Peek-a-Boo – that awkward moment when…

This is still one of the funniest things that has happened to me in Austria. Caution: this story contains sexually explicit material and graphic images. If you think this might offend you, best skip it.

peek a book surpriseLet’s set the scene. It was shortly after my birthday in 2014, my first year in Austria. I was expecting a present from my brother. He had told me, in fact, exactly what was coming… or so I thought.

A box arrived. There was no return name or address but the reference mobile number was Aussie – so I ripped it open. Inside, I found a set of high quality headphones. I was puzzled.  Not only had I never disclosed any desire for headphones, they didn’t look cheap. They weren’t the kind of thing you buy someone because maybe she’ll like them.

Then I noticed there was a second item in the box… something covered in black, plastic wrap…

Aha… I thought. This must be the real present.

So I opened it… and I found… this:

peek a book surprise

Classic, I thought, almost wetting myself with laughter. It must be from my friend, not my brother. My friend who is, by the way, partial to sending practical joke presents.

But suddenly I stopped laughing. Because it wasn’t a ‘cheap’ sex toy. It was serious. Also, it was for men. I couldn’t have made use of it even if I’d wanted to.

So I messaged my friend, with some trepidation: Did you send me an ass?

To which she replied in the affirmative: Yes

I was somewhat relieved. But also confused. Headphones? Why? So I pressed her for details. And she finally admitted she had no idea I was talking about.

Puzzled, I was.

The mobile number on the package was not hers, so she was telling the truth. I’m ashamed to say that a small nodule of fear started growing in my belly. Thomas… my loving Austrian boyfriend… the guy I’d moved across the other side of the world to be with… was a regular online purchaser. How well did I really know him? Maybe… just maybe he’d bought it for himself and I had inadvertently opened something extraordinarily private.


So I wrote a carefully constructed message asking him if he’d ordered anything online recently. He hadn’t. Which was good. But it didn’t solve the mystery.

And then I thought again of my brother. And I checked the mobile number on the box with his – match! And then I got really weirded out. Because there were two possibilities and I wasn’t liking either one of them:

  1. My brother bought me a joke, male sex toy as my birthday present
  2. My brother bought himself these things, and sent them to me by mistake

Either thought was horrifying. How to proceed? I finally messaged him and asked him if he’d sent me headphones for my birthday. I also made a half-joking reference to an ass. He told me, of course I didn’t give you headphones or an ass, I gave me what you asked fortravel bottles, a pair of kitchen tongs and some socks.

So I sent him a photo… and this was his response.

peek a book surprise

Turns out, Amazon screwed up the order… I wondered about the original person who ended up with my random order and not their Peek-a-Boo and headphones. I wondered about the odd combination of buying Peek-a-Boo and headphones… then I decided not to think about it further.

After debating whether to resell the items and forget about it (headphones and Peek-a-Boo were worth way more than my original present was), I instead contacted Amazon, thanking them for the Peek-a-Boo, but explaining I didn’t want him, and would appreciate my original order to be shipped. They were highly apologetic and my actual present arrived a few days later. My kitchen tongs, travel bottles and socks are still in use to this day.

Godspeed, Peek-a-boo…  I hope you ended up finding your place in the world.

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