Last spring, one of my hard drive enclosures died. Not the drive itself, you’ll be happy to hear; just the enclosure. So I took a screwdriver to it, cracked it open, took the drive out and installed it inside my computer.
That’s not the story. The story involves the non-functional aluminum case I was left with, which sat around my apartment for weeks under the detritus, pleading for a purpose in life. One day I opened it up and looked inside. My thoughts turned to heavy-duty shipping containers and I started wondering what I could put in it. Would a DVD fit? Nope, the enclosure was long and narrow. But you know… a VHS tape would fit in there just about perfectly. And thus a weekend-long odyssey began.
Putting a tape in the case and mailing it off to someone was all well and good, but what would I put on the tape? And for what purpose? The more I thought about it, the more I knew the answer. There would be no purpose. It would present itself as a complex puzzle with no solution.
Having decided upon a target recipient for this madness, I set to work. Obviously the most pressing issue would be what to put on the tape. After toiling for hours over YouTube, mixing in footage of my own and a healthy dose of titles, filters and royalty-free music, I had a product that I then dubbed to VHS tape—then back to digital, then back to VHS tape, to make sure the quality was nice and low. This masterwork, entitled I Got the Poops, is embedded below in its entirety:
The VHS tape I then wrapped in a diagram explaining Timecube, which I then wrapped in a protective layer of duct tape to make it extra-difficult to open. A few modifications with a pair of pliers allowed me to seal the whole tape inside the aluminum case, which I then garnished with a hundred or so little pieces of paper with ‘no’ written on them, some little electronic bits and pieces, and post-it notes with strange drawings done in Sharpie. I screwed the case shut, wrapped it in cardboard and taped it up, then mailed it off to Vvinni, who was the only person I could think of who might be psychologically prepared to receive such a package.
This whole thing was an exhilarating experience—and one I plan to repeat in the future. Nothing quite compares to sending someone a cryptic parcel they’re not expecting.
Vvinni is currently plotting his revenge. I’ll let you know what happens—unless his revenge winds up killing me.
Read more about the mail adventures: