Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan

27

Aug

My 5-star Yelp review of the Stuyvesant Town post office

I hit a rough patch in 2009 after getting laid off from the Steampunk mill. My savings evaporated, and I was unable to afford rent on my loft. Moving back home wasn’t an option, as I had always been the “sasspot” of the family. Faced with homelessness, I turned to the one place that had always been there for me when life got tough.

As savvy apartment-hunters know, many post offices in Manhattan have large walk-in P.O. boxes, relics of the early 20th century originally built for large firms that received a high volume of mail. Fax and email obsoleted these boxes, so nowadays a guy like me can rent a studio P.O. box for as little as $200/month.

I lived in P.O. Box 963, which was last rented by “Stick Stickly,” some sicko who apparently corresponded with children. Some of the mail was still there when I moved in, so in my spare time I responded to the kids.

Dear Stick Stickly,

I made a drawing of you. Will you put it on TV?

Sincerely,

Dylan

Dylan,

My television program has long since been canceled due to low ratings. So obviously the answer is no. Please do not write again.

- Stick

Dear Stick Stickly,

Do you have a girlfriend?

Love,

Ashley

Dear Ashley,

Stick Stickly’s program is no longer on the air, and he is dead. This is Virgil Texas. To answer your question, it’s complicated. This girl Belaura who works at the post office in Astoria always says hi to me when I come in, so I’m essentially in the entry stages of a relationship. I detect a sexual subtext to your missive. Are you propositioning me? Please know that I DON’T play games. If you’re serious about the post office scene, and you’re not here to jerk me around, then respond with photos of yourself. None of that MySpace angle crap.

- Virgil

None of the kids wrote back, except for one who had grown up and started a fight club in Newark. I went to one fight. It was basically a “straight” j/o party, which in my view is pretty faithful to the film.

My landlord was an ebony woman named Yenta. We had a funny “Murphy Brown”-type relationship. I’d ask her to turn up the heat, and she’d say zingers like “Are you living in there?” or “Get out, idiot!” Yet beneath the surface we both knew she couldn’t evict me. It is against federal law for any unauthorized user—including a postal worker—to remove legal mail from a P.O. box, and since the Helen Keller stamp tattoo I got on my lower back from the 80s “Mail Yourself!” fad constituted legal postage, I had an ironclad lease.

Since I wasn’t allowed to use the employee restroom, defecation was a challenge. I couldn’t use the McDonald’s on 14th street as I had been banned for having a loud argument with my friend Jim over whether Grimace was an Uncle Tom. Luckily my P.O. apartment contained a chute that led to the mail processing area. Whenever I felt the urge, I would squat over an empty Taco Bell box, put a stamp and Ray Tomlinson’s address on it, and drop it down the chute. Yes, it’s perfectly legal to mail human feces unless it violates the “Reagan rule” banning the shipping of body fluids from AIDS patients.

My neighbors were mostly homeless people and trust fund posers doing the “postal thing.” The hipsters invited me to their box parties, but we didn’t really get along since they were all about taking shrooms, and I didn’t like psychedelics because of the time I licked an entire sheet of LSD by accident because I thought the blotters were tiny postage stamps, and I endured two weeks hallucinating that a giant 69-cent stamp bearing my mother’s image was chasing me through Manhattan yelling insults about my penis size, even though posters on MULTIPLE penis size message boards have confirmed that I am average. Eventually Stamp Mother ate me, and in her stomach I disintegrated into pure energy, and I saw God, and He looked like Mr. Zip, and He compiled the essence of my Being into an envelope, and He put me in Heaven’s mailbox, then He took a smoke break, and when I woke up, I was on a trash barge eating trash with the barge admiral who told me the EXACT SAME THING happened to him when he took LSD, and it encouraged him to get his life together and enlist in the garbage navy.

In a few months, I managed to scrape together enough money to move out from my new job working for the Youth Sales Club, which enlists entrepreneurs like me to sell catalog merchandise like candles and greeting cards door-to-door in exchange for cool prizes like Discmans and BMX bikes. Everyone at the post office bought stuff and let me solicit the customers. They even refused service to anyone who didn’t buy from me, which was very touching. On moving day, as the postal employees helped me pack my furniture and Stick Stickly mail and unused Taco Bell boxes, I felt a genuine sense of community for the first time since getting laid off. All the folks at this office—even Yenta, whom I finally seduced the night before leaving—possess boundless compassion. They serve everyone in society through good weather and bad. Correction, Village People: It’s fun to stay at the USPS.

