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So Much For Going Postal

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 13, 2021

Many, many years ago in the 1990s, when GPS, smartphones, online bill pay, and other such commodities were but a sci-fi dream, I was a teenager, and my parents and I took a family trip to California. Since we would be gone for a few weeks, my mom had brought the checkbook and was staying in contact with our house sitter who was opening our mail so that she could pay any bills that came in during our trip. So far, so good.

One morning, after staying in a motel in San Jose, we went in search of a post office to buy more stamps and mail out the bills. This was a suburban area, so we stopped at a gas station, filled the car, and went in to ask the cashier where the post office was. He stared at us in puzzlement.

Cashier: “Post office? I don’t think we have one of those.”

After assuring him that he absolutely did have one — otherwise, the mail would not arrive — we moved on in our search.

A short while later, we saw a traffic cop. Aha! Surely a police officer would know where the post office is. We parked off to the side and walked up to him. We explained how the gas station cashier thought there was no post office and laughed. He laughed with us.

Police Officer: “No, of course, we have one! It’s… It’s…”

Oh, dear. We sensed trouble.

Police Officer: “No, we do have one, I just… don’t think you can get there from here.”

Stymied by how a post office could be located in a place unreachable by humans, we left him at the corner.

In the end, we decided to wait another day to mail our letters. Thankfully, San Francisco had the foresight to install a post office and roads that led all the way to it.