One of the memorable lines in the movie The Jerk is uttered by Navin Johnson (a character played by Steve Martin) who gets overly excited when the new phonebook arrives. The other day I came home and found two pieces of mail lying next to the door slot (actually, I stepped on them because I no longer look down to see if there is mail). Immediately, I started acting like a jerk, exclaiming in high-pitched voice "I got mail, I got mail…"
One good thing about the limited mail service is that, while we don’t get much mail, we don’t receive any junk mail; it all gets weeded out at the processing center. Unfortunately, so do magazine subscriptions and catalogues. Hey, speaking of the mail processing center, guess where that is?
Yes, Virginia, it’s in Houston, Texas. Which means that no one in their right mind would mail a letter across town (frankly, no one in their right mind would mail a letter to anyone in New Orleans period). As this graphic demonstrates, a letter sent from Uptown New Orleans to the French Quarter has to travel 712 miles, instead of the 3 actual miles that lie between those two locations.
And this is why my friend Vincent, who runs a package delivery service called Just Courier, is so busy. He doesn’t ride his bike in the sleet or snow, but his processing facility is located right here, well, at my house. And he also has a car so even a little sleet wouldn’t trouble him.
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The problem with mail that I feel most accutely has more to do with work than mail at home. I regularly get pleadings, orders from the court, and in the most recent case, the jury venire days after folks outside of New Orleans.
I have so far been lucky, in that co-counsel have provided me copies of that kind of thing by fax or email when *they* get it, but I wonder what I don’t know I’m missing?
That quells the wonder about how a hammer can cost $800 in the federal government.