Chaos Attraction

The Postables

2020-12-28, 7:19 p.m.

Vacation, Day 10:
Hours of sleep: 7. There's no excuse for that, body. You could easily have done another hour and not woken up at 6:42 again. I didn't get out of bed until 9ish or whatever, mind you, but still.
Exercise: I was gonna, but there was some good Hallmark on today....see below. I actually tried pacing back and forth in my kitchen while trying to watch it, but that does not register on the pedometer.

Butterfly sweater: I WANT TO GET THIS DAMN BUTTERFLY THING DONE, DAMMIT. I redid the damn giant wings like 5 times and they still don't match, but I GIVE UP. I got them to be around the same approximate SIZE (another issue), I'm gonna finish the whole butterfly, see if it needs a few extra butterflies or not, start blocking the pieces, and GET 'ER DONE. I did not think this was going to drag on for over a week.
Patchwork sweater: After finishing the butterfly wings, I'm just going to knit the last four squares and finish the last pocket out of some yarn I ended up not using in the butterfly sweater and get this OVER WITH.

Other Activities: None, really. I should call management about the kitchen, but did not. GOD, I DON'T WANT TO. I'm sick of asking about the disposal, but not running it (not like it works anyway) and just letting the water drain on its own for a half hour seems to work....even if it's annoying. I really really don't want to have someone in here (I canNOT air out the room at all, the kitchen is the farthest back from any fresh air I can possibly bring in) unless I absolutely have no choice, like if the oven/stove is going to set itself on fire. I did try boiling eggs tonight and that did NOT go awry, nor did the entire room fill with smoke/steam, the burner heated up enough after about five minutes like usual. So HOPEFULLY that's okay....

I discovered that the battery on my new smartwatch lasts about 2-ish days. Hmmmm.

I have to go to the dentist tomorrow morning and they sent me a symptom survey to fill out online and said not to come in until they text me tomorrow. Whee. They are looking forward to seeing me! I am not looking forward to seeing them! Who does?!

Today's Viewing: Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
This, I am guessing, is the first of the "Postables" series, or postal detectives working in the Dead Letter Office. I saw one of these once and was mildly intrigued by the concept, but look, here is more! They had a marathon of them the other day and uh, I got totally obsessed today!

The original movie:
Shane McInenery thinks she's going to work at the Direct Line Office (or something like that) but ends up being parked at the DLO, which is run by the extremely odd Oliver and his assistants Norman and Rita (of the photographic memory). Oliver is pompous and strange and one feels like they do need to be introduced to Google. Oliver lectures about how they first try to figure out from the clues on the envelope, only open them once they have to do so, "reverently," and only reading as much as they have to. I personally vote for "tactfully not say anything about the contents," myself.

"Mail that letter. Life is short."
"I want you to train this girl. She's a computer something from Washington."
"I can't work with someone named Shane. Tell her why?" "Because someone named Shane will walk away?" (this turns into a ridiculous movie parody).He renames her Cheryl. WTF?
"A merry mix-up, perhaps." LOL
Oliver reads aloud: "I wanted to explain about last night." "Oh dear." Oh no....the letter writer left the guy because she's about to die. "Norman, I think I'm going to need another Yoo-Hoo." SERIOUSLY THIS WAS SAID. Also, this is the same plot as "The Little Paris Bookshop" except in that case the letter just wasn't opened for 20 years.

Flashback: letter writer and Charlie are trapped in an elevator with a bunch of jerks and his coffee orders. When an executive rips Charlie a new asshole in front of everyone, the girl defends him by faking being an executive. She's Kelly, btw. "Kelly with a y and completely spelled. Why do parents insist on being creative these days?" Oliver rambles. Charlie quits his job and re-meets her in the elevator. He is super grateful. Oliver refuses to read more after the name of Charlie's old office comes up, it's the Prime Directive. Shane is VERY URGENTLY WANTING TO MOVE ON WITH THIS. "Of all the elevators in all the towns in all the world...." (Good job using a movie line on him.) Alas, it still doesn't work. You know what, Eric Mabius tends to be some kind of quiet odd duck dude--he's not quite corncob up the ass, but sorta, but does manage to have a human moment once in a while?

