This is what I see when I step into the post office. The three slots are marked, left to right, Mail, Metered Letters, and Stamped Letters.
Mailing a letter should be a breezy thoughtless action upon which no stress is expended. Instead of stepping through a simple and satisfying procedure, however, I am left standing before this daunting triumvirate, tapping my check for $71.89 in its window envelope against my left palm, my face twisted in indecision. Given the choices before me, what is the appropriate way to get this hot baby en route to the Illuminating Company? An internal Erin Q&A ensues.
1. Is it Mail?
2. Is it a Metered Letter?
What sort of meter are we talking here? Does this meter expire? Where is it? Is there a meter maid?
Best not tangle with this mother.
3. Is it a Stamped Letter?
It is stamped, to be sure. But the concept of letter evokes a feather-plumed pen, thoughtful chin scratching moments, and a breathless recipient floating somewhere in the ether as he/she anticipates the arrival of the lofty missive.
Even though a smiley face beams from my return address label, I'm not so sure my electric bill is a letter.
Suppose I put it in there anyway.
Perhaps some cigar-chewing Post Office guy would heave himself from his dusty desk, retrieve the latest Stamped Letter slot deposit, hold it up for the rest of the postal employees to see and boom, "Get a load of this! O'Brien's out there fooling around with the Stamped Letter slot again. She actually thinks we're going to handle some cold-blooded electric bill like it was an invitation to an 8-year-old's birthday party. Well, she's got another thing coming!"
And who is using the Metered Letter slot? No doubt some haughty high-heeled broad who walks right in with her bundle of crisp Metered Letters and shoves them in the center slot without one blink of hesitation. Then she sniffs at the rest of the sweatshirt-clad postally-challenged idiots like me before sashaying out the double-glass doors and back to the promised land of Mail Meters and Forever stamps. Must be nice.
Maybe the joke is on her. After all, the three slots are exactly the same size and they all list the same three pick up times.
How much you want to bet that they all feed into to the same bin?
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