(I'd had dealings with them before, parcels delayed, missing, AWOL, tried to contact them through all the regular channels. To no avail. Some companies really don't want you to contact them, and let's face it, if you ran a business like this you wouldn't want to contact your hostages customers either. Anyways, following a little spree on EBay I'm finding a few of my parcels delayed. So far, 1 arrived on time, one, from the US, due to arrive on the 14th of August, arrives on the 21. And 5 remaining parcels, all ordered from different vendors and different destinations around the world, not one has arrived. Due date was August 21. So maybe it's time for a letter, again...)

Dear Canada Post,

Yeah, so here we are again. I used your service and now I'm wondering what's up. I ordered a total of 7 parcels, one of which arrived within the estimated 3-4 weeks, the other managed to be a week late (from the US! 4 weeks to deliver! That's "Ground" for you, what'd ya do, tie it to a slug?). And 5, all predicted to arrive here from various points in Asia, all a minimum of a week late. If they're coming at all, which I frankly am beginning to doubt.

When I used to work for a magazine in Nelson they'd send me my cheques by post. And because I'm a little financially imprudent I'd always be in a rush, so we'd buy the "guaranteed delivery" option, nearly $10.00, and in 2 months of using the service we only every once had to pay, every other time the cheque was late.


According to your website, 96% of the time the mail gets through. Probably you count the Nelson story as a "Success", because eventually the cheque did arrive, but in my view if your guaranteeing something and failing to deliver, well, that's a failure. That's the problem with measuring yourself, people tend to overestimate their strengths, companies as well.

"It doesn't look like it's 8 inches long"

- "Measure it from the bottom! From the bottom!"

You see, I tell you this story to illustrate that how what we measure ourselves is often not how others measure us. 7 parcels, 1 arrived on time. 1 arrived a week late (a margin of 33% on a 3 week forecast "outside" delivery date). And 5 haven't arrived at all, and if they do at this point they're already 10 days late, or another 33%. It seems to me you need to update your performance evaluation, to something more vague, like the weather forecast, "Possibility of mail delivery: 14%, possibility of flyers: 87%, possibility of bills: 110%". You could actually do this on TV, get your own channel with a mail forecaster, everything gets on TV nowadays, the old people would love it, they could track their coupons and predict what year they should have mailed their birthday cards to their as yet unborn great grandchildren. I think you'd have a hit on your hands.

No, but really, even if you were hitting this "96%" target (and what a low bar that is, and, no, you're not even coming close.) 96%, I'm sorry to say, might be a great mark for your 8 year old son or daughter to bring home on a math test, but it's actually not a hot statistic in the real world. If a doctor said that he killed 4% of his patients we'd say "Maybe you should do something else". Or sue him. If your waiter or waitress lost or ate or drank 4% of your food or drinks he/she'd be fired in big hurry, Unless she was pretty and worked at Earl's or Moxie's. If airlines lost 4% of their passengers we'd all take the bus. So, sad to say, 96% isn't so hot. TO make matters worse, I think you've made that statistic up. I mean, we know you're not going to annoy or disgruntle your big mail customers, people like Harvey's and McDonald's and Ikea and Home Depot, because they spend millions a year just so they can stuff our mailboxes with rubbish. And even so, they probably print extra flyers knowing the postman's going to stock up on 1/2 price coupons for a Big Mac or Quiznos Sub. So we can presume that 110% of their mail is getting delivered. And since for most people that compromises 75% of the mail, we can now see that your 96% is actually more around 80% of "real mail". Except that I'm pretty sure that no one is stealing my (or anybody elses') bills, and as bills are about 3/4 of my mail your statistic is starting to look a little poor, at best maybe 50% of mail that people want, letters, parcels, etc, is getting where it's supposed to, when it's supposed to. Shit, I'd take 50% right now, I'd be two parcels up. But you're nowhere even close to 50%.


