The Mystery of Terrys Tropical Paradise

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

In January of 2020, I moved to a new address. In the year and a half since that move, I’ve received a bizarre stream of envelopes in the mail. I’ve been documenting them since shortly after they began, and now I’m going to share the mystery of Terrys (sic) Tropical Paradise. Perhaps someone out there can crack this case.

I believe this all began back in February of 2020. It was around that time that I received the first envelope addressed to “Terrys Tropical Paradise” (no apostrophe!). I found this very strange, but I simply tossed it in the recycling bin. It was only upon receiving the second letter that I started documenting things. That second item was received March 31st, 2020, and can be seen below:

I’ve removed my street address, but this is otherwise unmodified. That’s all there was. It’s a single sheet, with an address (visible through the envelope and used to get the item here), and a tiny bit of text. That envelope contains no return address or other identifying information.

After those two pieces of mail, things went quiet in the Terrys department for many months. Perhaps the global pandemic threw a wrench in things. However, in November, I suddenly received two envelopes in one day:

The very next month, I received another two. I also had better lighting for my scans:

These particular letters came on my mother’s birthday. Is that a clue? No, of course it’s not. That would be ridiculous.

Things then stalled for another three months, before picking back up in force. Since March, I’ve received at least one mailing each month. Each envelope contains just one sheet of paper, and the only thing that changes are the numbers and letters in the upper left. I’ve reproduced those below:

March 2021 (Received 2021-03-12):
A9807550    B02753ER.DAT

April 2021 (Received 2021-04-19):
A9807550    B02753ER.DAT
A9807550    B02753ER.DAT
A9807550    B02753ER.DAT

May 2021 (Received 2021-05-17):
A9807550    N02809FA.DAT

June 2021 (Received 2021-06-10):
A9807550    I02102BU.DAT

July 2021 (Received 2021-07-06):
A9807550    B00219ER.DAT

This is surely all automated, judging both by the contents of these envelopes, and that missing apostrophe in the name. The unchanging A9807550 is probably an identifier, like an account number, while the .DAT extension on the second half suggests different data files. But why isn’t there any actual content? Even if there were a “Terry’s Tropical Paradise” located here, what purpose would these mailings serve? I’m at a loss.

Searching the web reveals nothing that seems relevant. I’ve found a “Terry’s Tropical Paradise” in Jacksonville, Arkansas, which I suppose is more tropical than Boston, but is still not a place I would call tropical. I can’t figure out what that business is, however, and the phone number listed rings once and then tells me it’s been “disconnected or is no longer in service”.

So that’s where things stand. Every so often, I check the mail, and get another envelope for TTP, and another laugh. Much like life, I don’t know if I’ll ever understand what’s happening here, but I sure would like to.

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