My 5-star Yelp review of the Harlem post office
7 p.m. on a Friday night. I’m way uptown taking pictures of mailboxes for my popular Tumblr “Fk Yeah Mailboxes That Look Like Ryan Gosling.” All of a sudden, my mind shudders. That nagging vital chore I couldn’t seem to remember? I remember now. It’s the last day of the month, and I have less than one hour to mail my Hulu premium subscription fee, or else it’ll be shut off.
As Homer Simpson might say, “Doh!” (Episode 4F20 “Marge Learns To Read”)
At 8 p.m., the last mail trucks roll out of Manhattan for the weekend, and this check’s gotta be on one of them. The only post office I can make it to in time is in Harlem. Normally I would be a little trepidatious to travel through the ghetto. Fortunately, I’m with my friend Jim, who has a ghetto pass in the form of an XL Wu-Tang t-shirt coupled with his diehard support for Dr. Ron Paul.
“Libertarianism is by definition not a racist ideology,” Jim yells as we enter the post office on West 125th street. “Unrestrained capitalism can only help poor minorities!”
With the crowd firmly on our side, we proceed to the task at hand. Thanks to my massive intelligence, I have never missed a single joke on “2 Broke Girls,” and I wasn’t about to miss one on account of an unpaid bill. Problem is, we don’t have an envelope, and the packaging store is closed for the night. Luckily, Jim has a copy of the latest Ron Paul White Survival Newsletter on him. Using my self-taught origami skills, I jury-rig a receptacle for my check and write the address. Victoriously, I plunge my free hand into my fanny pack for a stamp, when hard reality hits me like Chris Brown hit musical gold with his catchy chart toppers.
I don’t have any stamps.
How could this be? I always have spare stamps. I went to 17 post offices that afternoon! I feel awful. I feel like Garfield locked in a crate of Mondays.
Yet there’s still hope: the stamp machine here is working. I claw through my pockets in search of 50 cents. No dice. All I have on me are a novelty penny pressed with Goku’s likeness and a worthless pair of dice. Between the two of us, we have no loose change whatsoever (Jim had a ten, but he didn’t want to break it).
I start to panic. There’s no time left to go to an ATM. Jim tells me to relax, that the free market will take care of it, and something about bringing back debtor’s prisons. But I refuse to calm down. There are THREE on-demand streaming Seth MacFarlane cartoons at stake here. Adrenaline surge. It’s action time. Bootstraps be damned, I need to mail this check right now!
I rush over to the shoeless man half-sleeping in the lobby. I plead my case to him: the threatened Hulu subscription, the fruitless fanny pack search, the Goku penny, Ron Paul’s plan to revitalize America’s gold fortresses — all of it, blubbered out among heaving sobs. The stranger looks up at me with blood red eyes, then at Jim in his fading XL Wu-Tang shirt, and he wordlessly hands me two quarters from his Taco Bell cup.
Ladies and gentlemen, miracles do happen. They happen at post offices like these. Don’t believe me? Take the train up to 125th street sometime, where there are angel wings on every homeless man, and episodes of NBC’s smash hit “Whitney” on every monitor.