You know, I actually fell for that one once. After reading through your whole site and reading the BS about how the shipper has to launch a tracking search because it most certainly probably hopefully isn't your fault. And when I'd done all that and submitted the form I never once had a single reply from you. Not once. And I could have phoned, but clearly your agents have no more information than I did, and if I wanted dazed and confused I'd call Shaw Cable about my internet bill. And, finally, there was always the post, paying you yet again to see where you fucked up in the first place, yeah, I could send you a letter, but I'm a little older and wiser and that reply from the North Pole in my father's handwriting isn't going to cut it.


I used to work with a girl in a restaurant named Jenny. She was a waitress and was quite pretty, but it didn't really matter because she was really lazy and she was married. I maybe could have worked with the "Married" bit, but the lazy bit, well, we all have our dealbreakers...

Anyways, Jenny would waitress tables and all the other staff would help her out. They'd run her food and bus her tables and put away cutlery and glasses and the more they did, the less she did. But she liked to talk and so while you were cleaning her tables or taking out her food or bringing drinks to one of her tables she'd follow you around and talk. About her husband, or her child or about what she really wanted to do for a living.

What Jenny really wanted to do was to work for the post office. One day she got a job with the post office and she told us she'd be leaving and we were all pretty sad to see her go.

Well, we weren't really, she was pretty damned lazy and a broken ankle would have been more help during a busy shift but it's what you say. Me, I'd a fired her in a heartbeat but the owner of the restaurant, he liked pretty girls. A lot of restaurants are like that, Earl's or Moxie's for example, they don't give a damn what you know or how you work, they just want you to look good.

Anyways, Jenny came into work one day after an early morning shift at the post office sorting mail and she told us that when she was working that morning someone had come up to her and told her to "quit working so hard, you're making us look bad". When she told us that I just about choked, I mean, Jenny, Jenny who had never properly worked a single hour of a single day in her entire life, being told she was working "too hard".


Probably she's done really well with you, maybe it's even her reading this now, if so, "Hi Jenny, where are my damned packages?".


Where does it all go? No, really? Does Canada have it's own "Area 51" or Indiana Jones type warehouse that you stockpile mislaid parcels in? Or, as I suspect, as you're reading this right now, in your office, looking at the same-old same-old Picasso's and Van Gogh's and Rembrandt's adorning the walls, all mailed out of the old country for safekeeping by well meaning but poorly informed relatives, the Faberge Egg my great great grandmother Anastasia Nikolaevna sent to me from Russia cracked open in front of you, one half filled with red chocolate M&M's and the other filled with blue peanut M&M's, the 100 Million dollars worth of uncut Siberian diamonds used to fashion a sort of rude chandelier, the cold glittering fire of the diamonds warmed by the amber panels of your room, I feel your impotent pain and frustration...to open my mail or not to...or are they at:  


Boy, the stories I hear about them. Like how they only drink single malt whisky and use the rest to flush their toilets and urinals. And about how they only smoke the very best cigars and when they're done butt them out into Lowland Gorilla Paw ashtrays. About how they have a firing range in the basement where they can test out all the illegal firearms brought into the country and how they burn dope like incense and pop the off-brand Viagra's like they were Smarties and then all writhe together naked upon the cloud leopard skin rugs while flakes of the purest cocaine fall like snowflakes from the ceiling ... 

It sounds like a fun job. Their Christmas Party must be a riot. Do you swap gifts with them at Christmas?

I'll bet you wish you had their job, but rest assured they probably wish they had yours. It's human nature to want what you haven't got.

I want my parcels. 


You know, I have another idea. It's for a TV series, kind of like "In Search Of..." - you remember that? Where Leonard Nimoy would use his credibility as the voice of science and reason, hard won through almost 3 seasons of Star Trek, to go off and search for Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster? Except we'd use William Shatner, because Mr. Nimoy is dead and, really, as chief science officer I don't like the odds he'd give me of finding my parcels. I prefer Captain Kirk's can-do attitude, and really, right now he's where it's at. This could be like a filler program on the Mail Channel where you give the forecasts for the possibilities of mail. 

