Going Postal

6 Feb

You may be aware of the brouhaha regarding the United States Postal Services. They, like so many of you, are in a spot of bother, money-wise. Apparently, more people are not sending post more often than they used to not to, and now the poor postmaster is wringing his hands in despair. I sympathise, I do.  However, I was more than alarmed when I read of his plan to remedy this situation.

No Saturday deliveries.

Did your heart miss a beat when you read that? Mine surely did (when I watched Christopher type it.) It’s clearly a decision that reeks of bigotry (there’s so little Jews can do on the Sabbath, why deny them the pleasure of receiving some post?). Even more disturbing is the plain fact that eliminating Saturday mail delivery goes against everything that great nation stands for.  Postmaster General Donahoe might as well have said he planned to set alight the old Stars and Stripes, because both acts are identical in terms of their anti-American sentiment.

The reason the Post Office is so symbolic of the very nature of American goodness is because of the way it benefits all Americans, even those poor unfortunates. In fact, Benjamin Franklin first laid out the concept of a United States Post Office in 1775 as part of the country’s first truly social service. In his initial proposal, he wrote:

While we hope that starting this war with England will cut down on some of our population declared of unsound mind, I am concerned that we will still be left with some undesirables, loitering the streets and distressing our womenfolk. Let us invent an institution where they can stay busy doing something productive, without us having to engage in any prolonged interaction with them.

And so the Postal Office was born and has been providing work for mentals for well over 200 years. All people, whether rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate, could share in the joy of relaxing on a Saturday afternoon while reading one’s post (though admittedly the illiterate probably found it slightly less satisfying).  Saturday delivery told the average American that the government cares about him as an individual; it was if US Mail were saying, “Just because the work week is over, pal, don’t think we’ve forgotten how important your Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is to you, ol’ buddy.” And now not only is the Postmaster going to denying that individual his early Saturday afternoon wank, but he’s also rubbing salt in it by effectively spitting in his eye. Disgusting.

Of course my greatest personal concern about this shocking business is my American fans. As hard as it may be for some of you to imagine, I have a rather colossal following among non-Internet users, including but not limited to geriatrics. Each Tuesday, I send Christopher to the post office to mail off the previous week’s updates in paper form. This allows said fans to receive said paper updates on Saturday afternoons, so that they can peruse them while they are at home waiting for that phone call from the grandchildren that will never come. When the USPS desists Saturday delivery this August, I may have to start sending Christopher out on Mondays, which is the day that he drives me to my Jazzercise class. I can’t believe that I will be required to rearrange my entire life because one selfish government service cannot keep its books in order.

It surprises me that the PO has missed the blaringly obvious solution to this dilemma: eliminate all restrictions on what can be sent through the post BUT add a hefty surcharge to such packages. Think of all the potential revenue. A wedding guest unable to attend would gladly pay a little extra to send a bottle of intoxicating liquor (or a bag of hashish, if that’s their thang) to the bride and groom. An absentee dad in Cali who’d like to send his east coast son a hamster would find no trouble accepting the higher cost to be able to bring a smile to his little boy’s face.  Someone who is really into knives might want to send some knives to someone else who is really into knives. The possibilities are endless.

I don’t doubt this suggestion will be ignored by Patrick R Donohoe, because I hear he likes nothing better than watching fatherless children cry. But I hope he knows just how really, really cross I am with him.

5 Responses to “Going Postal”

  1. Hilary Hanson-Bennett Monday, 8 March 2010 at 13:24 #

    Dear Agatha,

    I have just read Going Postal. How very informative. Your history of the rise of the postal service in the States was very illuminating. I had no idea that is where all the retards are sent. What an ingenius idea. That Benjamin Franklin was a very clever fellow, you must be extremely proud of him? But it got me thinking – and I was wondering whether our government here in Britain has adopted the same principle? It explains a lot about the postman I have. He’s very rough when thrusting stuff into my box. I have complained countless times, and even though we seem to have a different postman every week, they all seem to be heavy-handed and rough-looking and exceedingly brusque in their delivery. But if they are all past inmates of Broadmoor, then that would explain a lot wouldn’t it? Do you have any information on the British postal service? I tried contacting them but I think they were all out to lunch.

    Regards,
    Hilary

    • Yours, Agatha Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 04:50 #

      I am happy to report that Royal Mail sets very high standards for their employees, in terms of both their physical and mental capabilities. I’ve yet to come across a postman whose upper body strength and witty repartee left me in the slightest bit dissatisfied.

  2. Hilary Hanson-Bennett Monday, 8 March 2010 at 13:39 #

    Dear Agatha,

    In my haste to convey my appreciation of your Going Postal “post”, I neglected to ask another question. I was intrigued by the reference to American males being deprived of their “Saturday afternoon wank”. I am not at all familiar with the term “wank”. Could you enlighten me as I’m not up with the lingo these days you see, and although I can use the internet, I only go on there to order my weekly food shop from Waitrose and to check out the latest fads in the world of crochet. I am very fond of crochet. It keeps me busy as I can’t get out much because my latest replacement hip is starting to play-up. I’ve had sixteen hip replacements in the last ten years. But the doctors don’t seem at all bothered and they can’t tell me why my hips don’t work. I did wonder whether the plastic was made by that Japanese car manufacturer that was in the news recently and that maybe all the hips were being recalled because they were faulty? As you seem to be a woman with her finger on the pulse of world affairs I wondered whether you knew the answer?

    Regards,
    Hilary

  3. Yours, Agatha Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 05:09 #

    The term “wank” is similar to the crocheting term “finish off,” which involves using your hook to pull then tighten until the project is finished. I’ve no doubt it’s something you yourself have done hundreds of times.
    With regards to your medical complaint, I wonder if the fault may lay with you, rather than your surgeons or the manufacturers (I, for one, refuse to hear a word against the Japanese). It’s quite important to take regular exercise after such an operation. Hips were meant to move and it sounds like yours aren’t getting enough use. My guess is the continued grief they are giving you is simply a cry for attention. Please view this link for inspiration: http://tinyurl.com/ycc3hu6

  4. Hilary Hanson-Bennett Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 10:47 #

    Dear Agatha,

    Thank you so much your lucid explanation of the term “wank”, and of course I am proud to say that Ihave “finished off” plenty of times during my many marathon sessions of crocheting. Sometimes I crochet long into the night, especially if there is a good radio play to keep me company. There is nothing quite like the seductive tones of Nigel Havers to get the heart racing and the crochet rows ratcheting up until Nigel and I always seem to reach the climax of the show together. Ah, such simple pleasures!
    I haven’t heard much of Nigel on the radio these days, perhaps I ought to ask the BBC to repeat his plays for me. I have noticed that I use my hips quite rigorously when crocheting to Nigel. Perhaps the two things are connected?

    Yours,
    Hilary

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