Triple Secret Santa

I play Dungeons & Dragons with friends on the internet. I know you’re shocked at how geeky I am. For those that are interested, we use Roll20 and we like it OK. We get together once or twice a week and have a silly fun time. I’ve been doing this off an on for about 4 years, now. Back in 2020 it was really great to have these regular social events.

Toward the middle of 2020 we formed a new group. And at the start of every single session we had audio problems. Someone was too quiet, someone was echoing; everyone knows how that is, now.

So for Christmas I decided to get everyone a headphone/mic combo. Because that solve the problems – if you have headphones, you can hear everything and the mic mostly picks up just what you’re saying. Certainly it doesn’t loop what other folks are saying. And I decided to give them out secretly. Each pair was addressed to the character in game, so folks had some idea. I had most everyone’s address – except one person – whose address I got from another player.

Everyone got theirs except that one person. Then I received a delivery confirmation message *with a picture* of the box on the porch. Still nothing. So I asked the player if that was his address and if those shoes (that were on the porch in the picture) were his. Nope – he had not lived there for nearly a decade. He now lived about 2-3 miles away.

Who had the headphones? All I had was a delivery address in Texas. I tried a few reverse address lookups and they mostly agreed who the home belonged to – a woman with an unusual name. That’s lucky – unique/unusual names are usually pretty easy to look up on the internet. For example, there are about 3 “Kurt Werle”s on the internet.

This woman had an extremely low internet profile, however. The only reference to her that I could find was nearly a decade old – from a newspaper – and it was associated with a gym. I looked up the gym and it seemed to have changed hands. But I decided to give it a shot – so I sent email to the gym’s contact email address and asked if I could get in touch with this lady about a package I’d accidentally sent her.

The email was forwarded to her and she responded and asked what was in the box. Headphones. So I explained the whole thing and told her that if her household had any used for the headphones then they should go ahead and keep them as an early Christmas present – otherwise if they could get it to my friend, that’d be great.

It turns out her younger son was now using them for remote schooling and they were a big hit. So I bought another pair for the player that had moved.

And that’s how I bought a pair of headphones for some kid in Texas.