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Mystery wrapped inside an enigma: the Kampanaphobes

November 17, 2020

I think I have discovered a new religion.

I don’t mean I’ve received a visitation from an angel: I’ve always been spared that sort of thing for which I hope I’m duly grateful. If I ever am commanded by a divine messanger to write down a revelation I’ll post it here you may be sure.

I mean I found a phenomenon that can only be explained by some people having strange religious beliefs and practices that I am not familiar with.

I was just sitting down yesterday evening to play me Monday night game which is currently on-line as all my games are. I flicked through my e-mail queue to find the link to Zoom and noticed that the top message said that a parcel I had been expecting had been delivered ‘to a safe place’ because I hadn’t been in and a card had been posted.

No card by the door. No sign that anyone had tried to contact me in the hours they had said the parcel would be delivered. So I apologised to my players, got up and grabbed the keys, my walking stick and an umbrella and prepared to go out to search the environs of the block for where it had been left. It was pouring with rain outside and I was working myself up into a fine rant.

And I open my front door and it’s there in the corridor right in front of me. Plain as a pikestaff or rather as a cardboard box, which is probably even plainer than a pikestaff.

Now it hadn’t been there when I returned from my shopping at three-thirty. And (this is the mysterious bit) I hadn’t heard any sign of a bell ringing or a door being knocked on.

Why not? It wouldn’t have taken any longer to put the thing down and ring the bell. That’s what happened today when I got another parcel.

The only logical explanation I can come up with is: religion. There must be a religion in the world which regards knocking on doors or ringing doorbells as unclean.

I would love to know their doctrines that have led them to such a conclusion. I don’t recall any divine ordinance that applies, not even in Leviticus and they forbid everything under the sun in Leviticus. Does the prohibition apply only to certain times of the day? Or only certain days of the week?

And why do so many members of this cult end up in the delivery trade.

There’s a PhD in Anthropology or maybe Theology for the person who finds out.

According to the Phobia Wiki (and you thought I had too much time on my hands) Kampanaphobia is the unreasoning fear of bells. Do the cult members all have it? Or do they think all their customers do?

  1. On one occasion I was waiting by the front door for a delivery (book contract that had to be signed and returned before I’d get paid), and heard the DHL driver very quietly putting the “sorry you were out” card through the door. I opened the door. He fled. I chased him down the road; if he hadn’t had to stop to unlock his van he might have got away. As I understand it, their approach in those days was to give each driver a vanload to deliver (or attempt to), and as soon as they’d finished they got the rest of the shift off – with no penalty for lots of “failed deliveries”.

    Perhaps the delivery driver feels he can save half a second by not ringing the bell, and over 1,000 deliveries that adds up?

    • They came around the next day and that driver got on the blower when he couldn’t find the place. He didn’t just panic and drive away. It turns out that Sat-Nav makes the London Road start about where the courts are and not after my block of flats on the North Side. I’m going to call the next post Kampanophobes in the Lost City.

      • If I put your postcode into CODEPO (a freely available lookup table of all postcodes in England, Wales and Scotland, though not NI) I get a marker right on your building. Ditto in OpenStreetMap, of course. There is no reason other than laziness why any writer of satnav systems should be unable to do the same. Even Google’s lookup for it, my baseline for the most ghastly map that people still use (because it’s calibrated to the expectations of Americans, who don’t have an Ordnance Survey to set a standard), is in the right general area.

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