If you visit New York City’s Farley Post Office, you’ll see the following inscription: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Because of the popularity of this phrase, most Americans assume the postal service will go to great lengths to deliver the mail. My name is Freddy Ahearn. I’m a postman from Romer, PA. And I’m here to say one thing: fuck that noise.
Seriously, did you read that inscription, or just skim over it? It starts with “Neither snow” because it can’t ease into the hard stuff. I’ve delivered mail in the heat. Start there. Or maybe with a cool Spring day! If it snows out, I’m going back to bed and delivering your circular and Southern Living the next day. You don’t need mail that badly.
If it rains, why do I have to get soaked? Have you ever tried carrying a mail bag and an umbrella at the same time? It’s fucking impossible. When I DO pull it off, my routes complain because the mail is soaked. Until there’s an umbrella wide enough for me AND the mail, just shut the fuck up, OK?
Don’t even get me started on “gloom of night”! Who speaks this way? Also: WHO DELIVERS MAIL AT NIGHT?!? Once that sun sets, I’m headed home. Did I not reach your house in time? I’ll simply start there the next day. People complain that this makes delivery unpredictable, but guess what: your tips are unpredictable. You wait until the holidays, and then it just so happens that you go on vacation and “miss” me. But yeah, go ahead and complain to my boss because I’m not out there slinging paper under the GLOOM OF NIGHT. Y’all are fucking crazy.
I know what you’re thinking: why do I still do it? I’ve tried so many times to get out of the game. I failed the UPS driving test. I failed the FedEx driving test. I failed the DHL driving test. Yeah, sure, LaserShip doesn’t have a driving test, but I can’t go home for the holidays and tell my dad I work for LaserShip. At least the post office has a long and proud tradition. LaserShip’s creepy vans are going to show up on To Catch A Predator one day. Mark my words.
Naturally, this is why I’m trying to become a writer. Will you be reading this in The New Yorker? Hopefully. If not, I’m sure some other fine publication will pick it up, and pay me a king’s ransom to run it.
The next time you complain about your mail not being delivered after your town gets 3 inches of snow, remember me. Remember my pain. Remember my aspirations. And then look me up on Amazon.com to see if I’ve managed to publish a book. If I have, please buy it. You won’t regret it.
Freddy Ahearn is a postman in Romer, PA. He is available for freelance writing gigs.