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Eric Ladd
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Joined: 16 August 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 4310
Posted: 02 October 2016 at 9:02am | IP Logged | 1  

So this was from me as a birthday present. JB's birthday is close to my wife's and I got one for her. I have talked with others about how hard it might be to find a unique gift for JB and thought this would be interesting. I guess that backfired and lesson learned. The Mysterious Package company is a Canadian company that sends mysteries through the mail much like loot crate or other mail order gift companies. But their mailings are more interactive and thought provoking than simply a box full of similarly themed toys. Videos on YouTube show what people typically receive. I get their quarterly mailing with knick knacks and a year long mystery to follow and solve online with the member community.

I hope my conduct on the JBF and in person count for the intended spirit of the gift and no ill will is taken permanently. I had the best intentions. I would say more, but my daughter is celebrating her 10th birthday and I have much to do for preparation. Again, this was a gift with good intentions that due to it's nature backfired.
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William Roberge
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Joined: 05 July 2006
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 2  

Privacy and trust violated for what, a joke?

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Bill Collins
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 11040
Posted: 02 October 2016 at 9:07am | IP Logged | 3  

As i read J.B.`s post i was expecting it to be some kind of scam,but to find it was some bizarre invasion of privacy by a member,who you`d actually invited into your home is even worse.WTF were they thinking?
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 9:07am | IP Logged | 4  

This thread serves as a heads-up for anyone else who might suddenly start receiving odd mailings from non-existent companies. I do wonder where the "mystery" in all this lies. If you know about such companies, which we on this thread all do, you could simply wait for that final letter to find out who's out to screw with your peace of mind. If you don't know about them, the eventual "surprise" answer isn't worth the time or trouble (& expense?) undertaken on everyone's part. Aside from causing momentary confusion, what's the point of this?

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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 5  

This is appalling. 

There are companies that do this - but not in a sinister way. I've heard of companies that YOU SIGN UP TO and they will send you mystery chocolate or gifts. The difference is, YOU KNOW ABOUT IT and YOU SIGN UP FOR IT. The whole point is CONSENT. I'd love a mystery box of magazines or a mystery beer sent to me every month - but through choice not some random packages that I didn't know about.

This would have caused me great stress had I been the recipient. It would have freaked me out. 

Without wishing to sound sycophantic, I am sure I speak to others, Mr Byrne, when I say that we are happy that you give us a forum to interact on. This is the sort of thing where I would have understood if you'd closed the forum down (extremely disappointing though that would be). Thankfully, you have not, but behaviour like this might lead some professionals to close down their sites/forums - and cancel, say, convention appearances.

Bad, bad idea. Especially in this era of stalkers. It doesn't matter what it is, I would be freaked out at anything. I like superhero comics, but if mystery packages of comics were arriving with notes like the ones described, I'd be thinking about invasion of privacy.

Bad move. And sorry, but common sense should have prevailed. I wouldn't do this to ANYONE. So many bad things about this. I'd at least tell someone. My stepfather likes whisky and if such a thing existed as far as mystery whisky packages were concerned, I'd tell him. I don't see how anyone couldn't see how this would cause some anxiety.
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 9:57am | IP Logged | 6  

There are companies that do this - but not in a sinister way. I've heard of companies that YOU SIGN UP TO and they will send you mystery chocolate or gifts. The difference is, YOU KNOW ABOUT IT and YOU SIGN UP FOR IT. The whole point is CONSENT. I'd love a mystery box of magazines or a mystery beer sent to me every month - but through choice not some random packages that I didn't know about.

••

When I told Walt Simonson about this, he related it to a situation in his own life, when a few years back he and Weezi received a box of cheeses in the mail. Walt wanted nothing to do with them, but Weezi tried them and no harm came from the experience. The next month, another mystery package arrived, with different content (chocolates) this time. This continued for several months, until finally Walt discovered these were gifts from a young couple he and Weezi had helped out. Thing is, there was supposed to have been a card in the first package telling them this. That card was missing.

Even when "best intentions" are NOT meant as a "joke" or an "adventure," things can still go wrong. Eric, since you have outed yourself -- I chose deliberately not to mention your name -- I will take your lead and say that I do not see how I can ever possibly forgive such a violation of trust.

I am going to be angry about this for a long time.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 10:17am | IP Logged | 7  

Given the letter to Mr Simonson and his partner, it reminds me of how fucked up these concepts are. They ONLY work, I think, if you tell someone about them (verbally). If I was going to do that - i.e. alcohol - for my stepfather, I wouldn't trust paperwork, only conveying it verbally.

It does make me wonder if there are similar anecdotes and reasons why some celebrities and creators don't interact with fans. I had heard an actor (Dwight Schultz) doesn't appear in public now. Perhaps that could be to do with similar behaviour.

And in the end, not only does it make the recipient anxious, but it ruins it for the rest of us. There's always a chance, not just with our host, that a creator could agree to meet a forum member for lunch or even into their home. Which is a nice thought. Now, though, when trust is violated, I fully understand any creator or celebrity who would decline that.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 02 October 2016 at 10:18am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 10:18am | IP Logged | 8  

…Mr Simonson and his partner…

••

Wife.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 10:19am | IP Logged | 9  

Of course! :)
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Steve Bryant
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Joined: 11 October 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 60
Posted: 02 October 2016 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 10  

A friend of mine received an experience from the Mysterious Package Company a while back and I thought it was a wonderful thing. 

So much, in fact, that I'm planning to use the Tempus Fugit experience when I propose to my girlfriend.

I've already brought her mother in on the secret and she'll confirm the details of the letters as they're delivered—the experience involves a distant relative, so having someone on the inside seems necessary to me. 
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Brian Floyd
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Joined: 07 July 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 7508
Posted: 02 October 2016 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 11  

Not quite the same thing, but....

About 15 years ago - give or take a couple of years - I played one of those play by mail games, where you send in a card with the actions you want to take in the game and they send back results along with another card for the next round. The people running the game also sent each player contact information for other players so that they could share information about the game. (Share knowledge they'd gleaned and information on inworld subjects) Another player contacted me and we wrote back and forth sharing information. (As in actual mail, not e-mail) I came to find out after a couple of months that this other player was in prison! I never did find out what he was in for, but I was not thrilled that someone locked up in prison now had my real world address.

I kept corresponding with him about the game for a while, but eventually stopped getting letters from him. Which is good, because I quit the game a couple months after. Wasn't worth paying to keep playing, since I wasn't really getting anywhere with it.


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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 02 October 2016 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 12  

I get that this isn't for everyone.  But I must admit, I am part of the reason things like this exist.  I love the immersive riddles and clues and mysteries.  When I was a kid, a sit-com episode (Different Strokes, maybe?) had the cast going to a staged murder-mystery night, only to have a "real" murder occur that turned out to have been staged all the time when the cast figured it out.  I was hooked to the concept at that point and wanted to be in one somehow ever since. Now, after reading, I get why/how someone might find this offensive.  But I can just as easily see where something like this could be done and how someone would have thought it harmless and fun. I admit to being interested in this and thinking (very carefully) who might enjoy something like this.  I'm thinking maybe the 15 year old, since he is in the house and I can watch it unfold?  But bummer that things turned out how they did in this case where relations are now strained. 
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