Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 | 1:57 p.m.
When the mailman walked up to the door of Tony Thomas' Henderson residence Tuesday to personally hand him the latest issue of AARP Bulletin magazine, Thomas was puzzled.
"I said, 'You can put that in the mailbox,'" Thomas said.
But then he saw the delivery from AARP wouldn't fit. Nine-hundred ninety-nine other copies were carried out of the special mail van in packs of 250 — all addressed to Tony Thomas.
In 2007, Thomas had noticed that deliveries of the bimonthly magazine to his home had abruptly stopped. The retired Las Vegas firefighter repeatedly contacted AARP's national office asking what happened and was told multiple times that the next issue would be arriving.
Five phone calls and 18 months later, it did — in a multiple of 1,000.
"I called back and said, 'Thanks for the copy. I received it. What do you want me to do with the other 999?'" Thomas said.
Stunned, the supervisor told him to send them back.
"I said, 'It cost you $430 to send them to me. Do you want me to put a stamp on them and you'll pay me back on their return?' They said 'Oh! No, no'" Thomas said.
Then the AARP told him to go ahead and recycle them. That option did not appeal to Thomas, who did not want all of those issues to be wasted.
Thomas was able to reach the local AARP chapter, who urged him not to recycle the magazines. They needed the missing issues.
"They were sent by mistake," Thomas said. "They sent their men over here and picked up 999 copies so they can deliver them to senior centers and health-care facilities."
For now, the 65-year-old Thomas hopes the problem is fixed. He'll know in March, when the next issue is slated for delivery.
"This is very comical," he said. "I'm not upset by it. It's such a good organization, and anybody can make a mistake. But this was a big one."
Dave Clark can be reached at 990-2677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.