(Click here to read more Yelp reviews of post offices)

26

Aug

My 1-star Yelp review of the Barstow, CA Subway sandwich shop

My pal Terry and I were taking an impromptu road trip to the envelope museum in Bakersfield to take our minds off our failed marriages when we stopped into this Subway location because we had just watched “Happy Gilmore” on Terry’s PSPVita and both of us were subbing fierce. The two of us had been to many Subway sandwich shops in multiple countries of the course of our rich lives, and never had we experienced such awful service.

We walked in the door and were immediately treated to loud animal yells over the radio. Some kid mopping up a puddle of Fanta told us it’s the only station they get on the radio, which I know was a lie because after we left we tuned in to Mike Huckabee’s folksy wit and wisdom on the AM dial. One of the sandwich artists, “Kanye,” was wearing sunglasses and dancing to the awful animal noises. The other was very obviously two children in a large overcoat pretending to be an adult. Terry ordered two twelve inch meatball subs while I tried communicate over the screams that I wanted an egg sub. I told Kanye I didn’t want anything else on it, but he whispered “YOLO dude” and smirked at me then put handful after handful of olives on my sub. When I complained to the manager, the manager said “you boys must not be from around here” and forced us to pay for the ruined subs and eat them. He also stole Terry’s GOURMET mustard he bought in Branson, MO and threw it in the trash and said we had to eat the awful Subway-brand mustard. He dumped the Subway mustard all over our subs and said we couldn’t leave until we ate the whole thing. He stood over our table with his arms crossed making disrespectful remarks like “eat it up” and “yum yum so good.” I told Terry we shouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing us cry, but that advice was too hard to live by. After we were done we hightailed it on out of there.

I don’t know what these other reviewers are talking about, but there are no “good times and lots of smiles” to be had at this awful Subway. It took literally hours of hugging to soothe our shaken nerves. My advice to the hungry traveler: if you want a great sub then get out of the “way” of this store and instead head over to the United States post office on Buenaventura Avenue, which has delicious pastrami sandwiches and two for one margaritas on Tuesdays.

(Click here to read more Yelp reviews of post offices)

25

Aug

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.

(Click here to read more Yelp reviews of post offices)

24

Aug

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.

(Click here to read more Yelp reviews of post offices)

23

Aug

My 5-star Yelp review of the Greenpoint post office

I used to date a beautiful Polish girl living in Greenpoint, and sleepovers at her place were always fun for two reasons. One was that she always kept on her nightstand a huge plastic bin of Fruity Pebbles with a print-out of an ASCII Count Chocula taped to the side (In Poland, Count Chocula is a generic cereal mascot and national hero). Two was that her apartment was three short blocks away from one of the hottest indie post offices in the city.

Thursday afternoon. We lounge in bed past noon, Fruity Pebble dust lining the sheets.

"Kim jesteś i co chcesz ze mną?" she asks in that incomprehensible Slavic gibberish (we communicated exclusively through hand gestures throughout our dalliance). I grab her waist and give a squeeze. She knows what’s up. Time to rage.

We chug a couple bottles of horse-strength Robotussin and grab our glowsticks. Perfect timing: I start peaking on DXM right as we walk through the door. The security guard gives us a nod from his stool. He knows I’m a VIP in the mail scene. Bouncers never hassle me, unless they want to have to explain to their superiors a scathing trip report on the r/postalzone subreddit or an indignant tweet to my 69,420 loyal followers on Twitter (@virgiltexas, look me up, stampheads).

I look over at my babe, and I can tell she’s peaking too. “Co ja zdobyć się na.” My eyeballs are popping at the gorgeous colors: blue uniforms and white envelopes, gray floors and gray ceilings. That Eagle flies off a priority mail envelope and soars into my brain where it lays eggs of sheer orgasmic pleasure. My girlfriend’s rocking out to the slammin’ Edith Piaf CD that’s pounding vibes into our mentals.

Playtime. I open my girl’s P.O. Box and pull out an assortment of pacifiers and Go-Gurts I had taken the liberty of mailing last week. We rock over to the shipping desk, where I bang out a 5000-word letter to my Icelandic pen pal Grottork. I suck my rhythmically flashing pacifier while hallucinating about the missing kids on the wall. Catthew Riley’s been missing since 1992. What would he look like today? A f**king brontosaurus, that’s what.

It’s closing time and we’re tumbling down our plateau. I ask my babe if she wants to hit up this underground 24-hour Approved Postal Provider in Astoria. “Wyjeżdżam was i wzywa władze.” English, please! She flips me off and walks out. Dumped again. But you know what they say: lucky at stamps, unlucky at love. I’m a cougar on the prowl in the city that never sleeps, where there’s a post office on every block that’s ready to accept my package.

