On this day, 26 July 1775, the US Postal Service was established, and Americans have been waiting for the Postman, ever since. Or, have they? Does the term Mr Postman still exist? And how many people actually find mail in their mailbox these days?, – I’m speaking of the ‘snail-mail’ variety, of course.
I once lived in a house where the only thing I consistently found in my mailbox, was snails. If I went away for a few days, I would arrive home to some very ‘holey’ mail. If I wasn’t quick enough, an average letter could end up looking like a piece of Swiss Cheese. I was amazed at how much mail those critters could eat their way through, in a very short time. It certainly gave ‘snail-mail’ a whole new meaning.
Back to the story of the humble postman. With Political Correctness in full force, we should be waiting for the ‘postperson’, not the postman. And the Beatles would have to change the words of their song from “Wait, oh yes, wait a minute, Mister Postman”, to, “Wait, oh yes, wait a minute, Postperson”. And pre-schoolers would be watching Postperson Pat, rather than their beloved Postman Pat.
From Snail-Mail to Email
The technology age has brought with it ‘electronic-mail’, or email, as we call it. Instead of walking to the mailbox, we simply go online and check our inbox – which is the digital version of the mailbox. And instead of a few snail-mail letters, our inboxes are now full. Back in the ‘old’ days, we would get a letter, write a response, post it, and then wait for the reply. A process that could take weeks. And I don’t remember the mail box being as crowded then, a s it is now; filled with thousands of emails.
These days, youngsters receive an email, use a two-thumb method to tap out a reply via their smart-phone, press send, and the recipient is reading the response within seconds. And if a response isn’t almost immediate, the sender is wondering what’s wrong.
I wonder how long it will be before Santa sends out an email address to replace his mailbox address at the North Pole?
Modern technology makes snail-mail look like something out of an ancient time – and it probably is – if you remember that the US postal service began on this day in 1775.