Mailman struggled with heat until he was told to “stay cool” by a customer.
It’s a sad, depressing day today for one local mailman in Fryersville, Indiana. He is known as Postman Pat to the local populace, but to the three cats in his one-bedroom studio apartment on the upper-south side (or was it lower?) he is known as Patrick.
Just like every day, Patrick leaves behind the deluge of meowing from the cats and embarks on the 2 minute and 30 second walk to work. Patrick lives in a small apartment two blocks from his local Post Office. This sure makes it convenient for Patrick to get to work, but it also means his personal and professional life are often tied together.
The local weatherman said it would be 85 degrees today, but he also told everyone it would “feel like” it was 95. Patrick wondered how something could feel different than what it was, but he wasn’t about to question the almighty authority of the meter, uh, metro, uh, met… meteorologist. If the man on the big television said it felt like 95, then Patrick believed it would feel like 95.
So when Patrick made his way to the Post Office today, walking through those double swinging doors and onto the workroom floor, there was but one thought racing through his mind: “Boy, it’s sure hot in here. It’s cooler outside!”
The air conditioning was broken, yet again, so Pat hurried through his morning mail casing duties, categorizing all of his magazines, letters, and packages into his hamper, and raced back through those double doors to load it all into his 1989 Grumman Postal Vehicle which, alas, also had no air conditioning.
Just as Patrick thought he would the solace of the outside air being cooler than inside his Post Office, the stark reality of life came crashing onto him. “Oh, boy, it’s hotter outside than in there!” Patrick just couldn’t catch a break it seemed, so he loaded his mail into the truck and just before he left he made sure to grab one of the fancy handheld scanners to scan all of his packages with.
As he sat in his truck he noticed an alert on the scanner, something that piqued his eye. “Oh, look at that.” Patrick said aloud to himself. “It’s a message from my manager. I better look at it.” Patrick opened the message and glared down at the intense wisdom written. “Wear extra clothes so you can take them off later in the day when it gets hot.”
Patrick was unsure of why his manager would send him that message, but nonetheless he would not let anything impede him from his duly appointed rounds of serving the American Public. Patrick was proud to be a Mailman, and he would show the world how much it meant to him,
As the day dragged on, the sun got hotter and hotter, to the point where Patrick thought back to what his manager said earlier in the day on the scanner. “Boy, I sure am hot!” Patrick muttered as he wiped sweat from his furled brow. “I wish I had extra clothes to take off, that would really help me now!”
Nonetheless, Patrick forged ahead, delivering hundreds and hundreds of pieces of mail to the customers on his route. He saw men, women, dogs, cats, even a cow! Patrick wondered why there was a cow in that man’s backyard, but he had no time to question such wonders of the world, there was mail to deliver!
He spoke to countless customers, many offering him bottles of water and sports drinks, which he kindly accepted, which quenched the raging thirst inside of this steel-hearted Mailman. But, no matter what Patrick tried, he just could not fully beat the heat.
“This heat is so hot!” Patrick said to himself for the thirteenth time today. “I just don’t know what to do!” Patrick was nearing the end of his ten hour route, having delivered four thousand pieces of mail and one hundred packages to all of his customers. He was walking on his last street, about ten houses from the end, when sweet old Mrs. Fondue came out of her house in that sundress that she loved so much.
“Patrick!” Mrs. Fondue yelled from three houses away gleefully as she waved. Patrick waved back, and without hesitation Mrs. Fondue came down off her porch and awaited Patrick on her sidewalk. It wasn’t but a few moments later that Patrick and Mrs. Fondue would come head to head.
“How is the friendly Mailman doing today?” Mrs. Fondue asked with a large smile on her face. “Just another day in paradise, Mrs. Fondue.” Patrick replied as he handed Mrs. Fondue her 23 letters and 9 magazines. Patrick returned a smile to her as she grabbed her mail, looking over a few pieces of it.
Just as Patrick was turning to leave, something magical happened, something that he couldn’t quite explain nor thought would ever be replicated again. Mrs. Fondue looked up from her torrent of letters and magazines and stared Patrick dead in the eyes.
“Hey, Patrick, you stay cool now, alright?” Those words uttered from Mrs. Fondue were all it took, two simple words that Patrick never thought of before: stay cool. “Thank you, Mrs. Fondue, I will.” Patrick was emboldened with a newfound strength, and all of a sudden Patrick was no longer hot, he was now cool.
This is a cautionary tale for all of the world, that is for sure. Keep on eye on the Mailman (and Mailwoman) and when you see them struggling in this immense heatwave we’re all having, never forget a friendly bottle of water or a sports drink can mean the world to them.
Above all else, stay cool America.