Why I No Longer Get to Take Bubble Baths

January 03, 2013

Bath time hasn't been the same lately.

I rather enjoy turning on some good music, finding a Sports Illustrated, and running a big, hot bubble bath. Or I should say I did enjoy that, because it's ruined.

It all started back in October. V gets excited for Halloween, and he gets excited for decorations, so he and Mrs. theskinnyonbenny spent some time decorating the house one Saturday. There really wasn't too much -- some smelly rubber skeletons in the den, a couple of pumpkins, and a scary face hanging on the door where the Christmas wreath would go in more traditional decoration seasons.

It was the scary face that caused the trouble. Although the main part of the face was only the size of a large Christmas wreath, it had some black yarn that hung down like a beard.

It just so happened that a few of the stands hung down far enough that they covered the mail slot, which is about belly-button high in the center of our front door. It wasn't a lot. One finger could push them out of the way.

But this caused trouble, because about the same time that Mrs. theskinnyonbenny and V were decorating, our mail lady was having a large stick embedded into her behind. One day, she caught me in the driveway and told me that the decoration couldn't block the mail slot.

I said okay, but did nothing about it.

She caught Mrs. theskinnyonbenny a day or two later, and Mrs. theskinnyonbenny told her to deal with it. She threatened to stop delivering our mail.

"That's fine. Don't deliver it."

So some time around mid-October, we stopped getting mail through our slot.

Some weeks later, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny was expecting something important. Maybe it was a credit card -- we'll say that it was. She went to the post office and stood in the line of people who need to be taught how to tape their packages shut.

"I need to pick up our mail," she told the only clerk on duty during the lunch rush.

The lady took her information and then disappeared to the back for a very long time. Eventually, another postal worker came out and asked for all of the same information. Then she asked, "Why do we have your mail?"

Mrs. theskinnyonbenny told the story, and this woman disappeared to the back again for a very long time.

A supervisor with an attitude was the next to come out.

"We don't have your mail. We're returning it all to the senders."


"Your mail carrier told you this is what would happen."

"No she didn't! She just said that you wouldn't deliver it to my house."

"Well, we sent you a letter too."

No shit. She really said that.

I'm not sure how the rest of the conversation went, because at this point in the story, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny starts frothing at the mouth, and it makes her difficult to understand.

I've taken a couple of calls from places that got mail returned. For example, the vet's office wanted our new address for their reminder postcards. Very important stuff.

The strangest reaction was from Sports Illustrated, who interpreted the returned magazines as a cancellation. They cut off my iPad access, and sent a refund check for the unused portion of the subscription. I had had that subscription since I was in 10th grade. You would think they might give a customer of 25 years a quick phone call to see what's up.

This leaves me without magazines, which in turn leaves me without anything to read in my manly bubble baths. I can't just lean back and look at the ceiling, and it's not practical to make a run to Walgreen's to buy a magazine at bath time. It would take an amount of advance planning that I'm not ready to dedicate.

So my baths are ruined.

And if you notice that I'm smelly, blame the Postal Service.

Still to this day, they bear the time, effort, and expense to carry my mail out to my neighborhood every day, take it back to the post office, where someone else has to forward it to a different post office, so that a different mail carrier can deliver it to our office. I know this, because when we occasionally have a substitute letter carrier, our mail comes through the slot as usual. It's become a real surprise to walk through the front door and step on mail.

And people wonder why they're hemorrhaging money.