It was not what we expected, even though the illustration on the box matched the description on the website, when it finally arrived, from whatever alternative dimension the Post Office route their parcel deliveries though, it was not what we ordered.
Further enquires led us to understand that this in not that an unusual problem. The necessity for the Post Office to use alternative dimensions other than the normal space-time continuum we are generally familiar with does – they say – sometimes lead to some subtle alterations in the constituent matter of the parcels whilst en-route, especially when it comes to the re-entry point into our own dimension. This has something to do with having to use black holes to route their delivery vans through, apparently. According to the mathematical formula currently used by the Post Office to calculate routes, this involves a re-entry point into our dimension somewhere near the edge of the solar system, which means there are some rather tricky gravitational problems to resolve around the orbit of Neptune.
However, the public relations spokesperson at the Post Office did insist that the time savings – especially through using black holes as a form of time machine – and the reduced fuel costs of not having to use the British motorway system of near permanent contra-flow means they can almost always guarantee next-day delivery.
The only draw back – as we discovered – is that you don’t always end up receiving what you ordered. Still, the – still somewhat bewildered – Thompson’s gazelle will be something of a surprise for the mother-in-law on her birthday, we just hope it is a suitable replacement for the boxed set of Catherine Cookson novels we originally ordered.