Friday, November 14, 2008


It's tough being a mailma'am. You wanna know how tough? So, last week at work I was on one of our walk-out routes—that's the kind where you don't use a mailmobile, you just grab a stack of mail and your satchel and head out the Post Office on foot. So while the regular guy was whooping it up on Kauai with his new girlfriend, I was watching the ink run on the sodden mail in my hands, since we got about five inches of rain these past seven days.

At least the rain wasn't particularly cold, or the ground frosty, or windy out. Those gusts coming off the cold, cold Pacific Ocean hurt. Especially in shorts.

The regular, though, he's a smart guy. Those walk-out routes use big green relay boxes to store the mail until the carrier gets to that part of the route. And this regular has rain gear stashed in each and every box, just in case. So on Saturday when the drizzle turned into a downpour I tucked the mail under my arm and high-tailed it to the nearest relay to grab a slicker. I threw my thoroughly-soaked cotton windbreaker in the box and trudged on.

By the time I got my windbreaker back (from the regular relief carrier who'd gone out that day) later Monday afternoon, it wasn't yet starting to smell, but it was pretty close. Still damp, still wadded up. If it had warmed up any, or if the sun'd come out, the heat inside the metal relay box might have dried my little jacket, but it rained all weekend.

And now my shoes smell. I never thought about it, but lawns have just as much dog pee as anything else a dog might deposit. And cutting across lawns all over town month after month, dewey, fog-kissed, urine-tainted lawns in leather yeah, when my shoes get really wet, they smell like dog pee.

And then today I stepped in dog poo.

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