Staring down the Apocalypse and mailing a letter

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When youre a college student whose grasp on responsibility is tenuous at best and you have roommates as I do, you develop a kind of system for living with each other.&bsp; This generally means that each roommate has certain responsibilities delegated to him so that the house runs smoothly and doesnt explode on any given day.

In my house, my main responsibility is bills. Im the one who figures out when theyre due and then collects the payment from everybody and then sends it off. This is, by all accounts, not a very hard thing to remember to do.

However, it must be taken into consideration that Im a fairly forgetful young fellow.&bsp; My general attitude towards this absentmindedness is pretty Zen I figure if Ive forgotten something, it couldnt have been that important to begin with.&bsp; So I steer my boat of life with a calm demeanor, myriad unfinished tasks in my wake.

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The only problem with this is that sometimes I do forget important things. Like paying bills. Which is my responsibility in my house. Do you see where this might be a problem?&bsp; So my roommate Tyler, in his infinite wisdom and grace, offered to trade vacuum duties (which can be accomplished pretty much whenever, as opposed to bills, which are on a pretty tight deadline) for my bill duties on the condition that I buy him a book of postage stamps so he could send the bills off from home instead of having to go to the post office and buy a stamp every time we had a bill. I saw no problem with this.

There turned out to be a little issue that both of us should have guessed was coming I forgot to buy stamps. I went for days, telling Tyler that I would pick up some stamps at the post office in the morning, and every day, all my purpose and determination of 7 a.m. evaporated by mid-morning when I was just trying to figure out where I could buy a banana.&bsp; This cycle of stamp-forgetting/banana-buying continued until last night at 8:15 p.m., when I realized that I needed to buy stamps.

Having enough good sense about me to know that the post office was closed at night, I fired up my trusty Subaru and headed to the store that I thought had everything Wal-Mart.

To my infinite surprise, I discovered that Wal-Mart does not in fact sell stamps.&bsp; I discovered this startling truth when I moseyed up to the customer service counter and asked for some, and the customer service lady looked at me like I asked her for weapons-grade plutonium. We dont sell those, she said. Try Food Lion.

After misunderstanding her directions to Food Lion, taking a wrong turn, and ending up at a different Food Lion than the one to which she had directed me, I went inside and asked for stamps. I was told, Well, weve got stamps. Theyre Forever Stamps.

What does that mean? I queried.

If you buy these stamps, said the bored-looking teenager at the cash register, you can use them forever no matter how much postage goes up.

This sounded like a complete and total scam to me, and I called the guy on it. Okay, but what if the United States government succumbs to global imperialism?&bsp; Will the new regime make me buy new stamps?

Wordlessly, he rang me up.&bsp; I do not think he was pleased with my flippancy. So now Ive got a vested interest in the United States not going under before I can send 20 letters to people. Great.~ Modern Age written by Drew Millard