this is it.
they’ll be coming for me any minute now.
not just the campus police from across the river or the parking authority downtown. not even the city police or heaven forbid the state troopers.
nope. i didn’t start with any small time crime.
i stole from the federal government.
and this time it wasn’t just defacing that penny at dollywood.
this time my crime against country was perpetrated against the united states postal service. believe me . . . i’m as surprised as you are. after the serendipitous surprise i found in my mail box this week, the post office was last on my list of government buildings in which to pull a heist. (note to self: work on this list as proof for court date.)
it was a busy day at the 18018 branch. i’m convinced it always is. that the workers send out some kind of crazy pheromone attracting the masses just before they decide to take a lunch break.
line out the door.
i was there to mail a package, but couldn’t find the right size mailer at home, so slipped the steel-faced line keepers a smile and squeezed between them to grab a mailer. i slipped the goods inside, wrote the address from memory, and zipped to the back of the line.
after ten minutes, zero movement, and the lingering scent of sausages and rock salt, i remembered: the automatic mailing machine in the lobby!
there was no one there.
it was a straight shot.
two minutes and five dollars later i’m strutting home, system-beater and line-avoider extraordinaire.
if you’re a rule-following citizen and not a hardened criminal like myself, you’ll realize my crime. i never paid for the mailer. my life down the tubes for $1.64.
the tapes will show that i looked like a pro. quick in and out at the busiest time of the day, polite but unassuming, waited an appropriate time in line for everyone (including myself) to forget the mailer grab. no one would believe this was a first offense.
i looked over my shoulder, expecting newman himself to be tracking me from the trees, but no one was there. it was too late to go back, they’d never understand. i speed walked home and began to get my affairs in order.
as i sit here waiting for the buzz from downstairs, the imminent arrival of hunky FBI agents, and a slow motion exit to the police car, i ask you just one thing. remember me as you knew me yesterday, before this horrible slip-up. i don’t want my crimes against the postal service to haunt your dreams as they have mine.
you don’t deserve that.
also, if you don’t mind, grant me this last request: stick an extra forever stamp on your letters to me in prison. justice must be served. my $1.64 debt to society must be paid.