So I went to the post office today to mail a book and a couple of other things. As you walk into the mailing-stuff area of the post office, there’s a tension-ribbon barrier immediately on your right and then a table. So you have no choice but to walk around all that stuff in order to interact with the clerks behind the counter. If there’s a line, this isn’t an issue; if there’s no line it’s a teeny bit awkward if you’re not willing to move or go under/over the ribbon. But no big deal, right?
As I walk in, there are two clerks behind the counter. One of them, who is immediately to my right as I walk in, says hello. Now, I can’t walk straight to him because of the barriers, so he’s sort of as far from me as he can be and still be in the room, because the “first” register is the one farthest to the left.
That may be too complicated of a mental picture. Anyway, point is, I say hi and head toward him, and he says “I bet you didn’t see me back here, did you?”
“Nah, I saw you,” I say. Note that it’s not like I jumped or acted startled or anything like that when I walked in. I did, in fact, actually see the man standing roughly in the location where I was expecting a person to be. I was even expecting to interact with the person once I found them. So there’s nothing remotely surprising or unexpected about this.
He visibly deflates. “Aww, don’t be like that,” he says, in a sort of you have ruined my day sort of tone. I take a moment to assess how serious he is. He actually appears to be sad. Like, f’real sad. That I saw him, when walking into the area of the post office where you go to talk to postal clerks and send mail.
Okay, sure. “I admit it,” I say. “I didn’t see you.” He brightens immediately. I hand him my package and my envelope and ask for media mail, since I’m mailing a book. He gets an impish grin on a face that otherwise is unsuited for impishness and asks me the standard “liquids/battery acids/bombs” question that they have to ask. Nope. It’s a book.
“Now, if they find out you’re lying, they’ll come get you and whack your weiner,” he says.
I swear to God that just happened.
There is a moment of awkward silence.
“Did you just say what I think you just said?” the other clerk says.
“Yes. Yes, he did,” I say.
And he doubles down, and I have to endure at least a couple of minutes of this man describing the weiner-whacker, and saying that they don’t get to bring it out too often, and I’m sort of half playing along (at one point I said something like “Working at the post office must be more exciting than I thought!”) and half what the hell is going on I just want to mail this book please make this stop, and the other employee is visibly horrified the entire time and gets progressively more so the longer he talks.
About whacking weiners.
With a complete stranger.
In his official capacity as a government employee.
So it’s been kind of a weird day.