8:55: Our protagonist is dragging more boxes down the stairs in anticipation of the arrival of another friend (F) who is taking the next shift of postal mailing.
She is clearly sore from the previous episode as well as her late bed-time, since she spent a post-dinner hour hunched over boxes that needed to be covered over in paper. Phone rings. F is punctual as always. P groans her way through taking the last few boxes down. [Laugh track]
9:15: P eats a farmer’s breakfast; moving week seems like one of the few times a city slicker can eat like a farmer without feeling embarrassed.
10:30: Drive into the parking lot of a different post office. P goes in to ask about a cart. There is a long line and only one worker. She comes back out and suggests they just haul the eight boxes individually to the counter inside. She looks like a bootlegger (carrying alcohol boxes, naturally.) They pile the boxes on the floor inside the post office and get in line. The line moves fast up until the person in front of them gets to the counter. She wants passport photos of her two kids. One is about 9, the other 2. The result is predictable. The older child is quick to pose and be done; the younger goes batsh*t. The combined efforts of the older sibling, the mom, a grand parent, and the postal worker fail repeatedly. Of the two men in line behind P and F, one sits on the ground, head in hands. [Laugh track.] Apparently last night’s partying does not mix with early morning post office visit complete with someone’s crying child. He looks ready to give up the ghost. The situation is finally resolved with a bribe of candy brought out by the postal worker and much waving of it by parent/grandparent/sibling from behind the camera to make the child look in one direction. Postal worker declares one shot where the child is not contorted to be satisfactory. Line forming behind P and F cheers up, till they realize P has a stack of packages. [Laugh track]
10:45: When it’s their turn, the worker, a frazzled-looking soul, takes one look at the boxes and flatly refuses to accept them without a return address. P looks pained [Laugh track] but she and F haul the first box off the counter and shove the rest to the side. F suggests they use her address. They crouch down like criminals while others blithely walk up to do their hassle-free, non-furtive mailings. When they’re done with the return addresses, they crush another customer’s hopes of getting in before them. Her silent scream shows on her face but P is going all Katniss in these Postal Games. The worker labors through weighing and stamping all boxes. P pays at the end and they finally leave. But P wonders–what about all the boxes mailed last night without return addresses? Will they end up in some mystery warehouse, only to be discovered after a millennia by a new civilization that will wonder what an Erich Auerbach is and whether one cooks it?