Dear Ace: I recently moved my mailbox to my front porch and my postman stopped delivering my mail! I complained at the post office and was told that my mailbox’s new position added an extra six seconds to my postman’s route, so he refused to visit it. What’s up with that?—Male Barrier
Barrier: First of all, are you sure you moved your mailbox to your front porch and not to the roof? Or perhaps to the treehouse in your front yard? When you try to create an obstacle course for your postman, you only piss him off.
Ace is sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but your postman was well within his rights in suspending delivery of your mail. If people went around moving their mailboxes all the time, the USPS would be very confused. You have to clear all comings and goings of your mailbox with your postperson in advance. Then he or she must clear them with a supervisor. All that to move your mail slot from one side of the door to the other? Oh yes. Otherwise you invite mass chaos onto your stoop.
Another reason your mailman might be refusing to deliver is because you have created some impediment between him and your mailbox. Is there now a dilapidated flight of stairs, a rabid dog, or an electric fence between your mailbox and the road? Perhaps your postman is not the American Gladiator that you thought he was. You must also keep in mind that your postman’s route is timed. Any seconds over his usual schedule come out of his lunch break. Ace knows this because his postwoman did not seem interested in sitting down with him for a leisurely batch of martinis yesterday afternoon. There’s also the possibility that your postman has it in for you. Do you subscribe to any off-color magazines?
But please remember that in general postpeople are the nation’s heroes. Did you know that if you’re under quarantine your postman will still deliver your mail? He’s not obligated to collect your outgoing mail, however, so make sure you get your bills in before boarding up the windows.