My 5-star Yelp review of the Bushwick post office
Wednesday, 2 p.m. I’m hanging out listening to rap cassettes in my pal Terry’s Four Loko cellar, where I find a strange green brick. He tells me it’s a lifetime supply of salvia, a hallucinogenic drug that the government recently banned. I ask to try some, and Terry gets nervous. He doesn’t think I can handle it. Please. If I can handle spending 12 hours straight filling up on free Gatorade along the New York Marathon route, I can handle smoking a little plant.
We split a bowl, and I sink into Terry’s pre-owned Sealab 2021 beanbag chair. My eyes fixed on the Lance Armstrong poster opposite me, I hallucinate that Lance is biking out of the wall and into the basement, delivering mail to me with a smile on his face. But Lance’s honest demeanor suddenly grows vicious. He berates me over why his Easter tip was so small, and hints that he’s the reason my K’Nex catalog was late this month. I laugh to ease the tension, but the seven-time Tour de France winner starts screaming in my face. “You think this is funny? I’ll tell you something that’s not funny: having only one real testicle while the other is some kind of weird gross marble. The doctors said it would have the look and feel of a real ball, but I can tell. You think I can’t tell, jerkpole?!”
Terry, who had been having a relatively mellow time roleplaying as a self-adhesive stamp that wanted to be licked, senses I’m on a bad trip. We have to get to a safe place. So we grab our canes and set off to the Bushwick post office.
We walk inside, and the smelling salt of fresh parcels and stamp dust immediately elevates my mood. What are we here to mail today? We’re sending Lance back to France. I grab an international mailing envelope and try to stuff the entire poster in, but it seems my spacial skills have abandoned me. Terry suggests we tear the poster into tiny pieces and mail those individually. It’ll cost more on postage, but I agree, because drugs affect your judgment like that. We wind up with 22 stuffed envelopes. Terry doesn’t know any French addresses, so we just fill in a bunch of places we imagine are in France: Eiffel Tower, Normandy, Napoleon’s mansion, the movie theater where Hitler was blown up, the wine factory, etc. We don’t know any French ZIP codes or even how to write numbers in French, so we jot down “c/o Nicholas Sarkozy, RE: Pieces Of Lance Armstrong LOS IMPORTANTE” on all the envelopes. Hey, once it gets to France, it’s their problem, not ours.
At the window, the postal worker is also named Terry, and this causes my friend Terry to flip out and have an out-of-body experience. After much confusion, I finally manage to convey to the correct Terry that we need to mail parts of Lance Armstrong to France. I pass the envelopes through the slot and ask how much postage will be. Mailman Terry says he needs to go call someone to find out, and Friend Terry immediately tries to call France on his jailbroken Zune. Only Friend Terry doesn’t know the phone number to France, so he just punches in a bunch of digits and starts yelling that he’s Göring, and he’s back from the dead to get revenge on the dumb jock who stole his girlfriend. (We later checked the call logs and found out that Terry had dialed his ex-girlfriend, who was on vacation with her minor league hockey player fiancé in — you guessed it — the French Riviera. This is 100% true, and Snopes verified it.)
Mailman Terry returns with bad news. It will cost 69 Euros to mail all the envelopes. I only have about 20 Euros on me, and Friend Terry never converted his Francs because he thinks they’re making a comeback. Downtrodden, we turn to leave what would be my Third Worst Post Office Experience of all time (Second Worst: the time I brought a Slip ‘N Slide and it got all muddy because this Hispanic guy refused to take his shoes off before sliding; All-time Worst: the time my Walkman jammed in the middle of a long line and kept repeating “Y’all ready for this” from that song real loud and I couldn’t get the headphones off or stop the cassette or leave the line so my ears started bleeding and I had to go to a dog hospital instead of a human hospital because I didn’t have health insurance). But then Mailman Terry whispers for us to meet him in a large mail sack behind the post office. There, he explains a loophole where we can mail the letters at domestic rates to a U.S. Air Force base in Germany just past the French border where forwarded mail is then airlifted to France and dumped into the Seine. Sure, it’s a long shot, but it’s our only hope. We thank Terry for his assistance and hand him our boom boxes as tokens of our gratitude.
They say that when people use hallucinogens, their subconscious regrets and suppressed fears can emerge and attack them. Terry and I both felt this after smoking salvia that fateful afternoon. But with the help of a diligent postal worker who went the extra mile, we were able to overcome our demons. We spent the rest of the day laughing and kissing in celebration.