"I've never heard of a"
Per the letter: Kelly refuses to give over last names, contact info, Twitter, anything. "A girl after my own heart," says Oliver." Very Dash and Lily, I say. She wants to have one fun day with no baggage, basically. They play in a park, with at one point him swinging Tarzan-style across a river. I will note that Kelly takes a lot of pics on her phone.
"I'm a direct descendant of George Washington'," says Norman. Noman is clearly Random Facts Guy.
Charlie gets the bright idea to go donate blood, then realizes he lost his wallet. Kelly says she doesn't give blood any more (read: can't). She gets sadly Manic Pixie Dream Girl a bit, telling him to have a happy life without her. He loses a button, which she returns to him, but he wants her to sew it on tomorrow....they kiss....oh man.
"You're breaking the rule!" "Yeah, well, you're breaking my heart!" OH MAN, THIS MOVIE. While swinging, it's revealed where Charlie lives. In the letter, Kelly proposes a second date in a year, if she survives medical treatment. OMFG. I should note that Kelly's proposed second date is in three days, as this letter has been lost for almost a year.
So after figuring out Charlie's address and last name, Shane is horrified that THEY'RE JUST GOING TO PUT IT INTO THE MAIL and what if it takes more than three days to deliver?!?! (Even more resonant in 2020. But seriously, THEY COULD HAVE JUST LITERALLY STUCK IT ON THE DOOR ON IN A MAILBOX.) "We are the United States Post Office! We cannot play God!" OLIVER IS A RIDICULOUS POSTAL ROBOT.
Shane can't get transferred out for ten weeks. Rita of the photographic memory recalls that Shane has a dead letter in the system and she mailed it to her. "I WORK HERE. YOU COULD HAVE JUST HANDED IT TO ME." Where did you mail it to? "To here, care of dead letters." THESE ARE EXTREMELY STRANGE PEOPLE. Shane quits on the spot. "Shane! Come back, Shane!" is ACTUALLY SAID. See, this is why I was so amused by this whole thing. TOTAL LULZ. Oliver elects to take a few minutes of vacation time now. He gets Shane a coffee drink and parks in front of Charlie's house to wait for Shane to show up. "Perhaps he has met a waitress from Olive Garden and had twins," Oliver suggests. "Not our Charlie."
WAIT, DID WE JUST SEE SOME WOMAN TAMPERING WITH CHARLIE'S MAIL?!?! 'Mail theft is a federal case, ma'am." She says that Charlie's been gone for a year.... HE'S IN JAIL. TWIST!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, Rita just got Shane her lost birthday card. THANK YOU, RITA. Meanwhile, Charlie is in jail for murdering a lottery winner. WTF? Charlie's lost wallet was found at the scene of the crime. OMFG. And his one alibi is the lost Kelly. And Charlie's lawyer is incredibly dicey, according to his dating profile. "That's enough Googling, Ms. McInenery." The idiot lawyer demands pictures/video as proof. "Charlie needs to keep his date with Kelly." HE LITERALLY CAN'T FROM JAIL. WHY AREN'T Y'ALL TRYING TO FIND KELLY? BLAST THE INTERNET!
"Life can take a toll on a woman without love, Norman."
I'm amazed at Oliver's straightfaced delivery of liking Jerry the lawyer's work, but uh...he's busy right now....
"I knew something was wrong. I knew she would have come forward if she could have," Charlie says, having finally gotten his letter. They figure out that Kelly probably has Hodgkin's given what office she went into in the building. The trial Kelly was in utterly failed and everybody died. OMFG THIS IS THE SADDEST HALLMARK EVER.
Andrea (Daphne Zuniga) tells them that the DLO is being shut down, as it's not viable. "The Dead Letter Office is....dead? You wanted a transfer? You're gonna get one, missy!"
Norman thought it was a good day. Everyone else looks depressed. Rita has a crush on Norman, Norman is terrified by Rita.
"I went to a pilgrimage" to the uh...national post office museum name I forgot, said Oliver. "It was glorious." Shockingly, he's no longer married after taking her to that. Literally SHE LEFT HIM THERE, hopped a plane, and went to France. DAMN. He's still pining...and waiting for her to send a forwarding address. "Please don't psychoanalyze the section leader," Oliver says, then nitpicks that Shane hasn't opened the card yet and it's probably from her dad sending a $20. He left when I was ten, she says. "I know what it's like to wait for someone who never comes." Shane gets the bright idea to Google for "Kelly and Charlie Life Is Short" and ... yes, there's a webpage with pictures. That jogger they ran into looks a lot like Charlie....
"I gotta sink this putt and get back to court in a half hour." The Postables track Shitty Lawyer Jerry down on the golf course and give him photographic evidence. Then Oliver threatens his lost steaks with mail rerouting. I CANNOT MAKE THIS SHIT UP.
"Our days of rule-breaking glory are over," says Oliver. "Not for me," says Shane. "Why are you such a revolutionary?" Because her dad died after she politely took "visiting hours are over" for an answer. He wanted to see her on her birthday before he died, she said he was dead to her already...
"It's the 26th. One of us should be here, right?" Charlie is out of jail. Thanks for everything. I find it random that Oliver just gave Charlie his sewing kit from the Holiday Inn his wife left him at.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS She never finished the trials, got a better doctor and...THERE'S KISSING. :) :) :) :) :)
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet."
The branch is saved after their making the news. Oh hey, do you want that transfer in two hours? Uhhhhhhhh.... Shane goes off to get coffee and read the card and collect her $20, gets a little teary.
I will note that there is a disclaimer at the end saying that this show "departs from the U.S. Postal Service's standard operating procedure concerning the handling and absolute privacy of mail that cannot be delivered through normal mail processing channels."

