Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Ascent of Stan

Maybe I'm wrong about it, but I believe your letter carrier isn't really allowed to hand your mail directly to you. The mail has to be delivered to the mailbox, because you could be an imposter. Taking mail from someone else's mailbox is a felony, but taking mail that the letter carrier hands to you... Not exactly indefensible.

So even if I see him, I still prefer to let my postman, Stan, just do his job and put my mail in the box. I'd say less than five times, I've had him hand the mail directly to me. That has never gone well. Every time I've ever been there to greet him at the door, he's handed me the wrong mail. Of course, we have a small chat before I even look at the mail, then he starts to walk away, I look at the letters, and by the time he's about half way to the neighbor's house, he doubles back. Then he'll usually say, "Gave you the wrong mail there." I'll be waiting for a swap and he'll say, "Looks like I've got nothin' for you." So, rather than make any sort of comment or gesture which could later lead to him killing some coworkers back at the sort facility, I suffer the indignity of the Indian gift. Kind of a bad scene.

So like I say, I just keep out of it and let him do the mail. And yeah, sometimes I'll get my neighbor's mail, but I just stand it up in the box and let Stan figure it out tomorrow. Besides, my neighbor hates me, and I don't really need to deal with that, either.

Anyway, Stan is such a mess that I rarely even leave letters to be mailed in my box for pickup. Who knows, right? But yesterday I had something I needed to mail. It was all ready to go, and here comes Stan. A couple of years ago, I probably would've handed it right to him and foolishly waited for him to hand me some letters, but knowing what I know now, I decided to just hold off. So Stan comes up the walk, drops some mail in the box, and takes off. I, of course, wait for Stan to get the the neighbor's before I even look in my box. Sure enough, Stan doubles back to my porch, sorts through some stuff, and splits. When he reaches the safe zone, I take a look in the mail box.

I'm just glad I'm not dodging real bullets.

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