I don't know what it is about senior citizens in Post Offices. They tend to get jittery and clutch mail to their chests and gauge others who enter with intense suspicion. It's like they expect the Post Office and their spies will capriciously send their $15.73 sewer bill to Carbuncle Delaware or just flush it down the toilet.
And who can blame them? They grew up with AT&T. It was the only phone company in the entire country. Everyone lived in fear that AT&T would arbitrarily discontinue their service. Or make sure your phone connections were always full of loud screeching static. Or got collect calls from the local lunatic asylum. Or hit you with "lightning" that came right through the phone cord and turned your brain into a shriveled, black, smoking walnut. And you could count on all of the above if you were actually brave enough to complain to AT&T about your previous bill.
It matters not that one may reconcile just about any debt imaginable online. Even to drug dealers. But senior citizens need physical stamps. Perhaps they distrust online stamps because they view them as fiat currencies with no gold reserves to back them up. Perhaps they're just set in their ways. Perhaps the 118th Congress will investigate the chronic effects of licking mind-altering stamp drugs and their effects on seniors. Don't laugh. Most in congress are looking for something non-partisan to hang their hats on.
It is with this preamble in mind I would like you to consider the following tale of horror and perseverance.
It was about two weeks before Christmas. Two Salty Dogs got about 40 web orders overnight. I got in early, packaged them up and stuck the requisite shipping labels from Stamps.com upon them. It was 11:50AM. I was in good shape. The U.S. Mail truck left in about 40 minutes. I wouldn't be swamping the Post Office (P.O.) at the last minute.
I drove upta the P.O. and finagled a parking spot at the end of the delivery lot where I most surely would be towed if I was longer than 2 minutes. Did I mention that my shop was going to be empty for however long I was at the P.O.?
I walked the first load of prepaid packages into the lobby. My arms and hands hurt. It was cold out and a longer walk than I thought.
I saw two haggard clerks at the counter in the inner lobby. They were being interrogated by a gang of remorseless Seniors. The Seniors wanted answers. They wanted ACTION. And they absolutely DID NOT want to buy stamps with musicians on them. Or stamps with plants that propagate with rhizomes. And they were'nt paying any more for fancy stamps. And did the postmaster realize that this Eggplant Cake now cost TWICE AS MUCH to mail to Festeringboil West Virginia than it did last year? And did anyone in this sleepy little Post Office realize that chemtrails were an evil plot to increase estrogen levels in males? NO ONE CARED AT THIS POST OFFICE. And if there was one thing every senior here could agree on - All this spelled the downfall of these Once-Great United States...
The Seniors cast nervous glances about as I made my way through the crowd. The average age in the outer lobby must have been at least 103 years old.
I continued towards the Receiving Door. A woman grabbed my arm, "THERE'S A LINE!!!" she said like a Saturn VII rocket lifting off in my ear.
"I know!" I said, balancing my packages in my now-very-hurting arms.
"YOU NEED TO GET TO THE END OF THE LINE!" said a gentleman well behind me. Emboldened, the woman's raptor-like claws dug into my bicep.
"I AM NOT IN LINE!" I exploded at him. I was SO close to the Receiving Door. It was clear to me that I was about to incite a mini-riot at the Boothbay Harbor Post Office. I admit this is on my bucket list, but I really needed to get these packages out.
I reached for the Receiving Door handle and a Grumpy Old Man stood in front of me, blocking it. I could have sworn he said "PUNK," but that may have been me. My precarious bundle of packages tottered and I let them control-fall to the floor. I smiled big at him and pretended to shoot the gentleman with my fingers. I left the packages on the floor by the Receiving Door, pivoted, and went to get the rest of them in the truck.
When I got back to the lobby, I was freezing. My previous load of packages was piled up on a table AT THE BACK OF THE LINE. The seniors appeared to be quite smug on my reappearance. The gentleman who thwarted me previously looked a little nervous, thinking perhaps I had gone back to my truck for my real finger guns.
I got to the Receiving Door with my packages and yelled, "Dropping Off Leslie!!!" A half-second later, the upper half of the door opened and Leslie good-naturedly said, "Throw 'em in that bin there!" I did. And when I was finished, I went to the back of the Post Office to get "The Other Pile."
"I see what you were doing there..." said the raptor woman who gripped my arm. The man previously blocking me helped me get the remainder of my packages to the bin.
I didn't say a word.
Not one word.
If you're upset that I'm making fun of geezers, please email my boss with a full, detailed report here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to include all spelling and grammatical mistakes for full effect. Also any information you have on chemtrails and your best Eggplant Cake recipe.
Don ~ Not a Dog
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