So I guess at some point it was a TV show? Some episodes are up....

Episode 1:
We have a new supervisor (I guess Daphne Zuniga was somehow busy?)! Teresa! She’s an award-winning legend, who got the “Dark of Night” award. Six times. And “Miss Special Delivery of 1969.” “There are no small miracles, Oliver.” “I hear you think outside the mailbox?” Teresa is awesome.

Today’s letter is a kid who’s about to run away from home to see his grandma...tonight. Ruh-roh. “We investigate difficult delivery situations.” They head to the retirement home.
“Grandma. Well, that nails it down.” They seriously TAKE A POLL and find out that nobody actually GOES by “Grandma” any more. Literally all the Grandma’s hang out in the piano room, though! They find the right grandma, but she seems to be not entirely compos mentis at this point and refuses the letter.

Teresa, left alone in the office, starts dancing around with a scarf. “Told you we should have gone to lunch.” I love her. Teresa wanted to dance in NYC, but went into the family business instead...which is to say her family hauled her home. This makes me sad. They all figure out later that Grandma was trying to protect Owen from some lady named Donna there (I think that’s the lady running the joint?).

Rita returns, asking to visit the lady who thinks she talks to aliens (really, that came up) while everyone else snoops through the home. Owen is really named Casey and his family is in Witness Protection. AWWWWWWW. The KID is the witness and trial is next week. UH-OH. And damn, Donna (really named Sylvia) is involved in the crime. EEEEEK!!!!

“Are you telling me you are really from the post office?” “Yes, uniquely gifted post office workers.” Anyway, Donna/Sylvia is caught by the cops, the grandkid is fine and gets to see his grandma.

“Oh no, you don’t get to quote Shakespeare tonight. Shakespeare never had to thwart a drug cartel.” YES, POST OFFICE EMPLOYEES JUST THWARTED A DRUG CARTEL. THIS IS WHAT THIS HALLMARK SHOW IS DOING.

“Where are you going next?” “It’s a secret, Norman.”