Now this would be a good time to involve a psychic. People love shows with psychics at the moment. Psychics and William Shatner, this will be the biggest television show to hit CBC since "Little Mosque on the Prairie". You know, I'm a little bit psychic and I've had some strange visions about what's become of my parcels, but this isn't about me, it's about the show, so we wouldn't use me as your psychic, we'd use a woman, sort of a young-ish hot woman psychic who could be a foil to William Shatner's incredible sexiness. They'd flirt every show. I'd be the guy staying on track and focused on finding my parcels. And we'd all go looking for my parcels together. Don't worry, even if we found it - I'm sure we'll find them, we have William Shatner after all, the show will go on. Maybe in Borneo, with tribes of headhunters and filed teeth, a fine opportunity for Mr. Shatner to lose his shirt and wrestle with the natives. Or maybe on Easter Island, just because. Or maybe on a Somalian Pirate ship. And after we find my parcels (hopefully in the season premiere) we'll field inquiries from the general public as to what's become of their parcels and investigate...

You know, with your current business model this could be the longest running show on earth. 


I wish I would have bought some of your now collectible dinosaur provincial park stamps. I wasn't thinking. But, now that I'm waiting for my parcels to arrive, the parcels that are weeks late and not showing any sign of arriving, I've had a few moments to think. Here are some Stamp Ideas for you:

  • Canada Post employee killing the last passenger pigeon
  • Canada Post harnesses the power of the Black Hole to assist in its mail delivery
  • Canada Post employee stealing Santa's cookies
  • Dead Turtle/Snail/slug
  • Postman kicking a dead horse

The Black Hole idea is probably more of a logo, or re-branding of your company. But you could use it on a stamp as well.


Truthfully, I'm surprised that many international sellers will even ship to Canada. I mean, we all know that you seize, censure and forfeit the mail sent to Santa Clause, but I seriously wonder if it's you that's been eating the cookies left out for him as well. Does Santa even get a chance? Thank goodness he doesn't only cover Canada or Coke would have to redesign him to be some sort of flimsy scarecrow...

Now, seriously, 10 days overdue on 5 parcels mailed by 5 different vendors from different cities and countries. Where the fuck are my parcels?!!

(In my old place of employ, the "fancy" Italian restaurant we used to get a lot of letters of complaint. Most were, unfortunately, legitimate complaints about drunken or talkative servers, sexually, homophobic or racially offensive owners, etc. It was my job to answer them. This was a rare treat:)

Dear Mr. Codswallop:

It was with great distress that I learned of your unsatisfactory experience at our restaurant recently. Fortunately I was one of the parties present upon your arrival, and have some first-hand knowledge of the events of which you speak. I believe in your letter you referred to me as "Snobby". 

As you so carefully detailed your experience with us, let me take a few moments to detail our experience with you.

You walked in to our restaurant. I inquired if you had a reservation and you denied it adamantly in an offended tone of voice, then asked to look at our menu. Your wife chaperoned the children, I'm guessing 2 and 4, rather unsuccessfully as she was soon yelling "Tiffany, Dakota, NOOO!" at the top of her lungs while they waved the polished crystal decanters above the marble floor. Such precious little imps. You asked about Pizza, I apologized and said no. You asked about High Chairs, I apologized and said no. You asked about Spaghetti and Meatballs, about children's menus, and again I had to apologize and say no. You asked about a dress code, and I reassured you we don't have one, that said, you and your wife both looked as if you were taking the piss a bit, her, all 300+ pounds of her factory extruded into those skin-tight red velour pajamas, and you with your intellectual looking tweed jacket and possibly the lengthiest comb-over I've seen in my life. Were you on your way to a slumber party, or were you just returning from a photo shoot for the "People of Wal-Mart"? 

We're not a kids restaurant, the decor, the ambiance, the linen table cloths and napkins, the candles, the formal dress of the servers and the business-casual of the clients should have given it away. The lack of high chairs, children's menus, bibs, the lack of any obvious play area or ball room (although your kids made do nicely in the foyer), these also could have been taken as "Clues". Clearly the tweed jacket wasn't working for you that day.

The "greasy cook" you referred to, who suggested we seat you in the private room, that was the owner. He's frequently in the front of the restaurant to greet the customers. Given your general dress and demeanor he felt it would probably be most comfortable for you as well as for the rest of our customers who made a reservation, woke up, shaved, showered, got dressed, and hired a sitter and before coming out to eat. While I certainly admire your desire to share the finer things in life and train your children in the art of dining out, we'd prefer you brought your children out AFTER they were trained. Nobody wants to sit next to someone elses kids screaming and flinging food about the restaurant.

