I’ll say this about the post office, you meet a lot of people there.

Standing in line.

Socially distancing.

Shifting their weight from one foot to the other, chewing on their masks, wheezing an occasional mild oath.

A minor obscenity here and there.

Standing and waiting, eyeglasses fogging up from mask-breath.

“Thank you, Mr. Biden.”

“Biden? Are you nuts? It isn’t Biden’s fault. He’s not in the White House ... yet. Thank you, Mr. Trump, you mean.”

“Bullfeathers,” or something similar, howls somebody else in line.

A swaggering vulgarity of opinions follow.

They deal, loosely, with COVID-19, where it came from, how it was handled, how it was allegedly mishandled.

“Couldn’t they put some chairs out so we don’t have to stand so long?”

“Yeah. There’s plenty of room, six feet apart.”

U.S. Postal Service customers, stuck in a coronavirus pandemic line.

Letting the game come to them.

An old fellow, eyes ferocious with frustration, arms flailing like he’s fending off flying insects that aren’t really there, bellows:

“Why do they even open up if they can’t move the line faster than this? This is no way to serve customers.”

“They don’t serve us, we serve them.”

“Yeah, Trump’s fault.”

“You mean Biden’s.”

“Bullfeathers.” That word again.

I glance down at the floor and realize I’ve fudged a foot or two and am officially tailgating the guy in front of me.

When I return to back up, the guy behind me — I discover — is also tailgating, and he has to back up.

It becomes a chain-reaction backtrack.

Shifting into analytic overdrive, the guy who had suggested the Postal Service provide chairs — yawn furniture? — declares:

“Well, it’ll all be over Nov. 4, the day after the election.”

Nobody cares to respond to that.

We’re all just trying to make it through to the next pandemic line, the next six feet of separation.

We are Vladimir and Estragon, waiting for Godot.

And waiting ... and waiting.

We’re all the sport of time and spacing.

And various circumstances and policies nobody understands, except maybe for the faint voice far up ahead:


Corky Simpson is a veteran journalist who writes a column for the Green Valley News.