Oh, United States Post Office, don’t listen to that stupid joke that the DJ made about not finding any speed when they do a drug test on one of your workers. For one thing, the guy’s a douche. That’s right. I’m not a fan of all radio DJs, including some of those from my youth. This guy’s one of them. He’s one of those DJs who’s all full of smarm and lame jokes and thinks he’s being clever picking on the post office.
Well, I’ll tell you this, United States Post Office, you will always have a defender in me. Now, I’m not going to pretend that your customer service is always real great when I have to go and talk to one of your employees face to face at the post office window. But I rarely have to do that thanks to the magic of your self-service kiosk. And besides the grim visages that greet me from behind that red and blue formica counter, you’ve rarely ever let me down, United States Post Office.
Growing up, the mailbox was my lifeline to the outside world. During summer vacations, it was sometimes the only contact I had with friends, even my friends from school. I had pen pals. I joined Close Personal Friends of Al and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan club. I wrote letters to Newsweek and the local paper. I worked with a friend who lived in Iowa on a comic book; I’d mail him the script and he would mail back the artwork, sometimes 2 or 3 arduous months later. But it would always get to me.
This is how awesome my post office was when I was a kid, United States Post Office. When I was in high school, I competed in speech tournaments in a category called Creative Writing, and my sophomore year, I made it all the way to the state competition and I placed second. From my understanding, I was the only person in my high school to ever place in a state event in the history of the school. Pretty cool deal, right, United States Post Office?
Well, the bigger deal was that a few weeks after the state speech tournament, I got a letter from a couple of girls who saw my speech and were very smitten with me. They even included a picture of themselves, and they were really cute, and one of the girls’ names was Amaza, so clearly she was from the city, because no girl from my neck of the woods had a name like Amaza.
But the point was, United States Post Office, these girls didn’t have my address. All they had was my name, and they knew that I was from one of two towns (because our high school was Chandler-Lake Wilson). So they addressed it to me and “Chandler or Lake Wilson, MN” and wrote a note on the back giving the postman a standing ovation if he was able to deliver it. Which he did. Right to my mailbox.
It was my first and only fan letter, United States Post Office, and while I think it may have vanished in the sands of time, I still remember the amazing thrill I got that two pretty girls from somewhere I’d never been thought I was cute and talented and took the time to send a letter out into world on the off chance it would get to me.
I’ve only had one real mishap with the post office, and that’s when a friend shipped me a bunch of comic books, but when I got the box someone had removed the comics and put a jar of tartar sauce in it. It was one of the most bizarre things that has ever happened to me, and it’s so bizarre and random that I don’t know that I’d even count it as a mishap since it’s a great story. But other than the tartar sauce incident, all the letters I’ve ever sent were received, and all the untold number of comics I’ve ordered off of ebay in a fit of compulsion have arrived safely at my door (although it wouldn’t kill ya to deliver them when my wife isn’t at home, ya know?).
You guys do amazing work, United States Post Office. So if anyone ever gives you guff, you send them my way, and I’ll gladly defend your honor. And you can take that to the bank. Crap. Wrong cliche. . .