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National Editorials & Columns

That’s pushing the Manila envelope

The other day I stared in shock at my overstuffed post office box, which was abundant with a wonderful bounty of junk mail, hate mail and death threats. Also inside of the postal box was a large manila envelope. Not just any manila envelope either, the kind Amazon might use if they were shipping, say, a rare book about vampires.

Clearly the large manila envelope had no business being in my post office box. Reality as we know it dictates it’s empirically impossible to carefully place a large manila envelope (insulated with bubble wrap) into a post office box the diameter of an aluminum can.

It’s just unfortunate the United States Postal Services and its representatives feel otherwise.

I don’t want to beat a dead horse but the large manila envelope even had a huge Amazon logo on it. What I’m trying to say is nothing about the manila envelope suggested, “Hey, fold me up like an oddly-contorted Russian circus girl and shove me as hard as you can into a confined space.”

But this shouldn’t surprise me because the village post office is under new management.

So after I delicately extracted the manila envelope from the post office box as if it was a game of Operation, I collected the rest of the mail and headed home.

Upon closer inspection I was somehow delivered my brother’s heating and cooling bill, too. My initial thought was, “Well I certainly hope he doesn’t expect me to pay this for him.” Then I realized the bill was placed in the wrong post office box, which wasn’t the first time, or the last, something like this has happened.

But this also shouldn’t surprise me because the village post office is under new management.

Practically everyone where I live has a post office box. I know some people are very prejudicial toward people with PO boxes. I know I am. Usually when someone gives me an address with a post office box I suspect them of being a creepy pervert. Who else besides creepy perverts have PO boxes? It’s how they get their skin magazines.

Of course, I shouldn’t talk. I was the one who ordered a rare (and possibly powerful) vampire book. So I guess that stereotype holds water after all.

Further compounding this situation is the fact there are three Sanders post office boxes, including my parents, at the village post office. To make matters worse there are several Saunders (note the “u”) who also live on the same street. So I am sure it is easy for the post master lady — post mistress, is that PC? — to become confused from time to time.

Still, I do seem to get entirely too much of my brother’s mail.

I have a theory.

Awhile back one of the postal employees called me by my brother’s name as a salutation. As a middle child of three boys it has become almost customary to be called by one of their names. I don’t know why but I didn’t immediately correct the worker so she kept calling me by the wrong name.

A few days went by before I ended up correcting her.

“Actually, that’s my brother, my name is Will,” I finally informed her.

She looked me dead in the eyes and without hesitation asked a follow up question. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m fairly certain,” I said nodding my head, but I could tell she wasn’t entirely convinced.

What if I keep getting my brother’s mail because she still thinks I’m my brother? If so, what hope do I have? Or maybe I’m making too much out of a few innocent mistakes in identity.

Still, it doesn’t excuse driving my vampire book into my post office box like a wooden stake. That’s taking things too far — that’s pushing the envelope.

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