Teresa recounts that Oliver’s grandfather ended up dealing with hatching eggs one holiday season and took care of the babies and won the Dark of Night award for it. Awwww. Teresa performs in the old folks home show in lieu of Vivian--you get the feeling she can understudy--and Norman gets a present from a now-deceased new friend, apparently. He looks misty-eyed and Oliver puts his head on his shoulder.

Episode 2:

"Some day someone may come in looking for a grizzly." "We can decorate him for Christmas."
Teresa is understudying the Wicked Witch of the West and she has hopes!
"Are we in the habit of ignoring miracles?" "No."
There is a restaurant called "The Mailbox Grill?!"
They debate Teresa: was Miss Mail or whatever, has lots of awards....but really wanted to act. I hear ya, Teresa.
I love how every time Norman says some random shit, Shane is all "LETS' JUST IGNORE THAT."
Today's letter: is a "To whom it may concern" asking for help in general in finding someone who saved her life, and could you pass him this card? It is "Hopelessly Mangled Day." All she knows is he's in the military and goes by "Buzz."
They appeal to someone in the military (Saul Tigh), no dice. Meanwhile, Teresa the supervisor wonders why Shane doesn't have a desk yet. This seems legitimate.

Flashback: Samila and Buzz made friends over swapping items of clothing. He taught her how to read and they started a school. Then there was a bombing and they were separated. She hopes Buzz lived. She's been adopted in America and is going to college in Colorado and is graduating in a few days. New Supervisor Teresa is TOTALLY PSYCHED on this, which is great.

"The registrar says she has a student job at the library" just made me choke. Uh... lemme just say that unless someone there was friends with her personally, you can't find out someone's student job by asking the registrar. That shit's not on academic records. You know how you'd find out a student's job at my alma mater? LITERALLY THEY GET LISTED ON THE CAMPUS WEBSITE. You could Google Samila Lastname and it'll say "Library Assistant I." Anyway, they find Samila at work, who remembers the name of the brownie company that Buzz's mom runs. Buzz's mom said something bad happened back there, and when she finally got him back after being missing, "he was somebody else." Awwwww. Now he's just gone, and ashamed about....something. Saul Tigh looks him up this time.
They find Buzz working at a church and talk to him.

Teresa is now understudying Glinda, enthusiastically, and Norman...made an odd desk. Hey, can we get Buzz a hair makeover in about three hours to go to graduation? Teresa LOVES THIS. "Norman, you can keep us company." I LOL at Norman not being assigned anything....but he does get brownies.

Samila gives her speech about Buzz. She runs off the stage to hug him. AWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Teresa decides to quit the post office and act full time. She gives a very Dorothy "I think I'll miss you most of all" to Oliver, who she gave 100% on his eval. She is a delight and will be missed.

Episode 3:
Meet the new supervisor, Cora. She mangles everyone's names and looks three-quarters dead inside and out. "I like you. Don't blow it," she says to Norman. Then she reads Rita's romance novel she's writing aloud,. Then she demands that they "solve it or shred it" by the end of the day. WTF. I hate to dog on Della Reese, but she deserves better than this writing.
"What kind of man asks a woman to cancel her wedding when he hasn't seen her in 10 years?" Oliver debates whether or not passing that letter on is a good idea and Shane is all, what, you're interfering with mail delivery?

I would like to notice that the (very old fashioned 80's land line) phone rings and everyone is suddenly completely shocked and horrified to hear a phone ringing and they don't know what to do about it. Oliver answers it and appears to have gotten bad news, but won't say.
Anyway: Sam is a cowboy in Montana, Marie is a privileged academic who went to Sam's ranch in summers. They have feelings for each other, but Marie's life definitely is elsewhere compared to Sam's, and the last time she saw him, she said she was getting married.


"That letter was written EIGHT YEARS AGO." Well, on the good news side, maybe she got a divorce by now?

"Cora, we're going to have to carry this letter over to tomorrow." Cora absolutely doesn't care because she is still reading Rita's romance novel.

