Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Old Ones Are The Best

Our friendly Maltese postman is off getting married, so we've had more than the usual run of temporary Christmas postfolk. Posties have been in the news recently, because of an absurd management target that they should average 4 m.p.h. on their round. Incredible. Some hairy-legged Brit explorer was on the Radio the other morning explaining the impossibility of this -- it's effectively a jog-trot -- but that won't stop some fool in a suit harrassing posties to walk faster!

Like most people, I've done my stint as a postman to earn a bit of Christmas cash (though my best stories are about the year I spent a week on a turkey farm, where a friend was a farm-hand, stretching necks and plucking feathers in an unheated barn), so I'm not unsympathetic. However... The new guys are in the habit of folding everything in half into a wad and ramming it through the letterbox, shredding envelopes and content in the process. This makes me VERY ANGRY.

So, I will mention what used to be a joke, but now reflects bitter experience:

One of those card-backed envelopes comes in the post, marked "PHOTOGRAPHS: DO NOT BEND." Before folding it in half and shoving it through the letterbox, the postman has written on it: "OH YES THEY DO."

As the season of Idiotic Hats is hard upon us, I thought I'd also mention this little aper├žu from the estimable comic David Mitchell, which he came out with on Radio 4 the other day. He said he judged people by whether they wore their Christmas cracker hat, and how long they kept it on. Those who took them off ASAP were basically vain people with a limited sense of fun. He preferred people who kept them on as long as possible. Indeed, he himself tended to keep his on so long that when he finally removed it, it felt as if he was still wearing it... The sheer joy of recognition in that still makes me smile.

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