Letter of the law
April 15, 2003
I see that we have another one of those headmaster/Gestapo types running things down at the post office again. The trouble with these guys is that while they usually flee town in short order, their little legacies are left behind, unchanged and unmended.
We still have, for instance, the large yellow signs at each postal station, telling you, over and over again, not to set your child on the counter, typical overkill of a non-issue. The signs are chipped and held together with duct tape, put up by an overzealous postmaster long gone, but nobody takes them down.
And the traffic never got rerouted back around the post office where it made the most sense; the chains are still up and everyone has to exit onto the road to Clark’s Market, a real mess in the winter and a crush in the summer.
The newspaper racks never got put back in their convenient spot in front of the post office.
There was the postmaster who was so enraged at the scofflaws who had the temerity to go IN the OUT doors that he removed the Out Door handles so the villains couldn’t pull the Out Doors open. No one ever put them back on.
This may have been the same postmaster who put up such a thicket of “Keep Off the Grass” signs that even the most rabid environmentalists were tempted to stomp on the sod.
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Those signs eventually fell over and disappeared, but they’ll probably be back because there’s no doubt a rule somewhere in that rule book (and you know how the post office loves those rules) that every square yard of lawn requires a “Keep Off the Grass” sign.
In four short weeks this new guy, Howard Orona, has brought the town down around his ears with his almighty rule book and sanctimonious attitude: first by chasing off harmless petition seekers, then (he won’t recover from this one) by banning the beloved dog Sydney from making the postal rounds with his beloved owner Terry Trish and, most recently, by enforcing a dress code for postal workers.
Nobody in Aspen cares squat what the postal workers are wearing. What we care about are the endless LINES we have to wait in to buy stamps or mail a package. I was in there on Saturday, sending the new Harry Potter video to my 96-year-old mother, and the lines were like Christmas.
If the new postmaster wants to make the post office better, he could start by getting behind the counter, lending a hand and moving things along, rather than holing up with his tome of postal regulations trying to find new ways to enrage us.
Well, as they say: junk mail in, junk postmasters out.
Speaking about the letter of the law, Andrew Kole has concluded that it’s legally OK for him to run for mayor while carrying on his daily self-aggrandizing Grassroots TV talk show, a heinous breach of ethics – not that ethics have ever been Kole’s strong point.
Maybe we should send Orona over to Grassroots to clean things up.
Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks we go too far in different directions. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.