Scrog in Quarantine Part 4: Post Office Death Race 2020

The time has come once again for me to ship out pornos to AVN's reviewers so as to have reviews to publish in our fine magazine (which means, by the way, that we've now officially been in quarantine for a full month), and just like last time, the mission of accomplishing this plunged me yesterday into another white-knuckle post office escapade.

So yesterday was the first chance I really had to spend any time gathering up screener packages to send out. Thankfully, on Friday night I had the foresight to go to the office and scavenge a couple of USPS boxes to send them in, plus some more screeners that had been added to my screener shelves since last month.

I of course slept super late yesterday, because that's what I do on Saturdays, and I leisurely got some lunch before mustering the motivation to get started on Mission: Porno Packages. Putting these things together is a much more complex and time-consuming process than you might expect; there's a whole myriad of factors that go into tailoring each batch of movies to the respective reviewers who'll be receiving them, as well as assigning which review format each title should get, and all of it has to be painstakingly documented in the database I maintain. In other words, my afternoon was shot.

Now, as I learned from last month's shipping run, the closest post office to me that's open until 5 p.m. is in Woodland Hills, which isn't a horribly far trek, but ain't around the corner either. So I knew I had to be walking out my door by about 4:40 at the latest. Seemed doable.

My goal was to get four packages together. Mainly because that's how many boxes I had to package pornos in. Well to cut to the chase, when I was finally finished with package number one, it was a little after 4. Clearly, I was not going to meet my goal. But that was OK, because the first two packages were the largest ones, and traveling much further than the other two, so they were the most pressing ones to get en route. I began hustling on package number two.

I should take a moment here to explain why it was so important to get these boxes out yesterday: First off, the next chance to send anything out won't be until tomorrow, so that's already tacking another day onto their possible arrival to their destinations; it also is a MUCH more challenging proposition for me to get to the post office on a weekday, because I'm pretty tied to my computer all day long with other duties. And there's going to be a fairly small window for these reviews to get turned around once the screeners are in the reviewers' hands, so to go much longer could very well result in catastrophe.

I finish package number two. It is now just past 4:30. I ask myself whether I dare attempt to throw together package number three—which I know will be much easier than the first two—or hedge my bets and go.

C'mon, you can do it, I tell myself. It'll take a few minutes, tops, you're good.

I decide to go for broke and risk it.

I'm beginning to actually sweat. My heart is racing. I see the clock hit 4:45 ... and pass it. I'm now verging on panic.

I finish package number three. Without thinking, I gather all three boxes in my arms and dash for the door, pausing only to throw on my bandana face mask. Once I'm in my car, I glance at the clock again: 4:53.

Oh, who am I kidding? I ask myself. There is no chance in hell I'm getting there in seven minutes.

But against all odds, I gun for it anyway. The lights are green almost the whole way. I'm nearly there. I pass a street that I know is in the general vicinity of my end point, and as soon as I do, I realize it was the street I was supposed to turn on. I must now circle all the way around the block to get back on track.

That's it, I'm totally fucked, I think.

I arrive at the post office. Look at my watch. 5:01.

I glance toward the door. Some people walk out. Is there any point now? Should I just turn around and go home? 

I'm there, it would be a waste not to at least see if I can get in, I figure. I clumsily gather up the three boxes again and bolt toward the entrance. As with most post offices, there's a lobby and then another set of doors leading into the actual service area. There is a line of socially-distanced people stretching into the lobby. And the second set of doors is still open. I get into line.

A couple moments later, a woman walks out, takes a look at the line, points at me and declares, "You are my last customer."

I CAN NOT BELIEVE my luck. But the mission is still not quite done. There's one little piece of business that remains to be addressed before these boxes can go anywhere, and that is, well, addressing them. You see, there are these address stickers that must be affixed to the boxes, and those I still had to procure there. I had left one end of each box open so I knew which was which when it came time to do the addressing.

I asked the kind lady who had anointed me her last customer if she could get me any of the necessary stickers, and she said she would. It took her a few minutes. But she produced them, and I immediately grabbed the three I needed and got busy filling them out. The line was moving pretty quickly as I frantically scribbled. I was really sweating bullets.

There was one guy ahead of me. He got called to the window. The nice lady—the same one who had so graciously given me the last spot—curtly called out to me, "Sir, you need to be ready or we have to close."

I pleadingly stammered, "I'm almost there, I'm just finishing up here."

"Do you at least have one done so she can get started with them?" she asked, pointing to the last waiting clerk.

"Yeah, I got it here," I blurted, slapping the first box shut and plastering the address sticker on it. I fumbled over to the window with everything and handed that box over. As she processed it, I hastily cobbled the other two together. And she took them.

It was done. I had actually pulled it off. Relief washed over me. I thanked the kind lady who let me in once more as I sauntered back to my car. I really could not believe what a pulse-pounding experience a trip to the post office had turned out to be yet again. Me and the post office, man. What the shit?

Anyway, I now actually need to put together two more packages that I plan to drop off first thing tomorrow morning, since I'll be going out anyway to get my blood drawn. That's another story. Hope it doesn't play out like this one. And then, Walking Dead for the rest of the night.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that when the time comes for me to send out screener packages again next month, I either manage to get it done in a fashion that doesn't seem like an episode of 24, or WE'RE OUT OF QUARANTINE AND BACK WORKING IN THE OFFICE.