Wednesday, December 3, 2014



It is 34 steps from this computer key board to the front door.  Yet it seems to be a half marathon for mailmen and delivery services who always ring at least twice, and knock at least once, by the time I walk the 34 steps and open the door.
It bugs me. I just said to a pleasant looking guy who had never stopped knocking why didn't he allow enough time for someone who isn't parked just inside to get there.
"After all," I said, waving at my old storey-and-a-half around me, "it's not exactly a mansion I can get lost in."
(I think I remember Mary making that point several times over the 50 years we have lived in the house. After all, we had bought a starter home and never got around to moving since you can shove three sons into smaller spaces than three daughters.)
But now a time out since FedEx or Amazon or someone is pounding at my door 34 steps away.
This delivery guy pointed out that they were awfully busy and some damn people really did take a long time to answer. He never smiled when I said I had been so fast, he should give me a medal.
Mark is coming home from China for Christmas. As one of the Internet gurus there for Dell, my son  is a fan of Internet shopping. So he has a steady stream of packages arriving here.
He just reminded me over Skype to keep any Staples catalogues because he's a fan of its bargains. I told him that I think Staples, like some other companies that haven't been booming, is
 evolving away from many stores in real buildings to those in the ether because its Internet business is so profitable.
Once upon a time, as we used to say before the expression became "in the day,"  if a caller didn't wait a bit before the second ring or knock, you were considered rude.
Perhaps that's why the title stood out so much from a 1934 novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice. It was turned into a steamy (for the times) movie in 1946 with Lana Turner and John Garfield, and then there was a remake with Jack Nicholson in 1981. There was even an opera based on the novel.
Today the title seems dated because all postmen just keep knocking.
I almost sympathize with them, despite my regular scrambles for the door, because of all those who don't bother to answer at all.
Just ask politicians and the few charities which still knock on doors. I remember doing that years ago for the Salvation Army. When I wrote a column about all the doors that never opened, even for the May campaign of the Sally Ann, I was told by a senior officer that my experience was mirrored by other canvassers. It prompted a review of fundraising.
I'm a big fan of dealing with charities and politicians by mail. Don't call me, don't knock on my door, don't bug me at all if you want my money or my vote.  Just leave the letters and the boxes on the porch.

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