An English In Kentucky



















October 12th 2009

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    I have spent good money on four small miracle mole traps from an internet enhanced mail order catalogue that demonstrates the efficacy of its miracle mole traps with moving pictures and commentary from a voice that may belong to an Arch Bishop. 

    Today I received in the E-mail a reminder that these miracle mole traps are to be soon delivered by the United States Postal Service.  For those of us who live above ground, it is an exciting and unexpected announcement on Columbus Day.  And probably yet one more entertainment for those of us who live below ground.  

    But I hope it is a small and very anonymous package, otherwise the Postman must drive down our road to personally deliver it, and this can result in an extended period of conversation from which I recover by smoking a cigarette and wondering whether I might be an alien from a distant planet.




    The Postman appears to understand every word I say, which I find flattering.  But I struggle with his subtle use of vowels and consequently I have adopted an attitude which suggests I might be deaf.  This is an impression I have encouraged, because otherwise I present an aloofness that may lead to serious misunderstanding between myself and this vital and sometimes sensitive link to the world beyond. 

    I worked for a year in a Post Office sorting room, so I know what I am talking about.  They are dour places, and in them there is an eternal and often frustrating flow of other people's business which inevitably has introduced language to new nuances in established expressions.  Here I can think of 'postal' and 'stamp'.

   As well, there could be an eccentric insistence behind our courageous Postman's own mole catching technique, which may require further explanation through an after hours demonstration.  And I can't help but suspect that this after hours demonstration might involve either a small aggressive dog that digs in a random and uncontrollable manner, or access to explosives.

   Perhaps I should have ordered just two of these small traps instead of four, then I might have avoided both the multiplication of extravagance that buy three get one free implies, and having to tip-toe around for the next couple of days.

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tim candler

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