Because Casinopalooza disrupts the natural order of Val's retirement routine, she had to mail the weekly letters to her college boys on Thursday instead of Friday. You know. Those precious letters full of love and amusing anecdotes, infused with motherly tears, meant to be saved in a two-inch three-ring binder for perpetuity, to pore over when dear Mumsey is long gone...which Genius and The Pony rip open and toss in the wastebasket (or in The Pony's case, under the bed) as soon as they wrest their weekly cash allowance from its folds.
Because the letters would be posted a day early, it didn't matter if I drove them to the main post office hub to make them arrive in a timely manner. The dead-mouse-smelling post office was good enough today. I had every intention of carrying both letters inside and shoving them through the slot in the wall. No need to lose another one, like that time The Pony's letter with his MONTHLY expense check disappeared between Backroads and Norman, that check never to clear the bank, forcing Val into mobile deposit Not-Heaven.
I drove up in front of the dead-mouse-smelling post office to find two cars taking up the four parking spaces in front of the building. A car in slot 1, two old ladies shooting the bull in slot 2, and a car in slot 3 that had its bumper taking up half of slot 4. So much for my good intentions. I wanted to make sure my boys get their letters, but not at the cost of parking around the corner and walking more than necessary. I walk in the evenings, you know. On gravel. With a long furry torpedo launching itself at my thigh. So don't think I'm just lazy. I was conserving my energy.
Seeing that stumbling block in all of my four rightful parking spaces, I turned onto the side street to put those precious letters in the drive-up mailbox.
Hullo! What's this, then?
A dead-mouse-smelling worker was taking the mail out of the box! She had two of those big white opaque plastic tubs. The back of each of the two drive-up mailboxes were open. They were like the butt flaps on the red long johns. Flipped open. Relieving themselves of precious mom-letters for other families' college boyses.
The mail-scooper saw me pull up. It's kind of hard to miss T-Hoe. Especially from two feet away. All that separated us was the girth of two U.S. Mailboxes. Even though she saw me pull up, Mail Scooper snatched that white opaque plastic tub out of the Mailbox's rear. So that if I put my two precious letters in the beak of that mailbox, they would slide down onto the bottom, and be covered with the white opaque plastic tub when she put it back in to catch future mail.
Let the record show that the mail goes out at 11:00 from this location. It didn't matter to me if my precious letters went out at that time. They had an extra day, per my usual schedule. I did not, however, want them to fall to the bottom and be covered up and never seen again.
"Oh, can you take my two letters?"
All Mail Scooper had to do was unbend her elbow and close her thumb and forefinger upon my two precious letters. She didn't have to lean. She didn't have to do any heavy lifting. Elbows are made to bend, you know. And unbend.
Well. You'd think I expected Mail Scooper to drive a rickety 1940s model truck up a winding mountain road not big enough for two autos to pass, hanging two tires over the abyss, then, upon reaching the end of the road at the top of the summit, hack her way to the other side with a machete, scale a bare rock face, spend the night suspended in a tent hanging from pitons, then after sunrise, build a rope bridge worthy of Indiana Jones to cross to the next peak to take my two precious letters from my hand.
"After I get this mail out!"
No need to bite my head off. It's not like I was revving the engine, or slapping her across the face with my envelopes. It was a simple request. I guess I was supposed to sit there until she put the mailboxes back together, then drop my precious letters inside so they could lay there for the next 23 hours and 59 minutes.
Is it wrong of me to wish for the trifecta of snow and rain and gloom of night to befall that dead-mouse-smelling wench the next time she performs that well-paid chore?