A New Kind of Movement: I received poop in the mail

When people pick up their mail, they would probably describe most of it as crap. In my case, this was literally and indisputably true.

Photo by Alex Perz on Unsplash

Like most people, I’m not the best at checking my mail. Back in the day when Netflix meant DVDs sent to your home, my mailman found me impatiently waiting every day for my next fix.

After running errands on a typical Saturday, I got my mail and headed to my apartment. Sorting through everything, I found mostly junk mail and two small packages. One package I ordered from Amazon and one I most certainly did not.

The package I did not order came in a plain white envelope with my name (spelled correctly) and a return address of “AS Enterprises” in Pennsylvania. At this point, I’m not suspicious. It could be a late Christmas gift, a Kickstarter reward, or something from a back-order. The only tip-off that something wasn’t quite right was the weight of the bag. The package had some heft to it but seemed malleable.

I open the envelope and remove a sandwich bag filled with waste and a note, “You have been pooped on. Want to know by whom???? (Turn over).”

Photo by Kathy A. Bugajsky

What the hell? The contents don’t look fake and thankfully doesn’t seem human. It’s definitely real poop. I flip the bag over and then realize they want me to turn over the note inside to reveal the sender’s name. I try to maneuver the manure without opening the bag, but the paper has seeped into the waste making the words unreadable. The only word I can read is “…com.”

After washing my hands, I type “AS Enterprises poop” into Google. The website of “PoopSenders.com” pops right up. The website states “The Ultimate Gag Gift. Sweet Revenge at its Finest. Guaranteed Anonymous.” Poop Senders offers three types to choose from: Cow Dung, Elephant Crap, or Gorilla Poop. Each more expensive than the next. Ah, capitalism at its finest. Scrolling down the page, I see what the back of the card supposedly stated, “We’ll never tell. PoopSenders.com.”

My next course of action was admittedly dumb on my part. I immediately threw everything in the garbage and took the half empty kitchen trash bag to the dumpster. I didn’t think it through and just reacted. I realized later that the envelope might have more clues and I probably should document everything.

So now, it’s dark out. Using blue dishwashing gloves and a broom, I fish out my trash bag from the container. On the one hand, the dumpster had been newly emptied, so there were only four bags in there. On the other hand, the bags were at the very bottom of the bin, and the broom barely reached. I was not climbing in there. I’ve seen too many movies to know how that ends. After several attempts, I was successful (if you can even call it that at the point).

The envelope had two critical pieces of information that made my dumpster dive worth it.

Photo by Kathy A. Bugajsky

First, the address did not have my apartment number listed. I live in a big complex, so that provided a bit of a comfort. My neighbors were ruled out since they would know the importance of listing the apartment number.

Second, through the tracking number, I saw the post office began tracking the package on January 4th. The person probably placed the order on the 2nd or 3rd. It then occurred to me that this was someone’s new year’s resolution. They wanted to start their year off by sending me anonymous poop and spending more than they would on an average secret Santa gift.

The only other piece of information I must consider is the minimum amount of money spent. According to the website, the cheapest item would be the quart of cow dung ($17.95) plus shipping and handling ($9.95). The site doesn’t mention tax, but we will round up the $27.90 to an even $30 just to be safe. I can’t tell which of the three types of poop I received so it could be as high as $32. Now, if my sender paid for a gallon even though I only received a quart, the price ranges from $40 to $42.

While I have friends and family that might find sending excrement through the mail funny, none of them would spend that kind of money on this kind of joke. Plus, the holidays tend to drain the pocketbook so throwing around $30 to $42 seems extreme.

Photo by Max Pixel

The twist to this whole situation is… I have no idea who could have sent this to me. I’m a genuinely nice person. I send handwritten thank you notes. I am a Big Sister in the MentorU program. I put my shopping cart back. I donate platelets. I give up my seat on the train as needed. I don’t talk during movies and keep my phone off. My Instagram feed has literal rainbows in it. The whole situation makes zero sense.

I’ve had no angry exchanges with family, friends, co-workers, or strangers. I work with graphic designers and accountants. The graphic designers would have designed their own creative packaging, and the accountants wouldn’t have been able to justify the cost. Plus, I coordinate these two groups, and no one wants my job.

I reached out to the vast majority of people in my life to let them know. No one has come forward to say they were responsible either as a joke or because they were mad. In case the poop was intended as a threat, I reported the situation to the police and received an incident number. The extremely helpful police officer said if it happens again, he will happily find out who is behind this and take the case of the mystery poop (his words).

All I can do now is address the sender publicly since I cannot do so personally.

Dear Sender,
I received your package. You should know that you got screwed by the website you used.
First, you needed to choose between sending a quart or a gallon. As you can see below, I received a regular sandwich bag, and even that wasn’t filled to capacity. If you paid for a gallon, you really got screwed.
Photo by Kathy A. Bugajsky
Second, there’s no way to tell which kind of poop I received. For all I know, you might have paid for the gorilla poop, but they sent me the cow dung. The packaging really left something to be desired in that respect. As the receiver, it would have been nice to know which type. Instead, I’m left guessing.
Third, the shipping was only $3.75. You were charged $9.95. A high mark-up in my opinion. The company probably saved money by not sending the full amount of poop you ordered.
The whole setup seems to be a bit sketchy because you have no way to know what was actually sent and received without giving up your anonymity. Well, I wanted you to know I have your back. If you’re going to go after them, let me know. I can provide testimony to help you in your case.
If the PoopSenders.com reads this, feel free to let me know all the details of the order. If you need to provide a refund and can’t reach the sender, I am happy to accept on their behalf.
Thank you and let me know!