A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

07 May 2010

Coming to a Mailbox Near You: Stamp Out Pesky Raccoons this Saturday!

(I know I owe everyone Part 3 of my Sea Monkey blog...I will get to it tomorrow or the next day...but for now, I had to promote and voice my concern over this food drive.)

I must commend the United States Postal Service...in conjunction with the National Association of Letter Carriers...for their thoughtful idea to try to "curb" hunger via asking people to donate "non-perishable" food items. They are asking that items be left by your mailbox this Saturday, 8 May 10, to be picked up by your mail carrier (yes, mail WILL be late this Saturday)...to be taken to a local food bank and distributed to the needy.

The thought is very nice. I don't have any problems with this - but I have problems with this whole idea and I'm never one to mince words...I'm one to say them, or in this case, to type them out.

Number One Problem: The notification in my mailbox today. Had I not noticed I had TWO of them...I wouldn't have paid any attention to either. I saw the word "stamp" on both - and automatically shuffled them to the back of my pile of bills and "To the Manor Born" Netflix dvds I had in my hand. It was only when I saw it on the newscast tonite that I paid any attention...and then I just balked at the fact I got TWO of these. Either it's easier to put two in every other mailbox than to put one in each...or they just made about a bazillion of these things...at some astronomical cost. These things don't print themselves. Granted, they've pretty much bypassed the "buying the stamps" thing - but I bet even the Post Office has to shell out X amount for some bulk mailing fee. So, yes, I have an issue with this.

Number Two Problem: "Non-perishable food items". I looked this up...it's basically food which doesn't decay as rapidly as other food...that doesn't decay as fast as the ones which decay faster. Yeah...I know...the little postcard...oops...correction "postcards" I received today stipulate that "non-perishable" food items include canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice. The two postcards go on to say that we shouldn't give expired items or those in glass containers. I don't know about you...but I've had to toss out stuff like they're asking for because it had bugs in it, was dented, tasted nasty, etc. And I
can't shake the feeling that scores of people are going to be raiding their pantries and just tossing out the things they don't like...like that bulk pack of generic Ramen noodles your kid bought when he was going off to college...but forgot to take along when he moved out, the six-pack snack-sized blueberry applesauce cups (minus the one your kid ate and hated), that questionable box of spaghetti with an undecipherable "company code" instead of an expiration date, and so forth. Hey, you won't ever eat them - but that doesn't mean someone else might, right?

Number Three Problem: Critters. Let's say I take a nice grocery bag or two full to place next to my mailbox for pick-up whenever they deliver on Saturday. I live out here in the rural-ville area...and we have possums, raccoons, rats and mice, armadillos and various other miscellaneous creatures which prowl around looking for tasty bits of pasta, chips, and plastic containers of Jell-O pudding cups...in fact they probably can smell them from two blocks away. I'm not even taking in consideration dogs and cats that might come by. And even if they don't rip them open...there's always "marking" things up...and I'm not talking about prices. They like to "claim" things as their own and there's only one way they go about this...and I'm not sure the Postal person going to know whether or not that moisture's from humidity or from the big-headed feral cat that lives on my property. To borrow and change a phrase from "Look Who's Talking"..."Could be green beans...could be urine-soaked Pringles!" Yum!

Number Four Problem: Ants. See above reason...only modify it some.

Number Five Problem: Humans. Far be it from me to insinuate there are people out there who would...a) steal bags of food people have placed outside for this cause; b) vandalize bags of food people have left out for this cause; and c) do other things I failed to think of to said bags of food.

Now I'm no rocket scientist (insert incendiary blog comment here
) - but I'm thinking perhaps this could have been thought out better before they acted. I'm also not stupid...I Googled and I'm positive they collected thousands of pounds of food which helped out enormously to people who are needy. I'm not saying this is a bad cause...I'm just figuring "leaving it at your mailbox" outside...which most people are putting out the nite before...isn't the safest and most sanitary way of going about donating food. And no one associated with this cause wants to make someone sick inadvertently I am sure...but I'm sure this is going to happen if there aren't better ways to police this.

And...if you haven't heard about this worthy cause...please go here for more info:
www.usps.com/stampouthunger -- but I would stick to canned foods for your piece of mind...I know I am.


  1. Definitely potential for craziness, but all in all it's probably a good idea. At least the mail men aren't shooting each other this week.

  2. Thank you. I did set out a large bag of food for them - at least I hope it was them...as it was gone later on in the day.

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