I have a stack of those “create your own handmade postcards” and over the weekend I took a break from some brain-busting preparations for a writers conference, relaxed for a while with watercolor and color pencils, and made a postcard for friends in San Francisco. I wanted to tell them about two films of special interest for birders: The Big Year and the documentary Birders (both of them odd and lovely—I recommend them). That bit of procrastination accomplished, I went back to the brain-busting preparations. In the middle of the night, a little bleary, I dropped the postcard in the outgoing mail slot of the mailboxes for this part of the apartment complex where I live.
This morning while organizing myself for the day, I realized I had put an old stamp on the postcard, which meant there was insufficient postage on that handmade card, and that might delay its delivery for who knows how long? I slipped a new postcard stamp into an envelope, wrote a hurried note to the letter carrier asking them to add the stamp to the postcard, and dropped it in the slot.
Came home at the end of the day and there, with my mail, was the envelope with my please-and-thank-you note to the carrier. DONE! was written in the corner, along with today’s date.
Do you think you can do this sort of thing with FedEx? UPS? Really? Then I have some nice beach front property in Nevada you can have for a steal. And speaking of stealing, Congress is about to steal your United States Post Office. I kid you not. All those politicians who claim that the-private-sector-can-do-it-better are aching to push you into the arms of far more expensive and far less personal delivery services.
Would it have been possible to fix my insufficient postage screw-up with a scribbled note and a thirty-two cent stamp if there was no mailbox a few steps away from my front door? I doubt it. How do you feel about no local mailbox near your house? Are you okay with NO door-to-door mail delivery service? H.R. 2309, the bill headed for a vote in the full House of Representatives, calls for the DISMANTLING of the U.S. Postal Service. Certain politicians are claiming that the post office is no longer needed, that it’s failing to make money because people don’t use it anymore. (And yet every time I go to the post office, there are other people there: using the postal service.) The truth is that Congress created the Postal Service’s financial woes with its 2006 mandate requiring the Post Office to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, a burden faced by NO OTHER AGENCY OR FIRM.
You can read more about this at www.saveamericaspostalservice.org.
Call your representative. Tell everyone you know to call their representative. And tell Congress to vote NO on H.R.2309. Please do this for me and everyone who loves the Post Office.
We now resume our regularly scheduled brain busting.