(Click here to read more Yelp reviews of post offices)

22

Aug

My 5-star Yelp review of the Williamsburg post office

Monday afternoon, friends and I are trolling about Brooklyn looking for a post office to check out. Standard. We happen upon this little gem. On the outside, it looks nothing special. American flag, engraved motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat” yadda yadda yadda (Bing “Seinfeld” if you don’t get the reference) heard it all before. We’re a tough bunch to impress, but once we were inside, one word:

"Woah." (Neo, "The Matrix")

This place was seriously popping. Eight teller windows, gorgeous gold-plated pens, tons of envelopes, sick Rolling Stones track (“Start Me Up”) blasting from the radio. We eagerly got in the huge line and scoped out the VIPs. Standard Williamsburg crowd, hip kids from all around chilling with their air mail envelopes and PostSecret cards. I peeped Barry (homeless dude, kind of a big shot around the postal scene) catching a snooze over by the P.O. boxes, so I knew this place was fresh.

After a long wait, we made it to the front of the line. Our post officer Linda was a super hot babe. Jim ran some sick pick-up artist lines on her (he couldn’t do kino because of the plastic partition, but he complimented her uniform and asked if she made it herself) while I gave the pen a test drive. Smooth as an heroic dog’s fur. Terry put five bucks into the stamp machine and browsed the selection: a ton of classic stuff, including a pretty obscure Helen Keller 5 cent.

Jim got Linda’s supervisor’s digits (it was a dude, but that’s cool because we’re all bi) while I sneaked out a pen (word to the wise: if you want to up your postal game, check out Skrillatelist420’s WikiHow guide on removing attached pens). Honestly, I can’t sing this post office’s praises enough. Easily one of the top twelve post offices in the Big Apple. Next time you find yourself in Billyburg looking for quick package fix, make this stop numero uno (“number one”).

(Click here to read more Yelp reviews of post offices)

11

Jun

My 1-star Yelp review of the Barstow, CA Subway sandwich shop

http://www.yelp.com/biz/subway-barstow-2#hrid:6gaDkGc6QYqgfIxmiLopsg

Awful SubwayMy pal Terry and I were taking an impromptu road trip to the envelope museum in Bakesfield to take our minds off our failed marriages when we stopped into this Subway location because we had just watched Happy Gilmore on Terry’s PSPVita and both of us had a fierce sub crave. We had been to many Subway sandwich shops in multiple countries of the course of our rich lives, and never had we experienced such awful service.

We walked in the door and were immediately treated to loud animal yells over the radio. Some kid mopping up a puddle of Fanta told us it’s the only station they get on the radio, which I know was a lie because after we left we tuned in to Mike Huckabee’s folksy wit and wisdom on AM radio. One of the sandwich artists, “Kanye,” was wearing sunglasses and dancing to the awful animal noises. The other was very obviously two children in a large overcoat pretending to be an adult. Terry ordered two twelve inch meatball subs while I tried communicate that I wanted an egg sub over the screams. I told Kanye I didn’t want anything else on it, but he whispered “YOLO dude” and smirked at me then put handful after handful of olives on my sub. When I complained to the manager, the manager said “you boys must not be from around here” and forced us to pay for the ruined subs and eat them. He also stole Terry’s GOURMET mustard we bought in Branson, MO and threw it in the trash and said we had to eat the awful Subway-brand mustard. He dumped the Subway mustard all over our subs and said we couldn’t leave until we ate it all up. He stood over our table to intimidate us with his arms crossed making disrespectful remarks like “eat it up” and “yum yum so good.” I told Terry we shouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing us cry, but that advice was too hard to live by. After we were done we hightailed it on out of there.

I don’t know what these other reviewers are talking about, but there are no “good times and lots of smiles” to be had at this awful Subway sandwich shop. It took literally hours of hugging to soothe our shaken nerves. My advice to the hungry traveler: if you want a great sub get out of the “way” of this store and instead head over to the United States post office on Buenaventura Avenue, which has great ribs and two for one margaritas on Tuesdays.

Read more Yelp reviews at http://virgiltexas.yelp.com

Virgil Texas on Facebook

Virgil Texas on Twitter

14

Mar

Courtney H. threatens to blow the lid off this whole operation.

Courtney H. threatens to blow the lid off this whole operation.

My 5-star Yelp review of the Stuyvesant Town post office

http://www.yelp.com/biz/us-post-office-new-york-6#hrid:owYFcwvOhJXG4fr4_qhhFQ

I hit a rough patch in 2009 after getting laid off from the Steampunk mill. My savings evaporated, and I was unable to afford rent on my loft. Moving back home wasn’t an option, as I had always been the “rebel” or “sassy boy” of the family. Faced with homelessness, I turned to the one place that had always been there for me when things got tough.

As savvy apartment-hunters know, many post offices in Manhattan have large walk-in P.O. boxes, relics of the early 20th century originally built for large firms that received a high volume of mail. Fax and email obsoleted these boxes, so nowadays a guy like me can rent a studio P.O. box for as little as $200/month.

