Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stamp out ingorance

Let me temper this entry by writing that I am not a fan of the United States Postal Service... Especially the one in Inglewood. They are the model of inefficiency. That being said, I went to the post office yesterday on my way home from work. I needed to buy a stamp. That's right. One stamp. 44 cents. When in the hell did sending a letter get so damned expensive? I don't send that many pieces of mail so I don't care that much but I remember when postage was half of that.

I also remember when pop only cost a dime and you could go to the nickelodeon and see two pictures and a news reel. "Those were the days..."

I was hoping beyond hope that the post office would still be open when I got off of work. That maybe they were open until 6 o'clock like so many banks are. That maybe I could catch a dude inside who would be willing to sell me one stamp so that I could mail in my car payment thus allowing me to continue to go to work for the next four weeks and race around afterwards hoping to get to the post office the next month and do it all over again.

Now, I know what you're all thinking: "Why don't you just buy a book of stamps? That way you don't have to keep going to the post office." Books of stamps invariably get lost in the black hole that is my bedroom. I'm fortunate most days to find a clean pair of underpants in there. Monday, for example, I couldn't find any so I went commando. Sexy.

I got out of The Family Truckster and started walking toward the door. It looked unlocked! Hooray! I was actually excited to go in to the post office. There was but one other car in the lot and I knew, I KNEW, I KNEW that it had to be one lone postal worker getting ready to end his or her shift. I was jovial. I was excited. I was going to make this person's day! Most days, I don't get to do that.

I bounded out of my debt machine car and towards the front door. Being ever vigilant, I locked my car with my key fob. I always lock my car. I had my car broken into about 10 years ago and it's about the worst feeling in the world. Anything that I can do to deter theft of my personal belongings (i.e., my Louisville Slugger that I keep nestled between my console and passenger seat), I am pretty much all for. Being obsessive with locking my car, I always confirm said locking by pressing the lock button again, thus emitting a pleasant "honk, honk" from my car and even further putting my mind at ease.

And so I did.

"HEY! THAT'S DAMN RUDE!" A voice from behind me shouted. "HEY!"
I live in east Nashville, so having some dude yell in my direction is not entirely uncommon. Usually, it's some dude getting ready say "Hey, lemme ask you a question..." and then proceeding to ask me for 44 cents for the bus. Strangely, that's the same cost as a postage stamp and for being somebody who hordes his pennies in a jar in his bedroom, I am not one to give up my beloved change so easily. Dudes don't need to lie to me... You're using that money to go get a beer. If it weren't for me having to spend my money on postage, I'd be using it for the same thing, so I don't fault you entirely for trying. In that respect, homeless dudes are like drunk chicks at the bar... 'Cept for they probably don't go "Wooooooo!" as much. I mean, they are homeless after all.

Back to my story.

"HEY!!! DON'T YOU KNOW IT'S RUDE TO DO THAT?!" I turned around in a fervor getting ready to punch this dude square in the jaw. "IT'S VERY RUDE TO HONK YOUR HORN AT SOMEBODY."

Some dude hanging out at TitleMax (they of the "Get your title back with TitleMax" jingle) next door got mad because I decided to lock my car. Being someone who has worked in the world of sundry financial services, I all too well know the clientle; this confirmed my satisificatory locking.

I kept walking. I couldn't get to the post office door fast enough. And, it was open! Huzzah!

This, however, was truly temporary and fleeting for two reasons:
1.) The door to the inner sanctum post office counter was locked and the lights inside were turned off, and
2.) Homeboy followed me inside the lobby.

He continued with his civics lesson: "DON'T HONK AT PEOPLE!"
I replied: "I wasn't honking at you. I was locking my car."
He stood there, dumbfounded. "You can lock your car with your keys?!"
"Yup. It's pretty bitchin'." I figured if I was gonna piss off an old, black Southern dude, I was gonna go whole hog.
"Man... what'll they come up with next?!" he replied.
"I'm gonna leave now." And out the door I walked.

I thought Obama was gonna fix all of our racial and social problems. I thought he was going to be a great communicator (as long as he's got a teleprompter). I thought he was going to bridge the gap. Not only between Giants fans and non-Giants fans the nation over but between all people. I mean, he's done a great job of communicating to the US that he thinks Kanye West is a "jackass" [Writer's note: Way to go, Mr. President! Seriously. I don't much care for this administration but you nailed it on the head with that one.] But he's done little to educate lifelong Tennessee residents on this new fangled door-locking technology. Maybe that wasn't covered in the automaker bailout. Well, clearly it wasn't. Supporting iniativies to educate the less fortunate about key fobs must have gotten vetoed or pigeonholed or other-ed along the way. No matter.

Oh, and I didn't get my stamp. I had to go to the post office on my lunch break yesterday to do it.

Longer hours... That's all I'm asking for.

I did give this guy the ol' one-two as I drove away. Just to be nice.

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