The Mail Must Go Through!

Posted: September 17, 2013 in Community, Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


When you travel, it is always wise to know when and where you can safely ‘move the mail’. This is especially true when you are travelling in remote areas where there are not as many ‘mailboxes’ as usual. The Canadian Rockies is a prime example. You don’t want to take the chance and stop just anywhere, or else you may end up as bear bait, where you will later be mailed in the woods.

We were just coming back from Jasper, and the route we took was landing in Calgary, then drive to Jasper through the mountains. Consequently, the return journey is also through the mountains. And this road is absolutely beautiful. There are, however, limited ‘mail boxes’ along the way. One such place is ‘Saskatchewan Crossing’, which is ironically firmly ensconced in Alberta. It was named “The Crossing”, when travellers and fur traders used this spot to cross the North Saskatchewan River on their way to British Columbia in the 19th century. Now, it is the only place with services like gasoline and a restaurant between Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta. And, of course, there’s ‘mailboxes’.

We stopped here on the way back as a pre-planned mailing facility. My wife Anne has celiac and is consequently on a timer. She needs to mail things in a timely fashion. It so happened that Saskatchewan Crossing fit nicely with her schedule. Upon arrival, the place was almost completely empty….and so we browsed, took our time and looked around. The ‘letter’ wasn’t quite written yet, it seems. I had no problem with this as I sent my own ‘postcard’ quite promptly. The room was vacant. I had the entire place to myself. And so Anne waited for the perfect moment.

And then, three buses pulled up….FULL buses.

As I watched in awe, people piled off the buses as if they were in a hurry. And they were. One lady was running full speed, holding her stomach. She obviously needed to send a ‘package’, and it looked like it was a rush delivery as well. But Anne saw this too, and ran back into the ‘mail room’ before there were no stalls left.

My sons and I sat in our vehicle during this whole ordeal. We started to lay side bets; will she send the mail? Will she suffer from ‘performance anxiety’? Will she exit the building upset? The bets were on.

One time when we stopped there, we had arrived after a bus load of people had finished up. The janitor was upset because in the ladies room, nobody had flushed their letters. This was apparently a culture thing, as some people come from places where there are no such things as flushing mail boxes. He told me the ladies room was far worse than the men’s room. I’m pretty sure he quit soon after. We never did deliver our mail that time as it was too disgusting. But I digress…..

And so, we waited. We watched the people come and go. Some emerged from the building looking satisfied, while a select few appeared to be in a bit of a fury. They were in an animated discussion with each other, and although I couldn’t tell exactly what they were saying due to a language barrier, I could sort of tell they were mad at someone with red hair because they were touching their own black hair and making the international sign for red, which involves contorting your lips just so and making scratching sounds like a baboon.

Finally, the buses were loaded up, and off they went. And then, just as we thought I may have to go in and look for Anne, out she came, not with a happy face for sure. We looked at each other, the boys and I, and prepared for the worse. ‘I couldn’t do it!’, she said. ‘All these ladies kept banging on my door and kept yelling “You get out…..I go now!!”’.

I collected my $10 from the boys. I had bet on ‘performance anxiety’. And 100 km down the road, we found another ‘mailbox’ that was just fine.

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