I lived in P.O. Box 963, which was last rented by “Stick Stickly,” who apparently corresponded with children. Some of the mail was still there when I moved in, so in my spare time I responded to the kids.

Dear Stick Stickly,

I made a drawing of you. Will you put it on TV?

Sincerely,

Dylan

Dylan,

My television program has long since been canceled due to low ratings. So obviously the answer is no. Please don’t write again.

- Stick

Dear Stick Stickly,

Do you have a girlfriend?

Love,

Ashley

Dear Ashley,

Stick Stickly’s program is no longer on the air, and he is dead. This is Virgil Texas. To answer your question, it’s complicated. This girl Belaura who works at the post office in Astoria always says hi to me when I come in, so I’m essentially in the entry stages of a relationship. I detect a sexual subtext to your missive. Are you propositioning me? Please know that I DON’T play games. If you’re serious about the post office scene, and you’re not here to jerk me around, then respond with photos of yourself. None of that MySpace angle crap.

- Virgil

None of the kids wrote back, except for one who had grown up and started a fight club in Newark. I went to one fight. It was basically a “straight” j/o party, which in my view is pretty faithful to the film.

My landlord was an ebony woman named Yenta. We had a funny “Murphy Brown”-type relationship. I’d ask her to turn up the heat, and she’d say zingers like “Are you living in there?” or “Get out, idiot!” Yet beneath the surface we both knew she couldn’t evict me. It is against federal law for any unauthorized user—including a postal worker—to remove legal mail from a P.O. box, and since the Helen Keller stamp tattoo I got on my lower back from the  80s “Mail Yourself!” fad constituted legal postage, I had an ironclad lease.

Since I wasn’t allowed to use the employee restroom, defecation was a challenge. I couldn’t use the Wendy’s on 14th as I had been banned for having a loud, drunken argument with my friend Jim over whether Dave Thomas was a slave owner. Luckily my P.O. apartment contained a chute that led to the mail processing area. Whenever I felt the urge, I would squat over an empty Taco Bell box, put a stamp and Ray Tomlinson’s address on it, and drop it down the chute. Yes, it’s perfectly legal to mail human feces unless it violates the “Reagan rule” banning the shipping of body fluids from AIDS patients.

My neighbors were mostly homeless people and trust fund posers doing the “postal thing.” The hipsters invited me to their box parties, but we didn’t really get along since they were all about taking shrooms, and I didn’t like psychedelics because of the time I licked an entire sheet of LSD by accident because I thought the blotters were tiny postage stamps, and I endured two weeks hallucinating that a giant 69-cent stamp bearing my mother’s image was chasing me through Manhattan yelling insults about my penis size, even though posters on MULTIPLE penis size message boards have confirmed that I am average. Eventually Stamp Mother ate me, and in her stomach I disintegrated into pure energy, and I saw God, and He looked like Mr. Zip, and He compiled the essence of my Being into an envelope, and He put me in Heaven’s mailbox, then He took a smoke break, and when I woke up, I was on a trash barge eating trash with the barge admiral who told me the EXACT SAME THING happened to him when he took LSD, and it encouraged him to quit drugs and enlist in the garbage navy.

In a few months, I managed to scrape together enough money to move out from my new job working for the Youth Sales Club, which has kids sell catalog junk like candles and greeting cards door-to-door in exchange for cool prizes like Discmans and BMX bikes. Everyone at the post office bought stuff and let me solicit the customers. They even refused service to anyone who didn’t buy from me, which was very touching. On moving day, as the postal employees helped me pack my furniture and Stick Stickly mail and unused Taco Bell boxes, I felt a genuine sense of community for the first time since getting laid off. All the folks at this office—even Yenta, whom I finally seduced the night before leaving—possess boundless compassion. They serve everyone in society through good weather and bad. Note, Village People: It’s fun to stay at the USPS.

http://virgiltexas.yelp.com/

26

Jan

My 5-star Yelp review of the Bushwick post office

http://www.yelp.com/biz/us-post-office—-bushwick-station-brooklyn#hrid:pFPfsGXbuamJiej9r88RlQ

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 his honest demeanor suddenly grows dark. 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 prosthetic 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 house, 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 French numbers, so we jot down “c/o Nicholas Sarkozy, RE: Pieces Of Lance Armstrong EL 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 Aryan 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 insists 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 I got a horrible migraine and 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 box as a token of our gratitude.

They say that when people use hallucinogens, their hidden regrets and buried 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.

virgiltexas.yelp.com

25

Jan

My 5-star Yelp review of the Harlem post office

24

Jan

My 5-star Yelp review of the Greenpoint post office

23

Jan

My 5-star Yelp review of the Williamsburg post office