By Ken Hegan for MSN

Glasses womanI need you to visit a New York hotel, grab my glasses, and bring them to me. Can you help? I swear this is legit and totally not human trafficking.

Last fall I flew to New York for an interview with Ira Glass for NPR’s This American Life. He’d read my MSN story on Knee Defender (the airplane seat lock that prevents the guy in front of you from tilting back his seat and hitting your knees), so Ira wanted me to test this devilish device in person.

The show flew me to a hotel near JFK for a night. Then Ira interviewed me on a plane bound for Minneapolis. I was so nervous in the airport hotel (Knee Defender is so annoying, there was a real possibility that I’d get punched in the face), I barely slept. I woke up so groggy that I left my glasses in the airport hotel room.

They look a little like the glasses she’s wearing (right) except my glasses are 33% more attractive and my mouth is 12% weirder.

I need these glasses and I didn’t want to pay a steep FedEx shipping fee. But I caved and booked a FedEx driver to pick ’em up. I had to fill out a heap of paperwork — it’s not easy to ship something from a hotel in another country when you won’t be there in person and the hotel clerk doesn’t care if your glasses leave the hotel or get sat on.

So I booked the courier pickup. The driver finally picked up the glasses…then two days later, the genius delivered them back to the same hotel. Balls!

That’s the last time I’ll use those clowns at FedEx. Now I’m searching the Internet for ways to cheaper get my designer glasses back.

Turns out there’s a free site that may help.

Canubring.com connects travellers who’ve left documents (or cameras or secret spy microfiches) behind and travellers who are coming your way anyway and don’t mind picking up your package/bag of strange powder and flying it to you.

Canubring 2

Canubring’s slogan is “Save sending, earn carrying.” The idea is that people like me are willing to pay a reasonable fee to a stranger who can help. And if it works, I say it’s a damned fine use of the Internet. It’ll certainly save the job of an executive assistant who accidentally leaves behind important paperwork on a business trip.

To ease your trust issues, there’s one (1) testimonial. Someone named Ignacia Fernandez says, “I earned usd $200 in my last trip, bringing 2 cargos from the Duty Free. Very easy!”

See? Ignacia says it was No problemo and she didn’t have to swallow any suspicious condoms.

Canubring

It’s quick to register; I just signed up with my Facebook account. Now I can search for a carrier by clicking on CARRY or SEND. When you click CARRY, for example, you enter your departure details, your location, contact information, and what you can carry (documents/cargo), and how you’re willing to carry them (e.g., car trunk, airline baggage, train compartment).

If you do use this service, you should definitely follow their safety instructions:

  • Make sure you check what is going to be put in your luggage.
  • Never accept a closed package. You need to see what is in it.
  • Avoid any item of excessive value.

So: I’ve decided to offer this service any time I’m flying somewhere but not checking any bags of my own. Meanwhile, if you’ll be driving near JFK in the coming weeks and you’re willing to carry my glasses to Vancouver, do let me know.

I promise you that my glasses are made of glass, metal, and space-age plastic, and NOT made out of Bolivian marching powder.

What do you think…would you trust this service to deliver stuff you’ve left behind?

— Ken Hegan  

Read more of Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan 

Photo of glasses woman: CP Images/Image Source

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