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Gone Postal

This post is dedicated to the brave men and women of the United States Postal Service, who come rain or shine, snow or volcanic eruption, will boldly and without question, engage anything made of cardboard or paper in mortal combat.

Their remarkable ability to bend or fold most anything, even cardboard tubes, without fear of “do not fold” stickers, is second to none in the known universe… and beyond!

But this year, they have gone above and beyond. Their astounding levels of daring and brazenness know absolutely no limits … as demonstrated by our moving experience of this summer past – wherein they not only managed to defend our home for weeks against our long-awaited priority packages, but completely and totally destroyed most everything they did not pilfer.

As tribute, I offer you this list of little known facts, tips, pointers regarding the USPS:

1) The only way to destroy Chuck Norris, is to ship him.

2) Need to turn rocks into gravel? Ship them! Why waste all that time and energy with the sledge hammer when you can have violent postal-monkeys do it for you?

*Trick: to save on postage – address the package, put a stamp on it, and drop it off at your local post office. Insufficient postage means it will come back to you, as long as it has no resale value. If not thoroughly broken, repeat.

3) Need a building destroyed? Put a shipping label on it! The USPS is unaccountable for terrorist acts, and are licensed to kill any and all who get in their way… even bears! one of those minor details that most tend to forget about – until it is too late anyway.

4) If you need diapers, fill a box with valuable things and ship it. Seriously – when we moved via the USPS, our box arrived minus an antique tomohawk, a canoptic jar, airbrush set, and gods only know what else. All these things turned into packages of diapers!!!

The postal monkey lady tried to explain this as “The box must have been too empty to ship safely, so they probably padded it to protect your things”.

… apparently the post office, despite their status as a “shipping service” – has absolutely no shipping paper, peanuts, or bubble wrap.

They do however have mountains and mountains of diapers… because they are just *that* hardcore!

To further ensure the protection of our valuables, they also removed them from the box completely – and have most likely stored them at N.O.R.A.D. for safe keeping.

Last year, after being amazed by their ability to fold the unfoldable, I began the practice of shipping most of my prints in reinforced heavy duty cardboard tubes, and hermetically vacuum-sealing the end caps (just in case the post office uses them in a log-rolling competition).

Since then, they have only managed to destroy one tubed package (folded), and three cardboard reinforced photo mailers; These I credit to the postmaster general – or perhaps one of his postmaster colonels, all of which are rumored to be able to fold steel girders, concrete pillars, time, space, and even my best-reinforced packaging.

Unfortunately, some of the printing services I use, still ship in outdated ‘box technology’ – so I end up with packages of damaged prints on my doorstep… oblong things which were once square… wrestled with and fornicated upon.

These I typically ship back for a refund, or file a claim for. In cases where the damage went un-noticed for weeks after receiving, however, Beth typically uses them in her craft projects. Otherwise I hold onto them for conventions – offering them as freebies or for cheap, or using them as display pieces for unwatched children-monkeys to chew on, and for contagion-ridden adult human-things to touch with their filthy human hands (though not necessarily in that order).

Recently, because of the sasquatch conspiracy, sales have been at an all-time low; Things were actually bad enough that I was starting to worry that perhaps people had found about my various crimes against humanity.

I was very, very relieved to find out that such was not the case, and more relieved to find that I can put the ‘barely damaged’, unnoticeably damaged pieces up for sale, and they vanish almost instantly.

… So this week, I think Beth and I will go through our damaged prints and set up a special section on for just these sort of things. If you would like to know when these offers are… offered, you can subscribe to the rss2 feed for my site, or go to the EttaDiem site and do the same.

2 thoughts on “Gone Postal

  1. I too have experienced the benevolent ministrations of the United States Postal Service.

    Just over two years ago, when I moved to the winter-less haven that is Southern California, I decided only to bring that which could fit in two very over-full suitcases with me, and either ship the rest or store it with my folks back home.

    My absolute favorite DVDs went into my non-checked luggage. (There was NO way I would allow even the possibility that the baggage-monkeys might destroy my favorite movies.) The rest, I entrusted to our volcano-proof, sleet-toughened national post service.

    Months later, when the remains of the box arrived, I was initially angry and upset. I wondered what sort of klepto-monkey would rip open a box full of DVDs and steal them, mid-shipment. Then I realized that by refusing to insure my shipment, I had sent a signal to the Post Office that I really just had waaaaay too much stuff. Naturally, they pitched in to help me alleviate my clutter issues by cutting the space used by my DVD collection in half.

    Aren’t they amazing?

    1. Ah yes.

      For ours, realizing that uninsured packages suffer such fates, we decided to try to fool them by insuring our packages.

      Though only insured for $50 each, we thought the “insured” on the label would communicate to them “This one is okay for not violating”.

      We have found that such is no longer the case – they called our bluff, knowing that there was probably more than $50 worth of booty in the large package – and also that – even though we would know things had been pilfered, it would take weeks of unpacking and thinking before we could figure out what was missing.

      It is rather hard to complain about missing items, when you don’t even know what is gone. The $50 insurance would not be worth the effort of filing for it.

      And though tracking used to be enough to prevent loss, then insurance once that was no longer the case – there is really little that can be done these days.

      I think they are hiring from a pool of people who are unhappy to be employed in well-paying government positions.

      Nonetheless, they do end to settle claims on the goods they ruin – and though I do all I can to prevent it – I’ve come to find that damaged shipments are much like a double sale:

      One, the post office buys, to satisfy their need to destroy, and the second goes to the customer.

      This is not too bad of a deal when it all comes down. Currently, I cannot just go to the post office and have them pay me for something to break – I still have to go through their proper bureaucratic channels.

      Hopefully they work this system out sometime in the near future.

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