The mystery of the missing ham

I was late shipping out our Christmas gifts for our family at home.  Consequently, everything arrived after Christmas (bummer) and the final package just arrived a few days ago.

To my Dad’s house, we shipped a lot of food items — cookies, chocolate, jams, mustards, candy . . . and a hunk of ham.  (Plus a toy for Margaret.)

I wrapped all of the gifts, bubble wrapped the fragile items and packaged them all up into two shipping boxes for their trip the US.  I packed everything.  I know I did.  I had a list.  (I always have a list.)

But, last week, when the package arrived, the ham was absent.  Not there.  Missing.

I don’t know what happened.  The box didn’t seem particularly damaged, and it didn’t look to have been opened and resealed.  There weren’t any notices or markings on it.  It only took a few days longer to arrive than the other box we sent (not outside of typical for mailing to the States).  Did Customs take it?  (You see, I had read that vacuum-sealed, cured meat was ok to send from Europe to the US — although I’ve since done more detailed research and discovered that it isn’t.)  It’s possible — probably even likely — but I imagine there would be some kind of notice or paperwork along with that.  Was the box more damaged than it appeared, and maybe it fell out?  (Seems unlikely.)  Did someone steal it?  (It was a nice piece of ham, but not so nice that I image anyone went after it.)  Or maybe, in a holiday-induced bit of distraction, I failed to pack it and accidentally stuck it in a drawer or something?  (In that case, I imagine we’ll figure it out very, very soon.)

My best guess is that it was found and confiscated by Customs or the Postal Service or whoever is in charge of confiscating ham from packages mailed to the US.  (Which, honestly, is fine, because if I’d known I wasn’t supposed to send it, I wouldn’t have.)  But, I wonder — is this normal?  Something is sent through the mail that shouldn’t be, and someone opens the package and takes it, without any kind of notice?  That seems really strange to me.  But, if not that, then what did happen?  So far, it’s a mystery.

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