NaBloPoMo 2009 Day 5 — Our mailman
I work out of the house, and my office currently is at the front of the house. There is a park across the street, so I get to watch our neighbors walk their dogs. I saw a coyote on a cold morning in February — probably the one that ended the existence of our former cat.
But one of the things that has stood out to me all year is the timing of our mailman. As most of you know, during a week absent a federal holiday, the mail is delivered 6 days per week. Five of the six days the mail comes no earlier than 5:00 p.m. On the sixth day, the mailman drops off the mail around 2:00 p.m. When mail is delivered, one would probably assume that the sixth day of mail might be Saturday. You’d be wrong. Ironically (perhaps in the Alanis Morrisette sense of irony), the sixth day is not Saturday. In fact, it’s not any one day. It’s one of three days — but not the same day each week. For some reason — that I have yet to determine — on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, the mailman delivers the mail earlier than every other day of the week. But never the same day each week. Why? Is he just bored with the usual route, so he mixes it up once a week but never the same day to take the “mixing it up” to the next level?
I like nothing more than my routine. When routines go awry, chaos ensues. Chaos is bad — except in theoretical physics courses and summer camp games! The variable rate mail delivery schedule upsets my routine. It means that there is no routine for three days a week or that there are 2 days each week when there is an unnecessary routine. More importantly, why do I care?
I just saw a hilarious scene in the HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Larry David, the star of the show, is visiting the cemetery site where his mother is buried. His father is with him to show him the new tombstone he bought for his former wife. After he reads the tombstone, Larry notices that the inscription reads “Born – Sept 18, 1920” and “Past Away Oct 21, 2001.” Larry proceeds to chastise his father for misspelling the tombstone by using “past” instead of “passed.” The punch line isn’t that it was a mistake the widower failed to catch, but rather that it was cheaper to go with “past” over “passed” because the cost was $50 per letter. He saved $100 using the shorter word, and most people think it means the same thing anyway. To me, that’s funny. (Now you have a little insight into my personality. Feel free to block my number if you must.)