I really need to know about the mailman who delivers based on the aztec lunar calendar!!
So my family lives in the unincorporated Larimer County and for about 10 Years, our postman was Mr. Schmidt.
Do not allow the name to fool you.
Mr. Schmidt was well over 6 feet tall, mostly gangling odd-bending limbs and had a beard that went nearly to his knees. Our post office allegedly had a regulated delivery schedule, but Mr. Schmidt would turn up with mail according to his own personal comprehension of time, which I’m pretty sure was set to his home dimension of Qulaxon-51^778~
I’d be lying in bed at 2AM, Dog on my feet in a pitch-black room, when there would be the loud squealing of a an ancient subaru with a USPS roof ornament and a failing timing belt that never got replaced the whole decade I knew him, and my room would flood with the unholy blue led headlights he’d installed.
“GOOOOOOOD MORNING WORLD!”
Ah. I would think to myself, Mr. Schmidt’s Austrian-Texan* holler still echoing in my ears. Mail’s here.
Mr. Schmidt had a difficulty in his job in that the driver’s side of the car in the US always faces the middle of the road, unless one drives into oncoming traffic. Which means that most postal workers have to stop and hop out of their trucks to stick the mail in the box. Mr. Schmidt was fundamentally opposed to doing things like parking, or following OSHA recommendations, so he committed some kind of automotive black magic and moved the back seat bench up to the front and angled all the pedals, so that he could drive the Subaru whilst lounging across the bench, head and arms outside the passenger window, one foot operating the pedals and the other one steering.
It was like if one of the members of ZZtop had an illegitimate child with tree-beard and he grew up to be both a hedonist roman and a postman.
Mr. Schmidt’s odd schedule and curious antics were very tolerated in my neck of the county though, becuase he could reliably deliver mail to our curiously unplottable house, and the other houses on sometimes-numbered roads that were really more sage than dirt and located halfway up a canyon. Packages arrived well before they were due and never so much as dented, and we were somehow never afflicted with penny-savers. Not rain nor snow nor gloom of night nor bears nor wildfire evacuations nor that one time it got down to -20 and the road was covered in three inches of ice and everyone’s tires went flat could stop his deliveries.
My family had been in the practice of mailing a fruitcake between various blood and legal relations for several years as A Practical Joke, but after an uncle burned my aunt’s house to the ground (God please make sure he’s dead) we weren’t sure Freddie Fruitcake was still with us. The aunt called us, sobbing after three weeks of holding it together in the face of the loss of her house to tell us that she hadn’t been able to find Freddie in the wreckage, and that she’d been intending to send it to us this year. We did our best to comfort her, it’s fine, honestly the fruitcake isn’t important compared to her safety, please come for the holidays.
She agreed and we went to collect her from the airport a few days later. We arrived back at the house to discover that Mr. Schmidt had parked the Subaru and was standing at the front door with a small package in his hands.
“This looks important.” he said, handing my bewildered aunt the box before nodding, folding himself back into the Subaru and driving off. Awed and wondering, we hustled inside from the snow, and studied the package. Unfamiliar handwriting, return address from Seward, Alaska.
Inside was not Freddy, but another fruitcake of the same brand. As far as anyone knew, we’d never spoken to Mr. Schmidt about the Great Fruitcake exchange but his relationship with reality was odd enough that I suppose that he could have been listening in.
*My best guess for the accent. It was really more over-caffeinated goat than anything else.
(This story has been brought to you by a late-night coffe binge. If you’ve enjoyed it, please consider buying me a coffee?)