Thursday, March 29, 2007

Going Postal!

More crazy than plum.

Yesterday, after we left the Plum Crazy diner post MollyJoy, Keith and I embarked on the last really long day of driving. Actually, the total driving time wasn't anything compared to the past few days, but we had a lot of stops to make on the way.

First up was my friend, The Postmaster. Psycho Sharon and I met the same day we both met Weird Al Yankovic, and have been friends ever since. (Yes, we're nerds.) She's a bundle of energy and has paid her (postage) dues and worked her way up to Postmaster somewhere in Maryland.

Psycho Sharon: Postmaster!

Only the Chosen Ones can enter!

Sharon was kind enough to let us into the backstage area of the Post Office, where she walked us through what the carriers do before their routes each morning.

Served hot 'n fresh every morning!

I used to call Sharon up to holler at her about the Hollywood Post Office (Big Red Gayle in particular) because it would often take tens of thousands of hours for me to get anything done while there. I would walk in holding a slip that told me I have a package waiting for me at the Post Office, and Gayle would take the slip and go into the back room. Sometimes for up to a half-hour at a time. More often than not, she would return empty handed. So Sharon showed us where these packages live and, it turns out, Gayle was just kind of an idiot. (Sharon simply confirmed my theories.)

Psycho Sharon: Postmaster of her domain

Sharon then took us through a teeny, tiny secret trap door to show us what happens underneath the Post Office:

Post Office Jail

As always with the Post Office, safety is a priority. So Keith and I had to promise to do our best to maintain a safe work environment for the Community of Postal Workers, both in and out of the Post Office.

Keith Burke: Alert Citizen!

Of course, sometimes I have problems following directions. . .

I have problems.

Sharon soon escorted us out of the building and drove us a few blocks away to the Mail Sorting Facility! The tour then turned into a Sesame Street-esque guide through the inner workings of the Post Office. Huge piles of mail are sorted through in mere seconds. Sharon even pointed out a little pile of debris, saying that this is where our letters go when the machines eat them! We learned all about optical readers (which can pick out what the zip code is on your hand written envelope.) Apparently, they have a 95% accuracy rating these days! Most of the actual sorting is done overnight, but Sharon's friend Bob was kind enough to pile about a thousand pieces of mail onto a machine that sorted them all in about two minutes. (Actually, the machine stopped working halfway through--but we got the idea.)

We then saw all the sorted letters go into bundles and get placed on a conveyor belt, where little rods knock them into giant carts according to which zip code they're going to.

All this was cool...but neither Mr. McFeely nor Cliff Clavin were there.

Oh well. After the tour of the plant, Keith and I had to haul ass out of town to have lunch with the, despite our behavior, Sharon sent us on our way with some Post Office Prizes!

We got pens, luggage tags and a neat-o Safety Kit, because clearly, we need one:

The Postmaster says: Stamp out danger!

Soon, we were on the road, heading towards Casa Ruane for lunch. When we arrived, the Ruanes were entirely too kind to us. MamaRu had lunch totally prepared for us, and PapaRu had the Dress-A-Goose at the ready that Jon bought for them a few years ago.

Awww, the Ru's!

Goose Ruane

PapaRu with new best friends ChickenJoy and Dress-a-Goose!

PapaRu took Keith and I into downtown Dover, for a possible audience with the Mayor.

Unfortunately, the Dover Mayor was out of the office for the day. But that didn't stop us from having fun around town! We went to the racetrack and casino, where PapaRu nearly got arrested for snapping a photo of Keith and I playing Blackjack.

Right before security swarmed around us.

Afterwards, it was time to head out of Dover, DE and into Bookieville, USA! On our way to Cherry Hill, ChickenJoy went exploring inside of the HHR, and found the giant hole in the roof where the dome light was supposed to be.

Tragedy Strikes!

When the accident occurred, Keith and I scrambled like chickens with our... umm...well, we tried to hurry to rectify the situation. Luckily, we used Psycho Sharon's Post Office Safety Kit and rescued Chickenjoy!

We're expecting Chickenjoy to make a full recovery.

By this time, Keith and I were clearly delirious--suffering from lack of sleep and lack of a real car. So by the time we got to the Bookbinder Household, we were pretty much fried. Adam's mother made a delicious dinner and Keith and I ate our faces off. Mr. Bookie introduced us to the joys of Grappa Julia.

It was described to us as a Grape-brandy. Adam tasted it and his head nearly popped off. So, of course, I had to try it. Upon hitting my tongue, the taste was remarkably similar to that of Robitussin (DM!) And so, for a brief moment, I enjoyed it. Then, I swallowed.

Artist's rendering of me, Post Grappa.

It literally turned into acid after leaving my tongue. My mind blanked out for a while, and the only other thing I remember of the night is Mr. Bookie telling us about a road trip he took with his buddy once, which involved the car they were driving sinking on the beach as the tide came in. After drudging the car from the water, they had to run with it to make it go fast enough for the engine to turn--a'la Little Miss Sunshine.

Keith and I briefly considered going to Wildwood and leaving the HHR on the beach (only we wouldn't drudge ours out.) We decided against it, however, since neither of us could keep our eyes open.

But the Bookbinders couldn't have been more gracious and we had a blast--even if we were incoherent most of the time.


Today: Keith meets my family. And, by extension, so do you. I don't think I'm ready for this. Neither are you. Trust me.


Jon said...

Dress-A-Goose is clearly everyone's favorite Ru I'm gonna have to fly back to Delaware and kill it dead.

Or something.

Rachel said...

Do you know that they don't even MAKE Dress-A-Goose anymore? How sad is that? 'Cuz if they did...gurl!! Everyone would be getting one for his or her birthday.

Lucia Pamela said...

Jesus Christ. You guys are so fucking adorable, you are going to have to look at this. It's so cute you may vomit, but stay 'til the end:

Jon said...

You think that's cute?

Watch this:

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