Rob Terry: Staff Writer / Psychic Cynic
Many people wake up on April 1st with plans to put saran wrap over the toilet, or super glue a pen cap to a pen, or maybe even to put a big hunk of Jell-O in their mailbox. But do these people even ever consider the consequences of their actions? No, they don’t. And one local Post Office workers will not tolerate it anymore. One, Deliva Demala, is very tired of April Fools’ Day. Why?
Well, just look at the latest study by CAMM (Center Against Mailman Mistreatment). Though the center’s credibility has fallen under scrutiny, because they don’t include or specify mailwomen in their acronym, I still believe it is a totally legitimate source. Their latest study shows that postal workers are pranked harsher and more often on April Fools’ Day than everyone else. That’s right: worse than teachers, bosses and even your parents. And every year it gets progressively worse. The study cited a 1994 Fools’ Day incident where a mailman reportedly got his hand stuck to a manila envelope covered in invisible orange gorilla glue. The outcome could have been tragic.
I chatted with local mail-lady Deliva Demala to get her thoughts on the day in question. She wore her regular navy blue uniform, but she had a Silly String spray container clipped on to her belt. We sat down in front of a house on Clayton to share a cigarette.
“So Deliva, why are you sick of April Fools’ Day?”
“Why am I so fed up? I’ll tell you why I’m so fed up! Cause people keep putting crap in their mailboxes!” Deliva continued her tirade, “Jell-o, Applesauce, bobble head dolls of John Madden, fake envelopes glued to the bottom of the mailbox, crap! It’s all crap! And once a year all the crap comes my way.”
She took a long drag, “I just wish that people realized what I realized a long time ago about AFD.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“That it’s the least funny day in the year. You get all these people who never pull any pranks trying to be funny guys all of a sudden: it just doesn’t work. My, I mean, one year somebody put a Jack-In-The-Box in there!”
“In where?” I inquired.
“In their mailbox!”
I laughed. Deliva didn’t.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Go on please, Deliva.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve seen everything. And ya wanna know the worst I’ve ever seen? I mean the absolute grossest I’ve ever witnessed on AFD?” Deliva piqued my interest.
“Yes, yes please.” Anytime I hear “grossest” I can’t help but listen.
“One year, I can’t remember when, maybe it was ‘87; somebody put a skunk in their mailbox. You hear that? A skunk!”
“No way. A living, breathing, real live skunk?” I asked.
“Oh no. Thing was dead as a doorknob. And it was in there tight. I had to yank at it for twenty minutes to pull it outta there. Almost had to call for backup. And when I finally had the damn thing outta there it’s excrement spilled all over my uniform. I had to walk the rest of my route smelling like a dead skunk.” Deliva finished her story, and her cigarette.
“Wow. What a story. Well, Deliva, I’m off to class. Thank you for the interview!”
“No honey, thank you.”
We parted and went our own separate ways.
April Fools’ Day reminds us of one humbling fact: we are what we mail. If we don’t treat our mailboxes with respect, how can we treat each other with respect?