A Sunday Morning Ramble

I was up early Saturday to get to the post office with a box of the most unlikely combination of things ever to pass through a postman’s hands. Unfortunately one of the things was a Banned Thing for sending overseas so I had to take the parcel home and re-jig it.

Even so, the list I gave in response to the ‘What’s in the parcel’ question got me a dropped jaw and a look of disbelief.  I have now replaced the Banned Thing with something different – different from all the other things too. If I can list the contents with an entirely straight face I will be quite chuffed.

There are a whole range of Banned Things the post office will not carry now and most of them are pretty damn silly. If you are thinking of setting up a business in the UK, check whether you will be allowed to do any trade at all outside the UK first. Otherwise you’ll be going bust fast. Those like me who would buy it and send it on will not be allowed to do so and we only need to learn that lesson once.

The UK postal service seems to have gone the way of the NHS – intent on proving to the population that they are entirely useless.

They aren’t trying to prove that, of course. They are trying to be ‘in control’ of us all but the result is that they are no damn use at all. I will investigate other, possibly more sensible, couriers in future.

I can’t give you the box contents list now because it would ruin a surprise that I hope will have Broken Girl laughing like she’s never laughed before. Maybe she’ll tell you all when it arrives. Or maybe she’ll send it back with ‘ram that right up where the sun don’t shine, you cheeky bastard’. I never can tell, and that’s the best part.

So many people are entirely predictable. Today I asked Obelix the storeman if Big Nads was furious yet. He said ‘no’. I said ‘No worries, I’m here now’ and he looked scared.

He’s scared of everything and yet if we stand together we look like Asterix and Obelix – and he’s Obelix. He is scared of Boss for no reason I can fathom and he is terrified of Big Nads.

About five minutes after I arrived, Big Nads was heading out for a smoke and invited me to join her. Since Manager Who Takes Shit Seriously was on duty, I declined. I’d already smoked before starting anyway and wanted to get the work running ahead so I could get a good break later.

I then told the cafe staff -and Obelix – that Big Nads was a bad influence on me. I’d only been there five minutes and she tried to drag me outside for a quick one. Really, I meant a quick smoke. How was I to know they’d come to a different conclusion?

Anyway, Big Nads was a bit shouty later on. But then she often is. There’s probably no connection.

Once she was properly furious I said to Obelix in passing “I’m going to tell Big Nads what you said about her”.

A terrified look on a huge man’s face is a sight to see.

“Why? What did I say?” he said

I carried on walking. “I haven’t made it up yet but when I do, I’m telling.”

He followed me all around the shop until Big Nads’ shift ended and she went home. He’s not at all dim, he’s quite intelligent but then I have convinced PhD holders of some pretty bizarre shit in the past. Local Shop is really fish-in-a-barrel stuff for me.

If things had turned out different I could have been a Mandelsnake. Controlling drone thinking and scaring them into obeisance is easy. But then I do it for fun and let them go after. In fishing parlance I play ‘catch and release’ with them. I have no interest in keeping them under control at all. I’m not interested in being in control. I’m just playing.

The real Righteous are not playing. They are deadly serious.

Soon  you will not be able to travel in case you are joining ISIS and soon you won’t be able to send  a letter without providing the post office with a transcript signed by two independent witnesses.

You will be isolated. Resistance is futile.

But… it’s just so much fun!


17 thoughts on “A Sunday Morning Ramble

  1. I’ve sent a few things recently doing eBay stuff. I use the “grumpy post office” since its nearest. The woman who is in charge is pretty grumpy. There is another woman/girl who doesn’t have the best eyesight and was the one that served me.

    Straight off it was what’s in parcels. Motorcycle parts. She looked a bit puzzled. No matter. She was also annoyed at my apparent boredom.

    A couple of days later I was back. What’s in parcels? Guitar parts. This time she said she had to ask, it was necessary. She held up the card with the wee diagrams showing stuff that can’t be posted.

    I would suggest that they show people the diagrams and ask them if they have any in their parcels. Much simpler. Logical. Grumpy woman wouldn’t be able to be as grumpy.

    Interestingly, I received a parcel through the mail. It had a bottle of chrome polish in it. I’m sure that must have been one of the banned substances? The Harely will be very shiny. Result.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you have to be a bit grumpy to work with the postal service.
      They tend to be rather sour faced here too. And we don’t even have silly restrictions yet. Or at least not that I know of.

      Once going home from Joburg I was checking in my luggage and this woman pointed at a big diagram showing all sorts of things you can’t bring on a flight. Now as having been born in Sweden I had read up on that ages ago. So I had a quick look and told her I didn’t have any of that in my luggage. I was then told to look again closer to be sure. So there I stood slow reading a diagram whilst one part of my brain went “damn! I forgot to pack my uzi and c4!” and the other part went “don’t make a joke! Whatever you do, please don’t crack a joke. Prison is not a good look on you!”. I made it through with a “no miss”. Phew!


      • Once, coming back from a conference, one of the other scientists pointed out a sign saying ‘Security officials do not appreciate jokes’ or something similar. He didn’t point it out to everyone. Just me. And he made sure I read it twice.

        He was probably just being thoughtful, I suppose.


        • US border security used to have a sense of humour. I recall staggering through Newark back in ’02, with a very airsick Mrs S and Youngest on either shoulder. The grinning immigration guy said he wasn`t going to let me in because `We don`t want no more Yankees fans.` I was wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap at the time.

          By comparison, the last few times we`ve gone south to the US of A, their black uniformed border guards have been literally sweating paranoia. Oddly enough, by comparison our last few security checks at Heathrow have felt quite relaxed. The attitude seems to be `Look, we’ve got to do this, so let`s make it as painless as possible.`

          As far as UK post office counter staff are concerned, I think they all been to the Miss Maccalariat finishing school for the daughters of postal staff. No one can keep up that level of sourness without special training.


        • He was right, you know.

          Years ago, I worked as a low-end contractor for a computing company working in the DSS for their Y2K programme. I was on the Yorkshire roving team, and one day we were sent to a Child Support Agency site in Barnsley. We always used to like the CSA sites, as the staff had a much higher proportion of “female, pretty, young” than did DSS sites, but this one was on the top floor of the local tax office.

          This was Joseph Locke House.

          That’s Joseph Locke the locally famous engineer that nobody else has ever heard of, not Joseph Locke the Irish singer, songwriter and well-known tax fraudster. And no, the security men did not think that me asking why they’d named a tax office after an Irish fraudster was very funny.

          Mind you, security does not ever attract the brightest folks. Nary a giggle between the three of the miserable bastards at all.


      • I flew into LA after 9/11, around mid November is things were pretty tight. I had strict orders from family to phone them as soon as I landed in USA. I did this and then went to next gate to get on Las Vegas flight.

        When I went thru the scanner it bleeped. I’d put the phone back in my pocket. Which one? Security guard asking me to go forward whist I frantically tried to retrieve phone. Three army guys got interested. Big shooty guns. Not brightest.

        I found phone held it up and did security again with phone given to security wifey. Whew.

        A couple of days later a passenger jet took off from New York and crashed shortly after. The Americans lost the plot. They left in droves. I couldn’t get a mob phone signal for hours.

        It was a good trip though.


    • I admit I actually enjoy telling them what’s in the parcels sometimes. An 8 mm long forklift truck and a set of miniature gravestones was one of the old eBay ones.

      I don’t think thery believe me sometimes.


  2. Any one got a link to this “Banned list” and what is on it? The GPO site will not let me past the home page without trying to convince me I can read Chinese, for some reason.


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