I just got back from the US Post Office. Here in Williamsburg area, population 11,793, we are blessed with at least five of them. That’s right, five, and that’s just the ones I know about. There may be one or two on the other side of town that I don’t know about because the town is made up of two different counties, James City and York.The post office is a tiny little place just down the road. So small, that there is only one person working there at any given time. The one downtown is larger. It has two windows open at all times. Gee, the growth, I can’t stand it. It must be all those William and Mary students. You would think that they could change the blown light bulbs at least once a year.Anyway, I digress. Yesterday, I had to stop at the one downtown. I have my PO Box there, as I used to live near it. I was expecting my alimony check, actually had been expecting it for the last week, but it never came. In case it wasn’t there, I had a letter all ready to send to my lawyer. So naturally, I had to stand on line to get stamps.Now the clerks there are nice enough to me. They distrust the local cops too, so we have something in common. On any given day, I know that I can count on hearing a new stupid cop story from one of them. Like the time one came in without her ID and wanted the clerk to get her mail from her box for her. When he refused, she threatened to do something drastic, to which he told her “Go ahead, you work for the city, I work for the FEDS.” That shut her up.Digression strikes again. Yesterday, when I was in line, someone asked for tape to be added to a package. The clerk leaned across the counter and announced in his best stage whisper “They won’t give us tape anymore”. He pulled himself up to his full 5’4” height to make sure everyone had heard, and they did. Every head in line shot towards the announcement. Looks of disbelief abounded. We had always counted on the niceties of our post office. The woman next to me turned and declared “What’s next, the Chip and Dale furniture?” Yes, dear readers, we are blessed with a Chip and Dale dinning set, real mahogany no less, at which to sit and address our certified mail.Today, still not having gotten the check, I went to the Norge Post Office, the one woman place. When I entered, I was greeted by the familiar sound of tape being ripped from the dispenser. Not just the sound of the usual desk size, but the giant industrial kind. The sound astounded me. “I love to tape” Maggie, the clerk, declared. With that, she merrily added more to the package. In fact, I don’t think she stopped until the entire box was encased in tape.When the next person in line asked her to weigh a greeting card, she happily replied "Sure and I’ll add some tape to the back. You never know about these things. Sometimes they open up in the handling. “I’ll put two pieces on it.”Rip, rip.The next person in line (it was a busy day today) was there to pick-up a package. Upon receipt of it, she stepped to the side and opened it. “Oh, good, it’s the quilting supplies I was waiting for.”To wit, Maggie excitedly turned and said “Here, Mrs. Turner, let me put some tape on that for you. You don’t want to lose anything on the way home.” Rip, rip, rip.My turn at the counter finally came. There was no one behind me. I handed my gentle Post Office Clerk the certified letter to my ex. “You want tape on this?”“Maggie, what gives?”I asked in an astonished voice. “I thought you guys weren’t allowed to tape anything anymore.”“We’re not.” she stated as a sly smile crossed her already jovial face. "Just ask the guys down at Monticello. They’ll tell ya to go buy some from their fancy Post Office Store.? Her fingers shot up in the sign of quotation marks. “They’re all rules down there. It won’t be long before UPS puts them out of business. Not me, I plan on bein’ here a long time. The customer is entitled to a little tape, and I’m gonna’ give it to um.”I thanked her for her service and turned to leave. As I did so, another patron stepped inside and greeted Maggie, handing her a legal size envelope.On departing, I heard Maggie inquire “You want tape on this? It could come open, ya know?” Rip, rip, rip.
Anarchy, you gotta’ love it.- Mother Toad
_As is and will always be, Mother has changed the names to protect those who have “Gone Postal.”