Dear Dirty America


120,000 Pieces of Mail Gone in Postal Truck Crash, OC Considers How It Will Move Forward

120,000 Pieces of Mail Gone in Postal Truck Crash, OC Considers How It Will Move Forward
March 04
22:31 2014

Two big-rigs were involved in a fiery crash on the 57 freeway that resulted in around 120,000 pieces of mail being burned up. This will be one of the worst disasters of 2014 for Orange County — a county that takes its mail delivery very seriously.

Why us, O Lord? one grizzled OC woman said behind her hands. A few wily Twitter users said she was a mix between a disheveled Dianne Feinstein and a hopped up Susan Sarandon with a loose perm. She’d stopped on the side of the freeway to take in the sight. The local news camera panned away quickly to spare the viewers.

“This wouldn’t have happened if the rest of the country had voted for Romney,” she said. The camera was zoomed in on the blazing mail truck. “Society will come to a halt. Think of all those affected. Who’s going to sort through this? Jerry Brown? He’s got a drought to deal with. Of course Sacramento doesn’t know how to attract rain to this state. It’s been dry as a bone since Brown took office.

“This is why I always go UPS. But that doesn’t matter now,” she admitted, “because we’ve got a big damn mess on our hands.” She kept repeating that it affects us all. “Who’s going to sort through this? It’s too much to bear.”

Post Service spokesman Richard Maher seemed to be handling it with the coolness of a cucumber. “Anyone who mailed a non-local letter Monday from ZIP codes starting with 926, 927, 928, 906, 917, and 918 could be affected.” Any casual observer can tell Maher is set for bigger things in life. He’s on his way up. Director of the American Red Cross. President of the Salvation Army. Maybe even FEMA.

A few people from unfortunate zip codes were rumored to be wondering if this has any effect at all on emails that were sent either Monday or Tuesday, and if so, how could they tell, and who should they get in touch with?

“There’s no way to track exactly,” the spokesman said with the insouciant air of a boy burning ants with a magnifying glass to impress the neighbor’s daughters, “which regular 49-cent letters were on the truck.” But, if anybody in the OC gets hit with a late payment fine or has their health insurance coverage cancelled because of a missing check, or doesn’t receive their rebate on time, the postal service will offer documentation to prove the mail was burned in a huge fucking truck fire.

There was also a personal assurance given to OC residents that their junk mail would be sent out again, just to be sure, because, undoubtedly, of the massive load of mail on that charred truck, at least 70 percent of it was not important.

I haven’t seen any word on the condition of the truck driver, because as of now everybody is still too busy sifting through the aftermath that will continue to become more complex as mail goes missing and deadlines and penalties are issued to unsuspecting folks who swear they’d dropped it in the mail well before it was due.

One man wearing all white stood nearby the crash scene. As the sun was coming up, his smile became apparent. When the news team aimed the camera in his face and the reporter put the bulbous microphone head to his lips, he said, “I imagine the possibilities, however remote, of an unfettered consciousness.”

The reporter asked what he meant by that. “What do you think will happen with all this missing mail? How will people deal with this?”

“A part of me takes pleasure in a bunch of burnt bills and letters. Burn them all,” he told her. “Zap the postcards and the birthday cards, the various bills, invoices, and certification letters, the advertisements and spam. Let the catalogs smolder. Watch the covers of magazines curl, and the faces of the actors and models pictured on the front turn brown, then melt away.”

Over his top lip was a finely trimmed mustache. He spoke with a glimmer in his eyes. The camera, from time to time, caught the flash of his tongue moving between his lips.

“Feel your heart loosen, son,” he said. “Feel your soul pull on its leash. It sniffs a return to something basic.

“But don’t stop with the mail. Obliterate the emails, too. All of them, in all five or six of your email accounts. Erase the text messages. The lingering Facebook chats. The Twitter conversations. Pulverize all the correspondence and start with a clean slate.

“Nobody should expect to hear back from you anytime soon. Don’t worry about it. If they want to get your attention, they’ll have to write a letter and walk it to you. If it’s not absolutely important and absolutely needs to be conveyed, you might as well forget about it.

“You can sleep deep tonight, because the thousand little things that hold a sliver of your consciousness are no more. You are released.”

The news reporter asked if he’s a nearby resident.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “I teach at a community college not too awfully far away from here.”

“Why are you wearing all white?” the reporter asked over the din of traffic.

“Why are you abusing such a hodgepodge of color?” he asked.

“It’s called Birds of a Feather Infinity Scarf,” the reporter told him. “It’s in style right now.”

If you suspect your letter perished Tuesday morning and you’d like official documentation, please call (800) 275-8777, and tell them Dear Dirty America sent you.

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1 Comment

  1. Mail Blazer
    Mail Blazer March 11, 00:37

    Burn baby burn! Ashes to ashes, dust to dust! Let those fearsome flames singe that stale snail mail energy into nothingness. Let it all go. Diffused on the wind. You want that old energy gone! Gone baby gone!

    Reply to this comment

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