I moved just this week into a new apartment in an attempt to stop commuting a zany distance each day.
My apartment mailbox, I assume like most, had a vacant notice. I imagine this is a standard practice for the men in navy jackets and their fleet of funny little white trucks.
However common this is, the back of mine reveals a far more telling story about modern day heroism.
The back of this flyer apparently lists interactions my mailman has had with a dog. It doesn’t appear to be just any dog, but what I can only assume is an aggressively vicious dog. The rest of what you’ll read here is going to be mostly conjecture on my part.
I have never met my mailman (just moved in, and really have not spent a whole lot of time at home yet), but my best guess is his name is Hugh Strongstrom. You can do some damage with that name. He probably has a conceal and carry permit. Being named Hugh Strongstrom, you can just show your ID, and the issuer just hands it over (“I’m sorry, Mr. Strongstrom. We should’ve just mailed this to you awhile ago, based on your clear history of awesome.”). Mr. Strongstrom has been a career civil servant (this was in his mailbuggy for sometime now, as the first date recorded is 2005), and he loves America.
He pulls up to 305 Clemons day in and day out, and never really cared for the place (I literally have no idea where this house is. I can honestly tell you it’s nowhere near where I live). Hugh “Postman!” Strongstrom couldn’t put his finger on it, but he knew that there were some bad seeds here on Clemons. They would only get weird catalogs, never received postcards from friends or family and clearly didn’t believe in spreading cheer by mailing holiday greetings or birthday cards to loved ones. I’m not saying this is a meth house, but that’s what our hero was beginning to suspect.
One day, this cartoonishly large dog broke through the door from whatever hellish cavern it inhabited only to attempt to maul Strongstrom in a fit of rage that would make Darth Vader weep in terror. Strongstrom tried to avoid this conflict of properly stamped letters against gnarled teeth and overgrown claws on crooked paws by backing away with his hands up and a stern look of disapproval. The dog would not be swayed, and so instead of escalating the conflict, Strongstrom grabbed the dog by the back of the head like an expert snake wrangler and gave it the heave-ho back into the door. More embarrassed than anything, the dog whimpered and barked meekly at Strongstrom’s physical strength and desire to just do the right thing. The owner, clearly a messup from the getgo, was nowhere to be found at this time.
Strongstrom was busy at the time and almost fell behind schedule due to the incident, but he knew procedure. He had to report this to the higher-ups at 1 Post Office Plaza. Rushing because he did not want to be late in his delivery of grandma’s birthday cards to little Suzy Sterling down the street, he grabbed two things readily available to him: a crayon and a vacant mailbox notice. He scribbled down the address so he would remember to properly fill out the paperwork and with accountant-like precision later.
Then, a month and some change later, while delivering some contest survey thing and a third-rate puzzle catalog, the dog, this time famished by owner neglect, tried to break down the door to eat some Strongstrom. Be still reader, for today our hero today was quicker than the ravenous wolfbeast. Strongstrom held the screen securely against the doorjamb while putting the mail in the box, all while struggling to keep his footing against a collection of menus that were scattered across the front porch floor.
This trend would be increasingly dangerous for Strongstrom. The next few weeks were quite hazardous, even for mailman standards. Again, Strongstrom diligently reported these clear breaches in the social contract with the Postmaster General, which is standard practice.
But, it was clear that this was not going anywhere. These dog owners were horrible, horrible meth dealers and parakeet killers. Strongstrom could see this. The government bureaucrats weren’t following through on their end of the deal. There were clearly no repercussions. Those suits were only concerned about how much they could jack up postage. The system is failing. The system Hugh Strongstrom has bought into for 12 years, ever since he graduated from the George Washington Stamp Institute at Harvard, is failing.
He must take (vigilante) justice into his own, callused and papercut hands. The last crayon and pen entry was Oct. 29, 2005. This would be the last crayon account on the vacant notice. Strongstrom had enough. He had off the next day (it was a Sunday, the mail doesn’t get delivered on Sundays). It was he who would kick down the door. He came in with homemade exploding postcards, much like Gambit. The aggressive dog had passed out from the sleeping gas he poured into the house shortly before laying siege. Once he broke through the door, he saw something heartbreakingly horrifying: there were more coyote-pitwolves! They were being bred for their ability to carry turbo-rabies – long thought to be a myth perpetuated by postal carriers and 8-year-olds going on their first tent camping trip – but finally proved with Strongstrom’s courageous actions.
The methhead, cough syrup-addicted unwed couple were clearly no match for Strongstrom, so there wasn’t much of a battle royale at the end of this story. Strongstrom mailed the bums to Siberia. The dogs were too rabid for him to keep, even though the wolf-coyote-bear puppies were pretty cute. However, scientists deployed them in Lake Michigan to try and stave off invasive carp.
Again, we would like to thank the real life heroes of this season, the mailman.