Rare is the day that mail delivery gets in the crosshairs of a city council meeting.
But here in Canada, Estevan was dragged into a national firestorm over what everyone (me) is calling “Mailboxgate.”
“On August 17, 2015, Canada Post converted the city of Estevan to the self-serve mailbox model,” a gray-haired woman with the postal workers’ union ominously testified to the room of wary councilors.
“In an article in the Estevan Mercury on November 4, 2015, ‘not only were some people flustered with the loss of door-to-door delivery, but there were also concerns with the locations of the mailboxes. Some were upset to have the mailboxes in their yard.'”
Yes. In their yard–where ANY rabid moose or wayward hockey puck could attack without warning. And if you think I’m kidding about those deadly hazards…I am. But not about this:
“It has resulted in an increase in people who experience severe injuries as a result of slips and falls,” thundered the woman, “which HAVE occurred while attempting to access community mailboxes.”
After painting this dystopian image of Saskatchewan’s murderous mailboxes, she concluded her blistering sermon by saying, “we’re requesting the reinstatement of door-to-door delivery in Estevan.”
Mayor Roy Ludwig scanned the room for questions. “Well, thank you so much for coming–”
“Can I ask when you would discuss this and when we would have an answer from you?” the woman immediately grilled him.
“I think this evening,” he replied in a slow monotone. “We’ll discuss it and we can get back to you probably tomorrow.”
He quickly perked up as she stood and gathered her belongings. “And you are more than welcome to stay! I always ask everyone–no one does,” he pleaded as she exited the room and councilors chuckled uneasily.
“Bye-bye,” he called after her.
But there was no time to mourn her departure, for a series of bombshells immediately sent shock waves as far away as Frobisher.
“One lady asked me this week regarding our plants…I know we have the new planter that will be going up on King Street,” Councilor Shelly Veroba began her inquisition calmly. “So she’s asking if there’s going to be a process for perennials versus annuals.”
Mayor Ludwig mulled it over. “That’s a fair question. I know people have been asking that.”
Wait, not even the mayor knows the critical floral selection process for Estevan? What if the city is attacked by radicalized allergens? What if lower Saskatchewan is invaded by hungry deer? WHO WILL DEPLOY THE FERTILIZER?!
“I think we need to get it out to the public as to why we choose the annuals versus the perennials,” Councilor Veroba warned sternly. Hear, hear, madam.
“I also had another inquiry,” she continued in wide-eyed disbelief. “People are curious about a clothesline bylaw. They’re saying there are people out there being stopped from hanging their clothes.”
She shook her head at this sad state of affairs. “I think it’s an urban legend. There’s no bylaw. So if you hear that, it’s just rumor.”
I should hope so. Canada is the land of the free and the home of the brave, so everyone is entitled to have the wind off McDonald Lake dry their britches on the line.
“Councilor Veroba,” the mayor attempted to defuse the situation humorously, “were they suggesting we were airing our dirty laundry?”
Everyone chuckled. The postal woman shouldn’t have left early.