The Mystery of Oliver: he's been taking dance lessons, he's going to be in a show, his dance partner has run off to find love or something, and Shane has to sub in. When she suggests someone else, she gets, "I don't want a nice lady, I want you!" So romantic, I swooned.

They find Marie. And her kid. And her dog. And ...some other guy? Was that the original fiance? Maybe we just won't deliver it if postage is due...? so they return it to Sam. He's sorry he wrote it at all. He could never compete with the fiance except he was a little taller. He burns the letter. Is that closure?

It dawns on Shane that Rita's romance novel is a thinly based version of her and Norman. Cora refuses to give it up.

Norman has a moment of insight that I also just had: that guy with Marie was not the original fiance. Which of course may not rule out that she found a third guy in 8 years. Yup, THAT WAS HER BROTHER AND HER FIANCE IS GONE. "You have a letter for me?" "Not exactly, it was destroyed in a fire. But we have the next best thing. Rita?" Rita and her photographic memory can recite the letter. AWWWWWW. Marie thinks it's too late (but is totally affected) and Oliver ends up quoting the "Turn, Turn, Turn" song at her. I laugh my head off. Norman, of all people, believes in soulmates.

Marie goes to see the cowboy soulmate. They kiss. Rita is all "Every love story is different, Norman, and some stories take a long time." I HEAR YA, RITA.

At dance lessons: "Will you be able to last an hour without your precious Internet?"

Episode 4:

Shane comments on the irony of Oliver's wife never writing and him hoping a letter shows up at the DLO. Shane is trying to drag him into the 21st century. Cora is utterly obsessed with Rita's book.

Today's letter: a son apologizing to his father and sending a gift now that he's made it. Dad's a mechanic and wanted the son to follow in his footsteps, Danny wanted to do art. This could take up to a month, the Postables say. "Throw it in the trash," says goddamned Cora. Oliver asks how a woman who can appreciate Rita's novel can't appreciate the passion in this letter (good move). She prefers to read, she says.

This substitute at the dance studio (Ramon) mangles Oliver's name even worse than Cora mangles everyone else's. (Also, he can say Shane right. And has the drooly hots for her.) "Fancy Francie is no longer with us," because she lost the studio in a poker game. Oliver's face is a treat. "EVERYTHING ERECT!!!!" Ramon says, and I did not expect THAT to happen in Hallmark.

Rita is afraid Norman is going to figure out that the book is about him. This is giving Norman a lot more credit for brains than I would expect, even with names like "Ranita" and "DeLorman" or whatever the hell the characters' names are. "It's YOU. Why won't you wake up and smell the You-Hoo, honey?" Cora says to Norman's face. NO reaction from Norman. Why is this guy here?

"Are you the IRS?" "No, USPS." *blank stare*

I think I have come to the conclusion that Norman is the Nobby Nobbs of the Postables.

Google can't find "Daniel Sarah NYC" (HAHAHAHAH) so they give up and open Danny's present. It's a painting...and Danny died 3 years ago in a fire.

Oliver is all "Please don't tell me you removed a priceless work of art from the post office and brought it to the Mailbox Grill." Shane: long pause, takes the box off the table, "OKAY!" I love Shane.

Rita's book is 780 pages and Cora literally does no work any more. "Read on, Norman." Rita asks him not to. "I'm not sure...she said it was all about me and you. But that's just silly, right?" Cora thinks Rita is magnificent.

Danny's wife Sarah did have a daughter. They break all of this news to the dad.

Hi, I've done a lot of dance recitals. YOU DON'T PICK THE SONG THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU DO THE SHOW. I like her selection of "And So It Goes," mind you, but how the bleep are you rehearsing with no song? It gets a little more emotional than Oliver is able to handle.

Cora is retiring from the post office to "write her memoirs." Norman is all "I wrote mine and lost it." Rita wants to read it.

At lunch, Sarah is loaded up on pre-Zoom to talk to her father-in-law.

Oliver cancels on the dancing. He only did them because his wife bought him lessons and then, well, you know. It's his anniversary, so he goes to work to mope at his desk.

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