921: Delivery Notification

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Delivery Notification
You can arrange a pickup of your sword in Rivendell between the hours of noon and 7:00 PM.
Title text: You can arrange a pickup of your sword in Rivendell between the hours of noon and 7:00 PM.


In the US, when the package delivery company UPS (or other package delivery companies) knocks on your door or rings your doorbell and cannot reach you, they leave a delivery attempt notification stuck to your door. These may be for packages that require a signature, such as expensive electronics. An example is shown in the first panel.

This comic hints that the threshold for the UPS delivery person to leave such a notice is unreasonably low. The delivery personnel made only a token effort to deliver the package (which, incidentally, is their only actual job) before posting the yellow delivery notification and unconcernedly driving away to their next delivery (or, more likely, their next yellow-delivery-notification-posting).

After missing the delivery, Cueball (who is directly referencing The Lord of the Rings) asks the Elves to reforge his sword in order to go on a quest to retrieve his new laptop. In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn (accepting his role as the heir to the king of the West) had the sword of Elendil, called Narsil, reforged (which symbolizes the reuniting of the race of man under one leader). Cueball obviously views the UPS building as a dangerous and impenetrable fortress, and possession of such a sword is the only way to guarantee success in his quest.

Ironically, when the Elves come to deliver the new sword, the delivery elf is unable to notify anyone in the house, and simply leaves another delivery notification.

In the title text, Rivendell is one of the home of the Elves, where the broken shards of Narsil resided, with Elrond and his elves. Unfortunately for Cueball, the sorting depot of Rivendell has the same, limited opening hours as the UPS. It is apparent that Cueball will not be getting his laptop in time for his flight.


[The first panel is a UPS InfoNotice®. Most of the text on it is just scribbles, though the company logo and header is clear.]
[Cueball opens their door to see the InfoNotice® stuck on his door.]
Cueball: What! I've been here all day!
Cueball 2 (off-screen): Huh?
Cueball: They have my laptop.
[Cueball and Cueball 2 are standing next to each other. Cueball has his arms to his sides, in annoyance.]
Cueball 2: So get it tomorrow.
Cueball: I fly out in the morning and they don't open till noon!
Cueball 2: Sucks.
[Cueball stands, working on a laptop.]
Cueball: It's right there. I can see the UPS building on the map.
Cueball 2 (off-screen): Ok...
[Dramatic zoom to the Cueball's upper torso and face, along with clenched fist.]
Cueball: My laptop is there.
Cueball: It's mine.
Cueball: I'm going to get it.
[Even more dramatic zoom! Cueball's face fills the panel.]
Cueball 2 (off-screen): They won't let you.
Cueball: Who are they to keep from me what is mine?
Cueball 2 (off-screen): Dude, they—
[Zoomed out on Cueball, who spins around, raising a finger.]
Cueball: A quest is at hand!
Cueball 2(off-screen): Security's gonna throw you out.
Cueball: I fear neither death nor pain. But I will not go unarmed.
[Three inset panels overlap, in a montage format.]
[Elves in long robes stand around a table, on which lies a broken sword.]
Light the beacons and send word to the Elves.
They must reforge the sword of my fathers.
[An Elf beats the sword together on an anvil.]
[An Elf rides a horse, silhouetted by the full moon.]
Ere dawn, I will go forth to the Sorting Depot.
[The Elf knocks at the door, sword in scabbard held under arm.]
Knock knock knock knock
[Cueball opens the door, to find a second InfoNotice® stuck on top of the first. The Elf is gone.]

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They sometimes don't even knock... I was in the living room, less than ten feet from the front door, when I got a notification in my email that the delivery had failed, while I was sitting there less than ten minutes before. Opened the door and just like Cueball... 'Brown' is a good name for them. -- 02:39, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

When it becomes part of the culture then it is entirely due to the way management is mishandling their service.

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk)

I like how in the explanation, it says that deliverymen only make a Token effort to deliver a package. That is a lot like Tolkien, who wrote Lord of the Rings. What a pun! 19:21, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

This gets more funny if you know that in the books Aragorn carries Narsil/Andúril at all times: he has the shards of Narsil with him when he first shows up, and the sword is reforged while the Fellowship is in Rivendell, with him carrying it along when they leave. While in the movies, Narsil apparently hadn't left Rivendell in a long time (note its appearance in The Hobbit), and it's only reforged at the request of Arwen well after Aragorn has left, with Elrond riding to Rohan to deliver it. 16:55, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

And that is one of the many reasons why I will never watch the movies, I love LOTR too much to spoil it! -- The Cat Lady (talk) 13:34, 22 August 2021 (UTC)