Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Indiana Jones fan shows how fandom is done - mails Grail Diary to University of Chicago

File this one under W, for "Whooooamygodthatistotallyfuckingawesome!"

The University of Chicago's Admissions Department took to their Tumblr* this week to post about a mysterious package they received. Far from being a box of human feces or the customary envelope dusted with Anthrax that one would expect a spurned prospective student to send to a University's Admissions office, this one contained a complete replica of Dr. Henry Jones, Sr.'s grail diary.

I thought he sent him the diary from Venice?

The Admissions department was completely confused by the package once a student realized that it was being sent to no less a figure than Indiana "Motherfucking"Jones himself.

Imagine the look on the student's face when he realized that someone, somewhere had apparently sent the Grail Diary from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to Indiana Jones at the University of Chicago... presumably in a bid to set the events from the movie into action in the real world so they could fly off to venice, snog a Nazi, and then ruin a World Heritage Site or two.

At least, that was the going theory until they discovered the truth (which is only marginally less bizarre)...

Eagle-eyed Redditors noted that the Journal and its packaging resembled the highly detailed props of ebayer Ravenbar and many theorized that he must have sent the package over to the University of Chicago. After getting in touch with Ravenbar, who lives in Guam - by the by - he revealed that he had recently lost a package that was being sent to Italy through an unexplained shipping error that occurred in Honolulu (still with me? Good!)

The intended recipient of the Grail Diary - who lives in Italy - purchased the replica from Ravenbar on ebay. In transit, the package was lost and opened in Honolulu, which exposed the inner (prop) packaging complete with Indiana Jones's mailing address. Someone in the USPS facility found the Grail Diary package lying on the floor and decided  to send the package on its way.

It should be noted for those interested in purchasing from Ravenbar that his replicas are so good that the Egyptian postage marks are apparently authentic-looking enough to convince a USPS mail clerk that they're real.

So, there you have it: the strange saga of how The University of Chicago received Indiana Jones Jr.'s mail 60 years too late.  Thankfully, the staff at U of C has a sense of humour about the whole affair and they've given the Journal over to their Oriental Institute because - hey - it belongs in a museum!

*Since when did Universities, or departments within Universities, begin using Tumblr?