The above cowpoke is Bill Burns - a long-time friend, wild-west reinactor and fellow action figure customer. You can check out Bill's amazing work at Bill's Customs. We met many years ago online and to my surprise, it turned out he lived in the next city down from me. Together we went on many toy-hunting adventures and shared customizing tips and tricks.
Several years ago, I moved down to LA but we still kept in touch. This year, when Bill found out I was sick, unbeknownst to me, he sprang into action. A month or so ago, I received a mysterious instant message from him asking me if I had received a package from him. "Nope." I replied. I had got a lot of packages in the mail lately (the result of a birthday gift-card induced shopping spree) but nothing from him. "OK, maybe in the next few days" Bill typed.
A week passed with nothing showing up. "Did you get it yet?" Bill asked. "No, nothing today." I replied. "It will show up soon, I'm sure."
Two weeks passed. "You should have gotten a package by now." Bill wrote. "According to USPS tracking, it's already been delivered to your house." I hadn't received anything. I was getting a little nervous myself. It's not like USPS to be so late - especially when they said it had already been delivered.
I posted a sign on our mailbox asking if it had been delivered to someone else. I went door-to-door asking if it had been delivered. I asked the mail carrier to see if it wasn't still back at the post office. I went to the post office to have them check to see if a package for me was in the dead letter pile. Nothing. Struck out on all counts.
After giving Bill the bad news, he sent me pictures of what was in the box. Having heard about my illness, he came out of customizing retirement and created a beautiful 10" custom figure of Bedbug complete with hand-made packaging.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I replied.
Have you seen this missing Bedbug?
I was heartbroken. I had always wanted a Bill Burns made custom and here was a Bedbug figure made especially for me, lost somewhere in the mail. I double-checked with the neighbors and post office but nothing. I gave the figure up for lost.
The next few weeks were busy - San Diego Comic Con and a family vacation to the Grand Canyon kept me away from home. This evening when we returned, a package was waiting for me addressed from Bill. I'm sure I don't need to explain my excitement as I opened it and there was Bill's gorgeous Bedbug smiling back at me.
The figure has already been given a place of honor and I will cherish it forever. Thank you Bill Burns for your talent, generosity, and thoughtfulness and thank you USPS for making my life a little more interesting.
Well worth the wait.