Accidents Will Happen

Once upon a time, there was a handsome young mailman named Paul.  Every day he kissed his very lovely wife Lee Ann goodbye, shouldered his mailbag, and courageously headed out into the concrete jungle to deliver vital pieces of junk mail to every home.  Daily, many dangers faced him, but he laughed in the face of hardship, as he did his duty to his country and neighborhood for, “The mail must go through.”

The difficulties that opposed him came in various shapes and forms, most of which would not be appear, to the uninitiated, to be dangers.  There were bird feeders and ladders lurking around every corner, hoping to smack him in the forehead and knock him silly.  (But his official postal jungle helmet always saved the day and his noggin.)  There were ankle-biting Chihuahuas hiding behind the petunia patches.  In the winter, there were sidewalks with hidden ice patches, just waiting to rise up and bang the honest man’s backside or cranium.  AND there were dump trucks.  Dump trucks here and dump trucks there, all waiting to run into our handsome hero’s mail vehicle and flatten it into a pancake.

Let us examine, a little more closely, just one of these dump truck incidents.  Our dedicated letter carrier was minding his own business, attempting to deliver mail to a curbside box.  Unbeknownst to him, construction workers have a certain quota of mailboxes that MUST become casualties to their construction job, and a dump truck driver had chosen that very mailbox to help him meet his quota.  Unfortunately, the dump truck driver had determined to back into said mailbox at the exact moment that Paul was putting mail into it.

“Beep, beep, beep, beep,” went the dump truck, as it relentlessly bore down on the mailman and his faithful mount.  “BEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!”  went the mail truck’s horn, as our horrified hero thought, “This is the end of me!”

Fortunately, the dump truck hit and destroyed the front end of the mail vehicle, not the part where Paul was located.  Shaken, but happy to still be alive, he called headquarters to give them a report of how much fun he was having delivering mail.

In the days that followed, our courageous hero found out that he was NOT a hero.  He was the object of wrath, for everyone knows that being in the wrong place at the wrong time is the same as being completely at fault when there is an accident of this magnitude.  The Postmaster General does not like to hear, while sitting at his fine desk in Washington D.C., that another postal vehicle has been demolished and must be replaced.  He worries about the price of stamps going up, each time this happens.  He has a very hard job, poor thingie!  Mailmen are easy to replace, but alas! mail trucks are not.  Had our hapless letter carrier been outside of his truck and been hit in his own insignificant person, there would not have been much problem.  But such was not the case.

Weeks went by, during which the fearless? young mailman tiptoed gingerly around the post office, hoping the postal hotline would not ring with orders from the top command to eliminate the foul perpetrator of the crime (himself).  Ahhh!  But while being interrogated for the umpteenth time about HOW such a thing could happen to a postal truck, the light bulb suddenly went on, and he remembered a very important piece of evidence: the dump truck driver had been wearing hearing aids!  This undoubtedly meant that there was a reason that the driver did not stop backing up when the mail truck’s horn went “BEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!”  He did not hear it!  Perhaps he had forgotten to replace the batteries in his hearing aids, did not hear the BEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!  and this was why he destroyed the poor little mail vehicle.

The result of this important bit of data was that the Postal Service went after the construction company to pay for the replacement of the mail truck, the price of stamps therefore did not go up, the Postmaster General stopped treating his stress with TUMS and resisted the temptation to go postal, and …

Our handsome, courageous, completely competent, and perfectly vindicated young mailman hero and his very lovely wife lived happily ever after.

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