Friday, January 06, 2006


I had to mail a package at the Post Office today. Ahead of me in line was a young man -- nineteen, maybe twenty tops. Behind me was a very elderly man -- in his seventies at least, sparse white hair, bone-thin with his skin hanging in wrinkles and folds, a full head shorter than me. Behind him was a woman nearly if not equally as old, bent by a curved spine.

We all heard as the young man ahead of me was called to the next available clerk and requested a Postal Service money order for $50.00. He then arranged for second-day guaranteed delivery (I didn't even know the USPS offered that service) and paid extra for Sunday delivery (today is Friday). Between the obscenely overpriced Postal money order and the special delivery he spent about $15.00 to send someone fifty lousy bucks. While he was at the counter he got a call on his cell phone. We all heard him tell whoever it was, "I'm at the Post Office now. Your Dad will have the money on Sunday."

Apparently I wasn't the only one who found this transaction absurd. The very elderly man behind me turned to the almost-as-elderly woman behind him and said: "I never send money through the mail anymore. I send money and pay all my bills on my computer over the Internet. It's so much easier."

To which the almost-as-elderly woman replied: "I do, too. I was nervous at first, but now I can't remember the last time I wrote a check."

I had a momentary feeling of being in some sort of time warp. But I got over it. Go, you elderly guy and almost-as-elderly girl! Go! You are the future. And damn this retro crap.



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