... and it felt good! Warning: If you have any sentimental attachments to the U.S. Postal Service, better stop reading now! As many of you know, I live in a very, very small town. It's so small that we have virtually no door-to-door mail delivery for people who live right in town, everyone has a post office box and has to go in and pick up their mail. I don't get that much mail, mostly junk, but I do still get one bill through the mail and a few magazines so I check it a couple of times a week, but not every day. Of course I can pick up mail from the box at any time but the hours they are open keep shrinking, supposedly because of 9-11 (how does that help?). They're closed when I leave for work, closed again when I get home - if I have a package to mail or pick up they are open exactly 2-1/2 hours on Saturday, otherwise I have to take off work! Used to be they had two mail slots in the lobby to drop off outgoing mail - one labeled "Local", the other "Out of Town", now there is just one, but I didn't give it much thought. So a week or so ago I get a notice that my post office box rental fee is due. They used to have little envelopes to put your check in but this was just a sheet of paper. So I put the notice in a plain envelope marked "Postmaster" along with my check and dropped it through the mail slot, which is what I've done for years. Came in a few days later to check my mail and my friggin' key wouldn't turn in the friggin' mail box - it was LOCKED and I was ! Came home and tried to look them up in the phone book so I could call from work the next day - there is no friggin' phone number listed for the post office! So I wrote a note on a piece of paper explaining that i had paid my friggin' rental fee and my box was now LOCKED and I put the note in the mail slot - no other place to put it! Came in a few days later and the friggin' mailbox is still locked with nine days worth of mail in it! So I finally got to go in today when they were open. The clerk is very nice and I've never had a problem with her. But she said that they no longer have local mail! They don't even go through it! Even if you're mailing something to someone else in town and it will end up in a mail box a foot away from you, they scoop it all up and it's sent to Nashville where it spends several days going 'round and 'round and then is sent back to our town to be put in the mail box! Even the several thousand local utility bills that go out every month are routed around for days and then sent back! And (get this!) supposedly this is done TO SAVE MONEY!!! And my envelope with my check in it is floating around Nashville with no address but may get back to me some day! And I wasn't the only one whose check is making the rounds of Music City! We apparently have a new postmaster here locally and he went through and locked all the mail boxes of everyone whose check he didn't have yet! And my sheet of paper that I wrote him the note on? He wrote a note back to me and then he PUT IT IN MY LOCKED MAIL BOX!!!! Thanks a lot! So now I've written a second check and now they'll probably cash both of them when the first one comes back! This makes me almost as mad as when they took out the stamp machines in the lobby and then had the nerve to put up signs that said "FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE THE STAMP MACHINES WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE"! And is it any wonder that the United States Postal Service is dying on the vine!