Monday, January 09, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (01/09/06)

I know, I know, dear reader, it's Monday, and usually it means mail time, but I was unhappy with the mail I received this week. Mostly angry mail, which isn't worth even repeating (lot of the "you'll burn in Hell, yada, yada, yada" kind of mail).
So, I present a special monday ramblings. Love it or leave it.
So, without further ado: GRASSHOPPER!
The Legality of Stamp Scalping:

On Sunday, the post office went to its new 39 cent stamp. Dozens of people stormed the post offices around the metro area attempting to pick up 1 and 2 cent stamps. I...was one of those schmoes. That's right, at 11:30 am on Saturday, I stood in a long line that reached out my post office's door. What was amazing to me was how people reacted in that line. Why does the post office lower our manner and tolerance levels? As we intrepid postal customers braved the 40 degree weather in order to use our remaining stamps (such cheapskates we are), the man at the front of the line made a large purchase. "That'll be 200 dollars, please," the clerk said.
After a quick transaction, the clerk whispered something to another clerk. A small pow-wow took place. Suddenly three pieces of paper were produced from behind the counter:
"We're sorry for the inconvenience, but we no longer have 1 or 2 cent stamps."
All hell broke loose among the crowd.
"I've been here for a half an hour! How could you run out of stamps?!"
"What the hell, lady?!"
"I think I pooped my pants!" (This wasn't said, but the woman behind me smelled like she did.)
"What do I do now?"
Murmurs arose as the back of line started breaking off and going toward the man who had the 200 dollar purchase.
Slowly what happened dawned on those of us toward the front of the line: The man had bought ALL of the 1 and 2 cent stamps this post office had.
After purchasing some 39 cent stamps (I always buy the Breast Cancer Stamps. Do some good, people), I made my way outside only to see the guy who had bought the stamps standing across the street. I had some time to kill (my lovely but sick wife was passed out at the time), so I went over to see what the hub-bub around this guy was.
A large crowd had gathered around him, and as I stepped on the curb, I found out why.
"1 cent stamps are 5 cents, and 2 cent stamps are a dime."
That's right. He was selling stamps at a higher price, and he was making that profit.
Now, I don't know the rules, but I assume (someone correct me if I'm wrong) selling stamps at a higher price is...what's the word...hmmm...oh yeah...ILLEGAL!
Seriously, how horrible is it to prey on the people who don't think about how they're being gouged?
I know, you're thinking, "Leab, if they're stupid, it's they're own damn fault. I mean look at Benny Hinn's followers."
Well, you're right, but it's still preying upon older people who may not be able to make the leap between the price gouge and just buying a sheet of 39 cent stamps ($7.80).
I've seen this kind of trick with gas stations in New York, I've seen this during storm season in Missouri (after a particularly bad tornado, several mini-marts raised the prices of "the essentials" accordingly), and I've seen this with art and books after someone dies.
Inevitably, someone will figure out how to make money on something. A person is smart. People are dumb, but a person is smart. This guy, whoever he is, probably made a ton of money. He did it in a smart way. Not necessarily a good way, but he was smart about it.
Still, I want to know: Is what he did illegal?
Conversations with my Wife I:
It's up to you to figure out who is who in this conversation:
"What about love?"
"What about it? There are two kinds of love in this country."
"Sure. There are those who love each other unconditionally. They cherish their time together, and they work as a unit to make the daily grind hurt less. That's the first."
"What's the other?"
"Easy, divorce."
"Relationships without trust or love can't last. That's why we're still together. We love each other. We trust each other. We back each other up when going to war."
"Sigh. Look, 50% of the relationships in this country end in divorce or actually just end, because the two people involved don't overcome the initial inertia."
"Nice alliteration."
"Haha. Seriously. When a relationship starts, it's all fun and new, but soon it's starts to hit the the bottom of the run (I'm using the rollercoaster analogy here). So what happens? The work has to begin to get the coaster back to the top for the drop. Overcoming the inertia."
"What about hot and heavy couples? Or what about bed buddies?"
"Ah, eventually it either ends or becomes more serious. Inertia."
"You're insane."
"But I love you. And you love me. Isn't that what matters?"
Burning Down the House:

So there's this guy in New Mexico. He's burning leaves (tra la tra la tra la) and discovers a mouse. He looks at the mouse and ponders, "How shall I deal with this? Hmm. Ah, fire seems to be the mortal enemy of mice, thus I shall pitch this little vermin into the physical manifestation of Hell!" (Translation: Mousey go in the fire.)
So, Genius (as I call him) picks up the mouse and tosses it into the fire.
After a few seconds, the man returns to gathering leaves.
Our mouse, however, is not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil.
The little vermin, ablaze and all, bolts out of the pile of leaves and runs back into the man's house. Faster than our little 81 year guy can move, the house...catches on fire.
The mouse died, but it took this man's house with him.
This is one of those stories that makes you laugh, but at the same time, you feel bad for the guy...and the mouse.
and finally....

Emu: It's a Real Bird:
There are people out there who really don't believe certain animals exist.
"There's no such thing as an emu, Leab. It's a made up bird."
Yeah. Well, here's proof. Look at this beautiful (yet extremely volatile) bird.
Are they pretty? Sure.
Are they mean? Oh most definitely.
So, to the students who were SO sure Emu's don't exist: Here's proof.
Oh and penguins. Yeah. Penguins CAN'T FLY. Get over it.

Ok kids. That's it for tonight.
Have a good evening and take care of yourselves.
Oh, and seniors. You're not out yet, so don't give me that "Too cool for school" crap.


faith said...

Emu is such a funny name. For as mean as these birds are you would think they would have a meaner sounding name. Emu should be something cute and cuddely. (like a kitty or puppy) But just do NOT try and cuddle a Emu!

The man with the mouse, he got just what he deserved. I feel bad for the poor mouse though. But at least he got the last laugh!!!

The stamp guy... he was just wrong. Legal or not, that is just wrong. Someday that guy will get his though.

Voix said...

They were limiting two cent stamp sales to 40 this afternoon at the post office.