POSTAL rates are going up again. Whenever the price of a postage stamp goes up, the public's stamp of approval goes down.
The United States Postal Service gets no respect.
It seems that no matter what, the public attitude toward the Postal Service never changes. It stays similar to one's attitude toward rain on the golf course. It may be necessary, but no one likes it. Since there is nothing anyone can do about it except complain, the complaint is duly registered.
No one knows why, but the Postal Service simply doesn't subscribe to greatness. It doesn't have a catchy motto, such as In God We Trust, or E Pluribus Unum. It doesn't even have a heroic emblem. It has an eagle, to be sure, but it is a rather sad-looking fellow, which looks like a pigeon that flew headlong into the side of a building and bent its beak.
Take the Marines. They say stirring things like, ``We are looking for a few good men,'' and Semper Fidelis. What does the Postal Service say? ``Mail early.'' In one post office there was the slogan, ``Write legibly.'' If Gilbert and Sullivan could have kept on writing comic operas, they surely would have eventually done one on the Postal Service, using the tune, ``Poor wandering one.''
In New York when people are in need of a laugh, they go into the main post office and read the words on the wall, ``Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.'' They come out hysterical. Some say it is funnier than Johnny Carson.
Of course the above quotation was taken from Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, who knew absolutely nothing about the US Postal Service. Maybe they should have inscribed that passage from the Aeneid, which warned of Greeks bearing gifts. Even when they come in those little blue and white trucks.
Someone sooner or later will point out what a bargain it is to be able to send a letter from New York to California for 22 cents. So what? The same letter used to go for 3 cents when the trip was a lot harder.
Years ago I received a letter addressed to only my name plus ``Connecticut.'' For years I had it tacked on my wall. Today, if one wrote to the President, Washington, D.C., and didn't have the street address, the letter would come back stamped ``Party Unknown.''