Tuesday, January 24, 2006

…we band of brothers (Shakespeare, Henry V)

The problem has been troubling my family for years. I thought it was just us – or certainly no more than a local thing. But it turns out it’s national – and we can’t do anything about it.
There are many things about our postal services that are frustrating, but most of them have an acceptable reason. The only possible reasons for this one are laziness, or sheer cussedness. You will know I’m talking about rubber bands.
Postmen use them to keep the mail for each house together until they reach its mail box. Then they insert the mail and discard the rubber band. The bands pollute our paths, poison our pets and parch our primroses. So we complain.
Eventually the complaints reached the culprits. ‘We drop them accidentally,’ they said, stretching our credibility, ‘and it’s too dark for us to find them again’ (ignoring the fact that nocturnal postal delivery went out with Queen Victoria). So the Post Office, rather than deal with the real problem, decided to make the bands red – so that poor presbyopic posties could see the bands after they had accidentally dropped them. So now they litter our neighbourhoods with red rubber bands. And every year the Post Office buys 342 million more to replace them.
And the Kyoto Accord doesn’t even mention it.

No comments: