I knew from the moment I crossed the threshold it would be a grave ordeal.
The rent-a-cops by the metal detector had the combined I.Q. of tree bark. One of them apparently learned English by watching ‘Seinfeld’ reruns. The other one was so old he probably was voting for Democrats by rote when Roosevelt was president – Teddy Roosevelt.
I walked through the machine. It screeched. I checked my pockets. Nothing. I walked through again. Brrrrnnnn.
The fossil asked me if I had any keys or coins. I said I already had put them into the bowl. He then told me he’d need to ‘wand’ me. ‘Great,’ I replied, rolling my eyes.
I stood with my arms out. He fumbled with the device. Again I rolled my eyes. He waved the device around. Nothing. He waved it by my belt-buckle. Brrrrnnnnn. Ah, finally, that explained everything. But grandpa rent-a-cop didn’t draw the obvious conclusion. ‘Do you have anything artificial down there,’ he asked. I laughed. I figured he was joking. He wasn’t. I said ‘well, if I did have an artificial limb down there my girlfriend probably would consider it to be an improvement.’ He said nothing. Not even a sheepish grin. I knew this was going to be an ordeal.
Finally I made it inside. It was not a cause for celebration. The line seemed to go on forever.
It was obvious most of those on line were Democrats. At least half of them could have served as extras for ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ Some of them had horns growing out of their heads. A few of them literally were zombies. My throat went dry. I began to sweat.
After what seemed like several eternities I reached the front of the line. One of the zombie-drones ahead of me appeared to have finished her business at the counter. My pulse quickened. Perhaps after all I’d make it out of there alive. As the customer-drone stepped aside, however, and as I began to move forward, the gumbmint PO drone behind the counter gave me a vacant grin and put up her ‘Next Window’ sign. I began lobbing grenades. I also crouched down and commenced firing my AR-15. In my mind’s eye, that is.
I aged several decades on that line. I could feel my arteries hardening. My intestines began to knot up. Finally I heard ‘next customer please’ from behind the counter. My eyes began to clear. I felt so relieved. I began walking in the direction of the voice. I felt giddy with anticipation.
Right then the ordeal got worse.
It was my nemesis.
The same gumbmint PO drone who recently had botched the renewal of my Post Office Box. Who had botched that renewal so thoroughly, in fact, I had lost 15 years off my life dealing with the ensuing aggravation.
He gave me a vacant grin as I approached the counter. He looked like a Jack-o-Lantern. I began developing a facial tick.
‘How can I help you,’ he asked. By immediately expiring I thought. ‘Well, I need to send this package priority with delivery confirmation but there are no priority packages over there,’ I said. He said nothing. He stared at me. The dead eyes just looked at me. Like black marbles on a wax figure. ‘Um, over there, by the counter, there are no priority envelopes,’ I reiterated. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘are you sure you really looked for them, they should be there.’ I started fingering the pin on the grenade in my pocket. ‘Never mind,’ he said, ‘I’ve got some back here.’ I thought of all the taxpayer dollars this drone had been paid over his lifetime. I thought of the fact my taxpayer dollars were paying part of his salary. Now I knew why people went postal. It all made sense.
Finally I completed my transaction and exited that chamber of horrors.
The sun shone brightly outside.
But it was a dark day.