Random Acts of Stamps

So I went and procrastinated, and found myself at the post office around six, standing in line for the stamp machine.

I needed ONE stamp. It would only sell booklets, and the line was wedged up to the door and starting to snake.

It wasn’t bad. Everybody was very chatty in the way that people do when they are Not Going To Panic. (See, this is a southern thing. In the midwest, we would avoid eye contact, smile guiltily if anybody happened to corner us, and generally believe that this was our punishment for not having filed much earlier.) Unfortunately, the machine was also the one that weighed mail and dispensed labels, and so it was the usual mix of technologically-hip young sorts* who were in and out in thirty seconds, and the slow, painful grinding of people weighing a metric skunkton of envelopes and then panicking when confronted with the touch screen. (What is this alien technology?!)

So I finally get up to the front, buy my book of stamps, apply my ONE stamp, mail my envelope, and turn around.

Line is still about a dozen people long. Do I NEED a book of stamps? Naaah. Do I need the karmic balance? Almost certainly.

I cleared my throat and said “Hell, is anybody else just waiting to buy a stamp?”

Eyes riveted on me like vultures spotting tasty tasty self-stick roadkill.

“It’s April fifteenth, I figure we’re all in this together, and I really don’t need the whole book…”

Let me just say that if you’ve never been in a stamp related feeding frenzy…well, it’s an experience.

In less than one minute the line was halved, my stamps were gone, and I think I came out three bucks ahead on the deal, but I’m not entirely sure.

There’s probably money to be made, this one day a year, scalping stamps, but somebody else is gonna have to take that one…

*I will include myself in this number, despite my occasional Luddite tendencies.

Leave a Reply