Gusty Blusts

and other stories The Weird and Wonderful World of "J"
Approx 707 words | Read time approx 3 - 5 mins

A funny thing happened on the way to the Post Office

Old man

From ‘doodle flashing’ to talking, walking herbaceous borders – a series of surreal incidents, peculiar encounters and social interactions experienced while on a visit to the Post Office . . .

IT WAS AN UNUSUALLY STRANGE MORNING even by my standards. I guess it all started with a minor incident involving an electric kettle and a microwave, but then perhaps the less said about that the better. Oh, and of course yet another failing by yet another posty to grasp the evidently challenging concept of putting letters through a letterbox.

And continuing with the postal theme, the mad morning continued with a sojourn into surrealism thanks to a trip to the Post Office. Although before I got anywhere near the place I somehow managed to acquire a follower in the form of a furry farm type who, for reasons unknown, decided to follow me in his knackered old Land Rover.

Although I’m not entirely sure how he expected me to respond to his rather disturbing imbecilic grinning and manic arm waving whenever I slowed to a stop at a junction, but hey never mind.

Then, ambling along the pavement to the Post Office I was approached for directions by what can only be described as a rather large, green herbaceous border. No, really. The fact that this particular herbaceous border turned out to actually be someone carrying an overly large bundle of hedge cuttings didn’t make it any the less disturbing.

The Post Office was quite busy by the time I eventually arrived – with two reasonably sized queues at both counters. I was third in line to be served when one of the women behind the counter, whom incidentally I’ve neither met, nor ever seen before in my life, started waving and calling out ‘hel-lo-ee!’ to me.

bushQuite why she singled me out I’ve no idea, but much to the audible annoyance of the two in front – one waiting, the other supposedly being served, she held up her notepad, revealing an assortment of child-like doodles, while remarking ‘what do you think of these?!’

“I was approached for directions by what can only be described as a rather large, green herbaceous border . . .”

Clearly not discouraged by the puzzled expression on my face, she reached down off her stool and picked up a whole stack of doodles which she then proceeded to hold up and show me. A bit like a small child been shown a series of flash cards. Although why she thought I’d be remotely interested I’ve no idea, but I gave up trying to figure this kind of thing out a long time ago.

Meanwhile back in the real world the woman who was supposedly being served clearly had enough of being sidelined for some second rate scribbles, slammed her hand firmly down on the counter and loudly remarked ‘Do you mind? This is supposed to be a Post Office not a kindergarten!’ And without another word the assistant returned to her role in the real-world as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened.

I know local Post Offices have been in the news recently – something to do with needing to find alternative sources of revenue, but I’m not sure flashing your doodles at poor, unsuspecting customers is necessarily quite what they had in mind.

Stepping back into reality and ambling back to the car, it was quite a relief to see that the scary bush thing had moved on. Although it seemed to have been replaced by a smartly dressed, distinguished looking elderly gentleman who, for reasons that no doubt made perfect sense to him at the time, was ‘effing’ and blinding rather loudly at a dishevelled looking elderly women on the other side of the road. Whether he knew her or not is hard to say, but as I approached he took time out from swearing, smiled, and in a voice that would have given Leslie Philips a run for his money, said a rather disturbing ‘h-e-l-l-o!’ He quickly resumed his outburst of obscenities, just as soon as I’d gone past though – even though the woman was, by this time almost out of sight down the road.

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