Saturday, January 29, 2011
I had a snowball fight with my mailman, and the Feds tried to make it out to be more than it was. Anyone with a bit of sense could tell you that a snowball is not a deadly weapon if the packing is lousy. Truthfully, the packing wasn't all that great, but it was good enough to make a decent snowball worthy of throwing a respectable distance.
My mailman, Jerome Cramsey, parks his mail truck near my house while doing his rounds on the block. Jerome is the talkative sort who has a definite opinion on everything and is not afraid to air his often myopic view of the world. Usually, I listen to him while backing away, hoping the ever-growing chasm between us will end the one-sided conversation. But on that fateful snowy day, I challenged his boastful tirade regarding his guacamole recipe. One thing led to another and the culinary argument took on a life of its own, resulting in a turbulent exchange of snowballs. Jerome panicked, dropped his bag and made a run for his mail truck. I threw one at his truck, too, but that never came up in the report. Naturally, I figured he'd be able to defend himself. To say the least, it was disquieting to discover that my mailman throws like a chihuahua.
No amount of apologizing did any good. The US. Postal Service wouldn't deliver mail to my door for two weeks (I'm now on a probationary period), and when I went to the post office to pick up my mail, the lady at the counter referred to me as the "Snowball Terrorist on Kildare." And the official-looking declaration, addressed to me as the "assailant," stated I couldn't get within fifty feet of an on-duty mailman. Truly, they underestimated my throwing ability because, the next day, I hurled a snowball at Jerome's truck (while he was in the back, sorting mail) from a good 100 feet and hit it square on the side. It made a loud thunk, but I ducked behind a tree so he couldn't see me and cause more damage to my already precarious postal reputation.
After two weeks of no delivery and Jerome walking quickly past my house every day (while shooting nervous glances at my door), I was called in to meet with the Postmaster. The meeting went very well. He seems like a reasonable fellow who might be suspicious of mail carrier Cramsey's penchant for exaggeration. He called this a fascinating case and is entertaining my suggestion of a full-scale guacamole contest to settle the dispute. He also agreed that any sensible judge would concur that cheddar cheese does not belong in guacamole.
In the meantime, my postal probation indicates I can now communicate with any uniformed mail carrier as long as I don't upset their delicate sensibilities. I'm relieved to have put this feud behind me and can look forward to many long years of home delivery as well as conversing with the men and women in uniform who serve and deliver.
I'm going to test the boundaries of my new found freedom and not only strike up a cheery conversation with Jerome, but offer him some chips and a refreshing beverage. Let's hope this is an ice-breaker and the beginning of a new relationship. I'm also hoping he rethinks his know-it-all attitude about cheese, which I plan to bring up on numerous occasions until he sees things my way.
Rumor of the episode has spread wildly across town, resulting in a flurry of mail addressed to me as "The Snowball Terrorist." I'm hoping this subsides as it has the potential to dredge up bad memories for the somewhat jittery Jerome.
Posted by Dale Wickum at 7:32 PM