Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Dark of Night...

Have you heard? The mail has been running late. Maybe it's just around Backroads. People complain that the mail carriers are out at 9:00 p.m. with headlamps, delivering junk. They get their neighbor's mail. They find their own dumped in a snowdrift. Folks have been up in arms about their bills being late. To the tune of 30 days late, with city water bills. Somebody complained to a congresswoman, and the bills were "found" and delivered within several days. I had no dog in that fight. (That's just an expression. Val Thevictorian certainly does not condone canine altercations. Nor stuffing felines into sacks just to release them.) We have well water, so whether people pay or do not pay their water bill on time is of no nevermind to me.

What does concern me, though, is my credit card bill. We only use one card. On purpose. And we pay it off every month. It normally comes around the 25th, and I send my check right back out in the mail. I'm not one to let things slide until the due date. Bill in, money out. No forgetting that way. Hick used to wait until the due date. "Why should I let them earn interest on my money instead of me?" Yeah. Like earning interest is even much of an option these days.

Anyhoo...I looked and looked for my credit card bill every day. Some days we got NO mail. Some days we got junk mail. Still, the credit card bill did not arrive. I looked on my old statement. It's not really due until the 18th. But with the state of postal service in Backroads lately, I didn't want to cut the turnaround time short. I have been telling Hick for at least a week that our credit card bill is missing. "Maybe it got put in somebody else's box. We get that one lady's Victoria's Secret catalog all the time. And that other guy's retirement check statement. I guess we're out of luck if somebody took it. They'll have our account number and address and know where we charge stuff. I've been calling that automated number to make sure no new charges are on it. I guess I'll just call tomorrow and tell them we didn't get the bill, and pay it over the phone with the debit card. At least it'll be done."

This morning we didn't go to school again because of the snow. That means that I got to loll in the warm bed with no sharp toenails woodpeckering at my shins while Hick got up and went to work. I was up by 7:30 to remind The Pony to take the trash dumpster to the end of the driveway. I went into the kitchen and saw a note on the counter. This was not the usual note on a paper plate, but a note on the back of a wide junk-maily envelope. Still in Hick's handwriting, though.

"Val, I found this mail in the truck. I guess it's been in there since the last time I drove it and picked up the mail." Which would have been, oh, I don't know...during the last batch of continuous snow days.

Under that note and a DISH Network advertisement and a Consumer Reports junk mail fake magazine was our credit card bill. I checked the statement. It was sent out on January 15th.

I can't blame the post office for this one.


  1. Need I tell you that I have encountered that same problem here? I have learned to check his vehicle from time to time. He likes to get the mail. Makes him feel important, you know.

  2. I guess something must have attracted his attention, diverting it from the task of getting the mail into the house.

    I wonder WHAT was so alluring, that he completely forgot the mail...

  3. I am shocked that you didn't think to check the truck!

  4. Poor Hick. I bet you come up with an interesting way to teach him a lesson.

  5. There's always online billing. I'm not excited about paying bills online. Don't trust online much more than the USPS or family members who "misplace" important letters. (The NSA is watching, you know, not to mention hackers)

    My credit card bill is emailed from our friendly hometown credit union managed by my neighbors so I can look to them if my bill ever looks wonkey. I pay them off every month. You're right. That's the way to do credit cards--unless the bill gets--misplaced.

  6. Oh yeah, and check the visor, under the seats. It's amazing where they shove stuff.

  7. I keep telling you - chuck him down a hole or septic tank and be done with it! Your sons are old enough now to fill in for what he half-ass does. Ha, ha, ha! I've been watching too many BBC History programs where the Queen reigns. Actually, a tiara would be a hoot to see! However, I think a halo is more appropriate for putting up with this stupidity. Can't wait for the sequel when the boys graduate, you divorce and Mom lives with you and Juno!

  8. Kathy,
    I imagine it's kind of like a dog bringing in the paper. So earnest. So proud. Mine has to be asked. And there was that one time I was along for the ride, and saw, in the passenger side mirror, Hick stuffing something in his rear pocket. Which turned out to be an insurance refund check. Such an attempted embezzlement has left me leery of requesting mail pickup, unless inclement weather prevents The Pony from doing it for me.

    He was probably fabricating a new affront allegedly perpetrated by my sweet, sweet dog Juno.

    Yes, I am slipping in my lifelong duty as a checker: pants pockets for money and rocks, La-Z-Boy seat for forgotten banana peels, kitchen counter for abandoned onion slices, garage doors for snapped springs...

    Hick and lessons go together like my mom and driveway-invaders. He is not receptive. To him, it's nothing if a bill lays around in the truck for three weeks. Since I did not rub his nose in the bill when he relinquished it, he would not know what he was being punished for. The teaching moment was lost.

    No no no. Not gonna happen. I'll cart my basket of eggs and pig in a poke down to company headquarters and settle up each month. Online payments are not for me. In rare events when the paperwork didn't arrive, and I arranged a one-time payment over the phone, two different entities took that to mean they could automatically deduct from my band account each month. That's not for me. It's not easy to undo something you never wanted in the first place.

    I'm hoping there's no carton of Auction Meat lurking behind the seat.

    That's a bit harsh, even for my treatment of Hick. One son could do the jobs, except he does not have the mechanical mind. The other has the mechanical mind, but lacks the "do something for somebody besides me" gene.

    A jewel-encrusted crown would be nice. Divorce is a bit drastic, but Hick is welcome to move into his BARn, A-frame, or creekside cabin settlement. I would even continue to warm up food in the oven, or heat it in the microwave for him. Mom is not allowed to take up residence until she stops calling Juno "him." Seriously. It's been two years. She even knows that her friend Freda's teacup poodle is a "she."