The Devil Delivers For You

The Devil Delivers For You | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“When exactly did you take over control of the United States Postal Service?” I demanded of my visitor the second he entered my living room.

“Clearly, you have me confused with someone else,” The Devil replied without breaking stride.  “I’m no mailman.  A male model perhaps…”

He did a quick twirl in the middle of the room to show off his impeccably tailored suit from all angles.

Damn, he was right.

“You may not run the place, but I’m convinced that it’s a ring of Hell!” I declared as I angrily snatched a Snapple from the cooler.

Lucifer continued over to the couch, sat down, and gave me his full attention.

“There’s a story behind this, so let’s hear it,” he insisted as he made himself comfortable on what I’ve come to think of as his end of the couch.

“I ran two errands yesterday,” I did as I was told.  “I went to the bank and the Post Office.  Not my favorite places to be on a Saturday.”

“No one really wants to be in either place on any day of the week,” The Prince of Darkness quipped as he helped himself to a Snapple.  “You might be on to something about adding them as new rings in Hell.  I’ll talk to my Development Demons.”

The Devil Delivers For You | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“I was at the bank because I never got my new ATM card in the mail,” I explained as anger slipped into my tone at the mere telling of the tale.  “They said if it didn’t arrive by Friday, I should go to the branch and pick up one there.”

“And you blame the Postal Service for making you change out of your sweats and leave the security bubble of The House on the Hill on the weekend,” Satan stated like he knew me so well.

He happened to be dead on in his assessment.

“While I’m at the bank, impatiently waiting for my card, the teller takes the time to explain how the mail works,” I growled.  “They would put it in the mail and it would go to the address listed on your account.  Wow!  Is that how it happens?  I never really understood the whole system!”

“You’re a bit of a prickly pear when you’re upset,” The Devil stated the obvious.  “So did you then go to the Post Office and unload on the poor clerk?”

He flashed me a Devilish smile, and I had to chuckle.  That sounded plausible, but it was not how things went down.

“Actually, I went to the Post Office to mail Melissa’s Valentine’s Day present,” I said with a smile at the mere mention of My Sweet Irish Girlfriend’s name.

Lucifer made a big play of checking his obnoxiously large, jewel encrusted watch.

The Devil Delivers For You | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“Valentine’s Day gift?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.  “You don’t have much faith in the USPS, do you?”

“They did lose my bank card, and when I got home the other night, I found a box from Melissa in the middle of my front walk,” I countered.  “That was my birthday present, which was not only two weeks late, but also just left out in no man’s land.  What the Hell is that about?”

I was so distressed that I chugged the rest of my Snapple.

“Perhaps you’re being a little too harsh on those who won’t allow rain, sleet, or snow to keep them from their appointed rounds,” The Prince of Darkness played Devil’s Advocate.  “They probably left the box on the porch, and it got blown off by the wind.”

I rolled my eyes because reason had no place in a tirade.

“Whatever!” I snapped.  “The clerk tells me I need to fill out a customs form.  When I get back to the counter, she makes a snippy comment about the odd shape of the package, and gives me a lecture on proper packing when I ask her to apply a little tape to keep the parcel from opening in transit.”

“I’ve seen your wrapping skills, and they are horrible. I’m sure the package looked ridiculous,” Lucifer bluntly stated as he handed me another Snapple, which did nothing to dull his mocking of my ability.

The Devil Delivers For You | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“Then she told me how much it was going to cost, which shocked me, but I didn’t care because money is no object when it comes to Melissa,” I made clear so that when Melissa reads this, she doesn’t get upset.  “What pissed me off was that she couldn’t give me any idea how long it would take to deliver it.  She said that would depend on the Irish Postal Service.  They deliver the mail by bike over there, apparently!”

“They have to use bikes now because Leprechauns looking for a warm place to sleep off a hangover, would pass out on the engines of Irish Post trucks and die tragic deaths,” The Prince of Darkness tried to pass off as a fact, but burst out laughing instead.

I was not amused.

“I’m just afraid that the USPS will follow the Irish Post and put all mail carriers on bikes,” I grumbled and chugged my Snapple.

“That will never happen,” Satan assured me.  “The Postal Services will never again associate itself with bicycles after the last scandal.”

It took me a second, but I finally got it.

The Devil Delivers For You | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“Lance Armstrong and the USPS Cycling Team,” I remembered.  “The Post Office is now forever linked with scandal, lying, doping, and cheating.”

“No wonder they lost your bank card, left your package out on the walkway, charged you an arm and a leg, and can’t tell you when your package will be delivered.”

“Maybe I should deliver any future gifts to Melissa in person,” I concluded.

“Just remember to show up at her place on a bike, or the Garda will be forced to arrest you for the improper delivery of Irish mail,” The Devil teased.

It sounded like a good idea, though.  I look damn good in bike shorts…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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