Canada Post: Old Man Winter’s Unlikely Ally
Winter worries… if only we could shovel them away like snow, or quickly swallow them like vitamin D pills. While the missus and I were prepared for what we imagined was the worst winter here had to offer, we were caught off guard by the source of one of this season’s strangest setbacks. While we’ve come to rely on CBC’s Ryan Snoddon for weather warnings, we were not expecting Canada Post to be the bearer of some of this season’s bad news.
Understanding the stereotypical Newfoundland accent is an art in itself, but trying to pick out details from a voicemail recording is as difficult as listening to a commentator over the audible anguish of very disappointed Maple Leafs Fans. From what I could make out from a message left is that someone from the Post Office wanted us to call them. The caller didn’t specifically ask for anyone, or leave a number – at least not that I could make out. For all I knew, he was looking for an old friend who used to be at the other end of our phone number.
Ignoring the message seemed the best option, since we were unable to decipher the phone number. Neither the caller id feature on our phone, nor our trusty telephone directory or our will to use it were working at the time. We could have gone down to the Post Office, but this would have meant leaving the apartment to battle angry geriatrics determined to buy their stamps. But by the end of the week, Canada Post’s equivalent of Magneto was waiting for me at our door. He would not be ignored.
Armed with a sling shot and a hand full of accusations, he looked at me with the same disdain that David’s eyes had for Goliath. Except that size-wise, he was Goliath, and I was David. In a cold tone, he rattled off our offences to the Crown Corporation. (Perhaps this is making the gentleman who visited us seem a bit too menacing. In his defence, it was ten degrees below zero, hence his cold tone. His shivering probably resulted in the rattled speech.)
Apparently, our duplex didn’t have a paved walkway from the street to the door. And our top step was not quite level. And walking to our front door is like attempting to summit the Rockies. And we didn’t have milk or cookies ready for the mail carrier. (That last complaint was possibly from a different delivery service, but I’m not entirely sure now.) The United States Postal Service’s creed indicates that “…neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay [them] from the swift completion of [their] appointed rounds. Ever.” Evidently, Canada Post has its own creed with several reasons why completion of appointed rounds will not be swift, if at all.
Snow and rain they can handle. Not too much heat to contend with in Atlantic Canada, so that would be a freebee. Winds of change – Newfoundland does have a great deal of wind warnings, which certainly does change their usual routine. (For Canada Post’s purposes, ‘winds of change’ does not include wage disputes and the like. Striking is apparently the only way to resolve these.) But God forbid the mail carrier should be required to walk a slight terrace to get to your mail box.
I understand that Canada is the land of limited liability, so I do not hold any of this against Canada Post, or Magneto, or the union rep demanding milk and cookies for the carrier who suffers from low blood sugar. I just quietly digest my vitamin D supplements and pick up the shovel.