Thursday, April 4, 2013

On Tuesday, Crime Paid

I have a bone to pick with a certain dead-mouse-smelling employee.

We have been expecting a package to arrive any day now. The order was placed last week, the website said it would be delivered in 2-3 business days, and it's time. Past time. So I went to the email that announced my package had shipped, and clicked on the confirmation number. On Monday morning, it was in the city, sorted, ready to go out. But here it is Thursday already, and we don't have our package. Val, herself, could have walked that package to Backroads in that amount of time. WITH breaks along the way for 44 oz. Diet Cokes.

I checked the confirmation number again. THAT PACKAGE WAS DELIVERED ON TUESDAY AT 11:23 A.M.! We don't have the package. I checked with Genius, who picked up the mail that day. Nope. No package. Just magazines and junk mail, which he piled on the kitchen counter. This morning I had The Pony get out and look all around the mailbox. Ours is in a long wooden box of mailboxes on the county road. Hick built us a breathtaking mailbox out of metal pipe, and painted it John Deere Green on the outside, and yellow on the inside. It has a round metal door on the end that closes with a magnet. Other people in our wooden box have regular mailbox-shaped mailboxes. Each in its own wooden cubby. A small wooden addition has been built onto the east end, to accommodate people who have move in since the mailbox condo was built and sunk three feet into concreted holes on metal legs. The Pony's search, like a lady in the era of A League of Their Own, revealed nothing.

During my plan time, I called the dead-mouse-smelling post office. A somewhat disgruntled man took my name and address and confirmation number, then told me that no rural carriers work out of that office any more. He suggested I contact a town-over local post office. At that number, a somewhat disgruntled woman jumped right to the confirmation number. Then announced, "Let me turn on my computer." HELLO! It was 9:30 in the morning. What goes on in these dens of disgruntleddom? The first thing I do when entering my classroom is fire up the old computer. I smell a package-smashing contest or mousetrap-emptying-and-setting party. She put me on the dead silence of hold for over five minutes. You can't get rid of Val that easily. I graded some make-up work and gathered items for an absent student. Multitasking is my middle name.

When Federal Frownie came back to check the line for breathing, I was right there. "HELLO!" I really said it that time. I was not just scream-typing it for effect. "Did you find my package?"

"What's your address?"

"1313 Steal My Mail Lane, Backroads, Missouri. I'm wondering if it was put in the wrong mailbox, or if the carrier brought it back to the office. We didn't get an orange card. We're on a row of mailboxes."

"Hold on."

Deceased rodent in a dead-mouse-smelling post office! Can the United States Postal Service not afford Muzak? I printed updated rosters and seating charts for my substitute tomorrow. I am a new-student magnet. Fifteen updates to that sub folder since first quarter. That's gotta be some kind of record. With my luck the Most New Students in Three Quarters Trophy will be mailed to me. Federal Frownie knew that she was not losing this inquiring mind. She got back on the line.

"Your carrier says it would not fit in your mailbox. So he laid it on top of the mailbox, inside the wooden box."

"Well, it's not there. We never got it."

"Try looking on top."

"We already checked all around the wooden box, and in the others in the row."

"Did you ask your neighbors? Would one of them have picked it up on accident?"

"One of them might have picked it up on purpose. From plain sight on top of the mailbox. It was from The Medicine Shoppe. Not something that should have been laid out."

"I don't know what to suggest other than to check with the neighbors."

"Well, now we don't have our package. So in the future, if the package doesn't fit in the box, I think the carrier should probably leave an orange card that says it doesn't fit in the box. That seems to have been the policy in the past."

"I'm sorry."

Yeah. Sorry. So I'm out a package of medicine, and the carrier can pick and choose what policy to follow, and perhaps help himself to a package of medicine when his own dead-mouse odor gets too strong, and the United States Post Office is off the hook. Because they're SORRY. You bet they're SORRY! A SORRY excuse for a mail delivery system. The Pony Express would have never treated me this way.

I wish I could have seen the face of the THIEF when he opened that package and found two tubes of Clearasil Vanishing Cream.


  1. Two tubes of cream didn't fit into your box? Hmnn... Did you know the Pony Express only ran for eighteen months?

  2. The vanishing cream vanished? That's a crazy tale...

  3. Do I have to be the first jerk to comment that of course its gone, it's Vanishing Cream!


    Funny post except that it is more sad than funny sinceit is real. Perhaps you should use a different post office. Oh that's right, there isn't one!

  4. Look for a mail carrier or a neighbor with an extremely good complexion and an evil grin vanished from his/her face.

  5. Stephen,
    That's his story and he's stickin' to it. They are tiny tubes, really, only four inches long, about the size of those cute little travel toothpastes. I'm sure he could have crammed them in the pipe IF HE DIDN'T WANT TO KEEP THEM FOR HIMSELF AND LIE ABOUT IT!

    I was unaware of the longevity of the Pony Express. History is my weakness. I see no need to live in the past, unless it's to hold petty grudges for imagined transgressions.

    I KNOW, right? Who would have thought that could happen? Life imitating medicine!

    Well, since I use comment moderation, and your psychic skills appear to be looks like you're the SECOND jerk. Sorry. We can't all be number one. But if it will help your self-esteem, I can give every commenter on this post a certificate and a small trophy. Look for them in the mail.

    You are a regular Encyclopedia Brown, solving those clues all willy-nilly. I'm surprised you have not been recruited by Mystery, Inc.

  6. Isn't that a federal crime since it involves the US Post Office? I hope you put these people away until they and their ill begotten clear complexions vanish from all good society.

  7. Tammy,
    Believe me, I WANT to make a federal case of it. But that would just put them away where they get all manner of free medicine, paid for by us, the taxpayers. I would rather they WORK for their ill-begotten drugs, by driving to the ends of Backroads and back, wasting gas, looking for pharmaceuticals left on the tops of mailboxes.