world from foreign places I will never see, filling my heart the the glow of Christmas Candle.

So I don’t know how Brother Josh feels about it, but I’m glad his pants didn’t work out.

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