Monday, August 03, 2009

Not Intended for the USPS

I was at my parents’ house the other day, and a poor little gecko that had been smashed somewhere and dried out to an ashy, shadow of a husk turned up. It reminded my Mom of an anecdote that included, of all things, a similarly-fated lizard and the United States Postal Service.

It may be important to assert that the statute of limitations on minor postal transgressions is likely elapsed many times over in the intervening 27 years, so there is not too much danger of an arrest by an overzealous postal inspector.

Being in college in far-flung Commerce, Texas, any correspondence from anyone but the Dallas Morning News was welcome. OK, even sales pitches from The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram or even the Pecan Gap Citizen were welcome. REAL mail was almost too much to ask for.

But one day, I got an envelope from my sister. I was so excited. As I all but skipped back up the walkway to the porch, I wondered at the small greasy spot on the back of the envelope. And it was kinda thicker than a letter or card.

On opening the packet, I quickly realized that it was not actually a letter so much as a tomb. A tomb for a little greasy spot that slightly resembled a shrimp. Had my sister actually sent me a shrimp in the mail? And there was a smell. Kinda shrimpy.

After a little more careful inspection, notice I didn’t say “closer inspection”, there seemed to be more of a land-based creature; the partial skeleton and overly gaunt form made me think of perhaps a small lizard. HAD MY SISTER SENT ME A FORMERLY LIVE LIZARD THAT THE MAIL MAN KILLED?

Even though at that time, 1982 to be precise, long-distance telephone conversations were reserved for special occasions or really important news. This qualified. I called her and asked her what made her even think of this sick, sick, sick, funny, strange, sick, weird, awesome, sick little prank. She laughed and said that it was completely dessicated when she found it wherever it was and it came to her in a flash, “Send it to aAron” in the mail.

While she said that the tiny lizard was utterly mummified and should not have greased the envelope he came to me in, I do concede that it had been a bit rainy in Commerce for a few days. Maybe it had gotten a little time to “reconstitute” in the humidity of an East Texas post office.

Needless to say, I will never see a pressed lizard and not think of a certain winter day when I went to the mailbox and found a surprise. And also fear my sister, just a little.

8 comments:

aA said...

This is not an actual foto of the poor Tutankamen Lizard, just one I found on the innerwebz.

By the way, this was actually posted at one o'clock this morning CST, rather than the "10:53p.m." time noted on the bottom of the post.

Hmmm. Go figure.

innominatus said...

Dude! That's so bizarre I can't think of anything snarky to say about it!

Rhonna said...

aA,
All I can say is....You're Welcome! Again. I actually thought for a moment that you had an actual picture (of the poor little thing) and I was impressed that you could have found it so quickly. -LOL-
That is so very funny...and sick and strange....brings back memories....I DID giggle when I mailed it...and whenever I thought/think of it now.
Sis

aA said...

I have stumped the nameless one! I was shocked too, I am just now getting to where I can open envelopes without forceps.

innominatus said...

Have to let the dogs sniff your incoming mail. If they act disinterested - no prob. If they want to eat it or if they wet the floor and run in fear, well then, forceps may be needed.

charleyd said...

Could've been worse. You could have gotten a horse's head like my mom sent me. I guess she was trying to tell me somethin'

Stepsistah said...

aA...this reminds me of the time that a smell began to permiate our whole house. I was about 8 or 9...so YOU know how long ago that was. Anyway, everyone was looking for the smell...turning everything upside down, pulling all cushions off the couch, pots & pans out of the cabinets, Daddy even pulled out the fridge and stove...no luck.
Well...we all finally figured that the odorous aroma was in the vicinity of the kitchen dining room...but WHAT??? everything in those two connecting rooms had been searched through, cleaned, thrown out, etc. Oh...sorry...I neglected to mention that there was a lattice??? (not really) decorative work of, let's see, how to describe this...oh...I got it. There was not a wall between the kitchen and dining room but there was what could be called a see-thru room divider. It was made up of floor to ceiling boards??? nailed together to make spaced about six inches square with an opening in the middle that served as a walk space between the two rooms. I know that in your artistic brain, you can figure this one out...even if those reading it can't.
ANYWAY, Momma gets on a chair and starts looking in every little see-thru square. She finally picks up a suckret box...remember the old metal ones that you kept everything sacred in??? (Oh...that's right you may not be that old.) Trust me...they were the best thing next to a safe. As she is holding it by two fingers and turning around in the chair...she is saying, "Who put this up here?" (I may have cleaned that up a little.) The suckret box was not only shut tight, it had two rubber bands on it to make sure that it remained shut. It also had little holes punched in it...you know...like air holes???

My poor crawfish, that I caught with my own string with bacon out in our front ditch, was dead. My tears of sorrow had no affect on my Momma's tears of laughter.

aA said...

Charley, was it your mother or your Godmother?

Stepsistah, I DO remember the sucrets boxes, much like the Altoids boxes nowadays, and I feel for your poor mom; it's much too late for your crawdads!