It appears that I've hit on a new way to garner a response from my absent sons although I can hardly take credit for it since I didn't invent the idea.
It all began last week when a parcel turned up in the post for Son#5. Nothing unusual about that. Parcels often come here and Sons#3-5 are often ordering computer or electronic components online.
I placed the parcel on our hall stand along with all the other mail that needs to be redirected to those sons who are no longer living at home and sent a text message to Son#5.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: Your parcel is here.
Son#5: What parcel?
Me: The one that came in the mail with your name on it.
Son#5: Oh okay. It can't be too important if I don't even know what it is.
Me: It's from China. [It was the only other English word on the parcel apart from his name, phone number, and our address.]
Son#5: Everything comes from China so that doesn't really narrow it down.
Okay. Time to contact Sons#3 and #4 who may have just possibly ordered an item in Son#5's name or used his account.
But their response was the same: they knew nothing about it.
Next step: DH decided to open the parcel hoping that this would shed some light on the mystery. Without undoing all the packaging he was able to determine that it was a computer mouse.
Next morning I sent identical texts off to Sons#3, #4 and #5: It's a mouse.
Son#3 still claimed to known nothing about it and thought it all a bit weird; Son#4 didn't even reply to the text. A short time later, Son#5 (who rarely replies to texts) opened up our electronic conversation once more:
Son#5: Oh okay, that makes sense.
Me: Explain yourself. [Thinking he had suddenly recalled that he had ordered it after all and the mystery could now be solved.]
Son#5: It's for my pet cobra.
Me: Is that a new type of computer? [Wondering if it was possible that I could have produced offspring that speak a foreign language the majority of the time.]
Son#5: No, it's a robot snake that eats robot mice.
Right. At this point I thought it best if I bowed gracefully out of the conversation and said as much. Son#5 agreed that it was probably a good idea.
And so ... the mystery remains. But meanwhile I've heard from three of my sons so it wasn't in vain. And if anyone out there knows who the mouse belongs to, please tell me. We have no use for it ... and no return address since the label is all in Chinese and there's no invoice or company name.