What do a fossil, a model ship, and a Spitfire have in common?

As someone steeped in the world of work, I find it interesting to talk to people about their jobs. I was at a UPS Store recently and had a chance to chat with the customer service person who was helping us. After spotting a UPS poster ad saying they could ship pianos and oddly-shaped pieces of furniture, I asked the young man what were the most unusual things that he has prepared for shipping.

Three of his examples jumped out at me. The first was a genuine fossil containing imprints of ancient sea animals. Long and thin, it had to be painstakingly wrapped and double-packaged to ensure that it would arrive safely. Requiring similar care was a collectible model ship with 100 tiny oars. (After all, if one oar breaks, then that’s it for the model, right?)

But what caused me to do a double take was when he casually mentioned “a Spitfire.” I’m thinking, he can’t mean a British Spitfire, the legendary type of fighter plane of World War II fame, can he??? But yep, that’s what he meant!

As a history geek, I was enthralled. The Spitfire, you see, is an historic symbol of Britain’s stiff upper lip, the plane primarily responsible for defending their cities against relentless Nazi bombing raids in 1940. The Spitfire and the Battle of Britain practically go hand-in-hand in the annals of British and World War II history.

Umm, how do you actually ship a Spitfire?, I had to ask. It’s easy, said the young man. You simply detach the wings and crate it all up.

Consider yourself briefed on how to send a famous WWII airplane to any friend or family member. I’d be happy to take one off of your hands if I could think of where to park it in Boston.

You could always just ship it (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

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