The mysterious Post Man

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Evidently, I’m one of the very few people left on earth, who writes a check as payment for most every monetary transaction I perform. My wife thinks I must be stuck somewhere in the 19th century, and I can detect a not-so-subtle, snicker from either of my sons anytime I pull out the checkbook. And, yes, I can also hear the mumbling and sighs from the line of people behind me at the checkout line, in every store where I do business. 

Once upon a time, I did attempt to possess and use a debit card, but I would, invariably, forget to record the transaction in my bank book. My entire family knows that this little, obsessive behavior requires me to know my exact bank balance at any given moment, thus, that particular card was destroyed during the second month of having it. I do utilize a credit card in the rare circumstances where checks are refused, but that is usually the last time I do business with that entity. Checks have always provided me with the satisfaction of knowing exactly where and how my money was spent…until a few months ago.

At the end of each month, my bank snail mails a summary of my account, along with a photocopy of every check I’ve written over the last 30 days, allowing me to reconcile their records with mine. For the particular month in question, I realized that there was one check that had not cleared my account. The check was for $27 and I had recorded it in my records, as having been made out to “The Post Man.” For the life of me, I could not remember what this check was for, nor who “The Post Man” was. Coincidentally, the line immediately after that check was an entry to the U.S. Postal Service. Was that “The Post Man,” also?

For the entire next month, I tried to remember if I had bought a post, or posts, or stamps or anything from a man named Post, or the post office. Nothing, connected to posts or snail mail, jogged my memory.

When the next month’s bank statement arrived, the check-in question had, in fact, cleared my account, but I had put nothing in the memo line and, since the photocopy only shows the front side of the check, there was nothing to offer me any additional hint: only the check for $27, made out to “The Post Man.”

Last week, as I quickly grabbed my box of fence repair items, to fix a breach in the fence, around my bale yard, I dropped a new, unopened bag of fence tighteners on the floor of the shop. Attached to that plastic bag was the company’s business card. I had purchased these tighteners at a farm show, back in October, and printed on the business card was, “Thanks for your purchase. The Post Man.”

Jerry Crownover farms in Lawrence County. He is a former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University, and is an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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