[Gifted] Sometimes the Universe just wants you to do something.

This self-post was originally posted to /r/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

by an author

tl;dr: First time here, clicked Wishlist Search, and it suggested the person whose song I was listening to at the time. Spooky as hell.

So here’s what happened to me today. Feeling unwell – bit of a cold and grumpy about it – and sipping a Lemsip to try to stave off the worst of the sore throat, I found myself stalking a few people on Reddit, discovering new subreddits based on what they’ve commented in etc., and I discover /r/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon.

I put on some music while I surf – just a selection of MP3s that I’ve bought recently. The song that’s just come on is Peter Hollens’ and Malukah’s awesome cover of Christopher Tin’s Baba Yetu (better known as the “Civ IV theme”). If you haven’t heard their cover of it yet, here it is on YouTube.

“Random Acts of Amazon?” I think to myself, “What’s that all about then?” I read a little bit of the newbie guide, then try clicking on the “Random Wishlist” button, just to see who it picks out for me and what kinds of things they want. It picks out a random user… /u/peterhollens.

Wait, what? That’s got to just be a naming coincidence, right? That can’t be the same Peter Hollens whose song literally just started coming out of my MP3 player right now, can it? I hop across to his intro thread and read some of his other posts. “What the fuck,” I say out loud, “Is this random wishlist tool psychic or something?”

But no, it just turns out that on the one and only time I’ve ever been to this sub, and the one and only time I’ve ever clicked Random Wishlist, it happened to choose the person whose song I was literally just listening to at that time. That’s insane.

So here’s a gift, Peter. Clearly the Universe wants me to send this to you. I don’t believe in destiny, but clearly it believes in you and I.

A New Keyboard

I already own the best mouse in the world. Maybe it’s time for a new keyboard, too.

An unexpected parcel.
What a large package! I wasn't expecting that!

A few weeks ago, Adam blogged about his trip to London last year, and mentioned that, after trips out to Soho’s “G-A-Y” nightclub when he was younger, he’d often surprise himself the following morning to wake up in some quite distant travel zones of London. My favourite bit was when he mentioned that, on one ocassion, he’d…

…somehow managed to whore my way beyond the reach of the Underground.

Adam

I replied with a comment, stating, among other things:

You owe me a fresh herbal tea. Also a new keyboard, which might never recover from the nasal spraying of herbal tea that it’s just been exposed to.

Dan

(it’s not a particularly original comment, I know: Jimmy said something similar in a comment on this very blog, about four years ago)

A gift note from Mr. A Westwood: Hi Dan, As requested, one replacement keyboard. I do hope that it's a suitable replacement and that nobody's got their wires crossed. Happy tapping! Adam xx
This note went a little way to explaining the parcel.

In any case: the week before last I received a pair of unexpected parcels. I opened the first, an Amazon box, and pulled out a note. It was from Adam, and stated that the contents were “a replacement keyboard”, assuming that “nobody’s got their wires crossed.”

The 'keyboard' that Adam had sent.
Adam's instrument. You need to wrap your lips around the tube and give it a good blow, while you finger the other end.

A musical keyboard: this one’s powered by air (I’d have never guessed that Stagg would have made such a thing!). The musician blows into a tube while they play the notes in order to elicit a tune. It doesn’t sound bad, actually, although I do feel that it could do with a MIDI port. And an air-driven dynamo to power that port. And then a battery-powered pump so that you don’t need to blow it at all.

The second parcel continued the theme:

Several boxes of fruit and herbal teas.
Hot and fruity: just the way I like them.

A selection of herbal and fruit teas, from Asda’s Morrisons’ range. There was no note in this parcel, but it was pretty clear by now who the sender must be. I’d have been ever so confused if I’d have opened the second parcel one first.

So thank you, Adam, you crazy old fool, for making me laugh out loud yet again. I shall have to compose a song in your honour: and given the amount of air intake that’s needed to keep the keyboard playing, I shall call it, The Big Puff Song.

Last year I bought a ton of Left 4 Dead 2 copies…

This self-post was originally posted to /r/playitforward. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

…for several of my friends. They all got redeemed, apart from one. I keep reminding the guy, but he never gets around to redeeming it, so I reckon he doesn’t want it.

So: if you want it, it’s yours. Just PM me your Steam username.

Gone! To Swiisha.