April 26

I shrug it off and close the notebook. It’s not worth thinking about now. I pull out the red folder and start looking through some of the files. The contracts that Bert made with his rubes all specify only a dollar amount that the package was worth. They don’t always contain an itemized rundown of the packages’ contents. Sometimes, a packing slip is stapled in the bundle– these have the contents listings. I recognize about half of the stores that made the sales– big ones, like Amazon, Pets.com, and the like, but some smaller ones. A lot of orders came via eBay, too, with printouts of the auction listings. Bet there was some negative feedback sent.
The thing is, though, I can’t quite wrap my head around the stuff that’s being stolen. If it’s being stolen, that is. Each of the cancelled checks have their memo fields filled out, with the contract number written on them and a reason for the claim. Most list “stolen”, but a few are marked “destroyed” or “package incomplete”. About half a dozen of them were claimed for being egregiously late.
There’s no pattern to the stuff that’s being taken. Besides the computers from Alameda, there was a shipment of classic Pez dispensers that went missing in Syracuse; a box of 45′s that never made it to a radio station in Alpharetta, Georgia; three instances of cheese baskets going to Boston disappearing; and, probably the most disturbing, a big box of sex toys and dominatrix gear bound for Salt Lake City that, on arrival, turned out to be two hundred pounds of confetti.

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