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.