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Walking Cross Country to Deliver the Mail

walking cross country -

I received a package 77 days after it was shipped from DC. Walking cross country, I could get from DC to Colorado in 54 days.


I received a package shipped from Washington, DC, to my home in Denver. It showed after a mere 77 days in transit. Where had this package been for the past 77 days? The USPS has no idea.

USPS: Ma’am, the shipper should have purchased delivery tracking, delivery confirmation, insurance, and a dozen other bells and whistles we sell that make our pricing untenable.

Carolyn: Stop calling me ma’am.

USPS: Ma’am, I’m trying to explain that this problem could have been rectified in advance.

Carolyn: Like a preemptive military strike?

USPS: Ma’am?

Carolyn: See, the problem is that if I had paid to have this box shipped with delivery tracking and confirmation and insurance I would have had to take out a second home loan to cover the cost. And all I’d have to show for it is the ability to track the box’s 77-day journey around the U.S.

USPS: I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Carolyn: I get that a lot. Here’s the thing: The Pony Express could have made the delivery in 10 days. If I had walked eight hours a day, it would take only 54 days to get from DC to Colorado. Though it is a pretty big box. It might have taken two people to carry it. Paying someone to accompany me in order to carry a box across the country could get pretty spendy. There’s also food and lodging to consider. I guess I could call in one big-ass favor. You know, rope a sibling or a lifelong friend into a 54-day “adventure.” Like Cheryl Strayed on the Pacific Crest Trail, only more corn fields and prairie dogs.

USPS: It’s not clear what you’re trying to say.

Carolyn: When you think about it, there’s an absence of clarity all the way around.

USPS: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Carolyn: You haven’t helped me with anything thus far, which severely limits your ability to help me with anything else. Though I guess I should mention that I’m also missing a book shipped from Hartford 10 days ago. I went with Media Mail, so I’m guessing you didn’t put your best cross-country walkers on the job. Assuming the postal workers walking cross country are pokey, how many more days do you think it’ll take the box to get to Colorado?

USPS: Please stop talking, ma’am.

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