More Ashes

So the mailman came with Carol’s mom’s ashes, but we weren’t at home so the mailperson left a note saying we could pick the package up at the local post office.  Carol said she would go over to pick it up the next day, but then she came into my closet office and asked me would I do it, and she was boohooing.  I thought, because I wasn’t looking at her, that it was pretend boohooing (as in poor, poor pitiful me)(sometimes I pretend boohooing and am pretty good at it, thought I am no good at the real thing) but then I looked and saw she wasn’t pretend boohooing.

So I went over to the Post Office and went to the spot where I had picked up undelivered mail before and having waited ten minutes was told that I was in the wrong line and should go to the main office where one picked up undelivered, registered mail. 

Registered means, I guess, somebody has to sign for it and that’s different from undelivered mailed that isn’t registered. I guess if I were shipping somebody’s mother’s ashes to them I would send it registered too because you would want to make sure you didn’t deliver the ashes to the wrong person or something.

So I go and wait in the main line for another ten minutes and go up to one of the three clerks there, and I am told that I am in the wrong line.  Instead I should go to the line for the guy who has the “key.”  How the hell I am supposed to know who has the key or even that there is one, I don’t know.  And I don’t know even what the key is for though I guess they may have a special place for locking up ashes.

I go to the clerk that the other clerk pointed at and wait behind this young couple who appear to be mailing something to somebody in a corn flake box with tape all around it, and they go on and on about how to ship it.  Finally, I get to the guy with the key and say I was sent to him because he has this mysterious key.  Then he looks at the card I brought with me—the one left by the post person—and he looks at me and concludes I am not Carol Press.

I saw no, I am not Carol Press, but that Carol Press is my wife and we have been married for like 30 years and we live right over there in Goleta by the nine hole golf course.  And he mumbles something about bending the rules, and I say, I am here to pick up the package because the package contains the cremated ashes of my wife’s mother and my wife gets upset thinking about her mother’s ashes, much less picking them up, so I am there to do that for her.

I mean what was the guy going to say to that. So he disappears and after another ten minutes comes back with this neatly wrapped package, that is pretty heavy and about the size of a slightly flattened loaf of bread and I stick it in the house somewhere where Carol will not have to see it or deal with it until she is ready to do so.

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