Like the big guy said in "The Godfather," "... or maybe "Goodfellas," or "Casino," or some other sidesplitting family comedy in which clever sayings come right before someone gets a bad case of lead poisoning or accidentally falls face-first into a baseball bat 142 times:

I've got a stone in my shoe that needs removing.

Which brings me to the latest in a long line of American corporations that purposely pester me. For nearly a week I've had a jagged rock in my shoe in the form of a non-brown delivery company.

Tick, tick, tick "...

Thankfully I'm not waiting for these guys to deliver me a new heart, or this column wouldn't exist. My package — which, for the record, wasn't an internal organ, or anything illegal in most countries — was supposed to be here last Tuesday. The delivery did arrive, but since we have jobs, no one was home. Well, my wife has a job. I wander into an office every now and then, where they toss me a few bucks to write about Bigfoot and why the government should let me install an anti-aircraft gun in my front yard.

So when no one was home, the driver took the package back, leaving a little tag saying he'd return the next day.

The pressure mounts


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See, my wife really wants this thing. Which means that, unless one of our kids just fell down a well, nothing on Earth is more important.

I arrived home Wednesday to a second tag, but no package, which perplexed me as I thought I checked something on the first tag that meant, essentially, drop the box and nobody gets hurt. Perhaps that was my mistake, even though I haven't made a mistake since 1974.

But just to make sure, I came home around the time the package was delivered the previous day, not knowing it's a rule to deliver packages at least two hours before the recipient comes home early to get it.

I called the delivery company and got an operator who, for all I know, was stationed in France. Or maybe even Europe. No matter. This nice lady laid out my options: Be home at the scheduled delivery time the next day (4:30 p.m.) or schedule a later delivery after 6 p.m. I scheduled the late delivery, but showed up at 4 p.m.,just in case "... and found a ticket saying the package arrived at 2.

I wondered "Does this company use smoke signals to communicate with its drivers?" This is like trying to teach a 2-year-old Japanese when you don't know it to begin with.

So I called again. They SWORE it would come after 6, but we could definitely expect a Saturday delivery if not. At this point I'm saying to myself, "I love the cable guy "... LOVE him."

Saturday morning came with no delivery. Then my wife snapped into action, angrily calling the company to say "We're coming to get it from YOU." I crawled out from where I'd hidden, raised my hand, and volunteered for this dangerous mission, knowing I'd have to go anyway.

Oh, this is where I should probably explain we were actually expecting TWO packages. I fetched the first, then heard the other was already headed for my house.

Great, I thought. As long as my wife has both by today. Otherwise, I might have to take the kids away for a few days, for everyone's safety.

It's now Monday and still no second package. My wife tried tracking it Saturday night and the computer told us it was "in transit." Which means it'll be here in three weeks. I hope when I need an organ transplant, the doctor will use a different delivery method. Or my new heart will end up in some woman in Greenland.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read his blog, "Insert Foot," at www.ibabuzz.com/insertfoot.