You noted that "Never in your 43 years of dining out" had you ever felt so insulted. I would like to make an observation here. No one in our restaurant in any way insulted you. That was the owners call, and I agree with him. Judging from the way you and your wife were huffing and puffing when you entered the door, a more plausible statement might be "At no time in my 43 years of dining out have I had to get out of my car...". How many times did you circle the restaurant looking for a drive through window?  

I regret Mr. Codswallop that am obliged to deny your demands for satisfaction, the dining experience we create would be entirely undermined by your suggestions that we provide high chairs, pizza, meatballs, bibs, kids menus and a play area. As you yourself observed "You'd heard good things about us". If you heard good things about us it's entirely due to the fact we don't target you or your children as our clientele. 

If, in future, should you and your wife care to hire a sitter and perhaps get dressed we would love to have you as customers. Please note reservations are recommended.

The boy having been accepted into a leadership camp, one of the requirements being that I write him a "Love Letter" that he can open and read upon completion. 

"Don't drink the Kool-Aid" I tell him.

In the end I write him the letter, it could - always - be better, but then it wouldn't be on time. I've pasted it below:


The requirement, to write a love letter to your child. Vague, slightly disturbing. No wonder you found it so amusing...

All love letters should contain some verse, or reference to. This one I've written especially for you.

Love Poem:
I Love you more than certain cats
you know the one, the rather fat
tabby that sits on my sofa lugubriously mewing for
love and attention,
midnight howling, heartfelt caterwauling, melancholy that I'm ignoring it's pathetic need for constant petting,
it's bad breath, foul tongue rasping my beard, playful paws batting my face
I love you more than that.

I love you more than diet Coke
and Coke Zero too, I knew you'd ask
I love you more than I love to smoke,
but smoking's an addiction
Whereas my love for you is the natural consequence of having reared an
articulate, intelligent child
the pride one takes in a slight accomplishment, ignoring the great dues I owe another (your mother) for otherwise, well, you can figure that out.

I love you more than Jack Daniels and Bushmills and Cap'n Morgan and Jim Beam,
please ignore
if it seems that I'm slurring...

I love you more than the dessert I ordered
"I'm too full" you protested,
then set in with your spoon as I moved it to the center of the table to share,
chocolate brownie, warmed Carmel glazing, ice cream all vanishing beneath your spoon,
mine spoon suspiciously untouched as I gaze in awe upon the absent dessert I never tasted.

I love you more than the searching for gold and diamonds and crystals and Indian artifacts and dinosaur bones,
I love you more than a vintage Rolex found at a thrift shop, or leather coat or pair of ancient candlesticks, unrecognized and marked down to a tenth their appraised value,
I love you more than this, but take you along
because I want you to be curious
about the world, to recognize, find opportunity wherever it may lie,
there is no reason this should be exclusive,
I bring you along to share these moments of discovery, of the unexpected, overlooked, to realize that there's so much more to life that what's been presented you,
and you, with grudging acceptance, stoicism, bear my folly
not understanding the general lessons of discovery. curiosity, humoring me,
I love your more than this, but this love need not be exclusive...

Humor done and you've had your laugh. You asked for it, remember.

1st Thing: Love letters should always be written by hand. On fine linen stationary, lightly scented with your choice of cologne, fine penmanship (fountain, naturally) a must. That said, time doesn't permit me that leisure and so I'm emailing this to your Mom. I can only imagine your relief, still, as you read this imagine fanciful hearts and unicorns and your name written written "____ + Dad" in curly, adolescent handwriting in the margins and it just might be easier to bear...

I've known you a long time, and differently, I suspect, than your mother and other relations. That says nothing, really, we all know the you that you present - a different you for every audience, but that said I'd like to think - imagine, that there is some consistency in your core traits.
That you continue to grow, explore, to find new ways to challenge yourself and your thinking. You're smart. I know, sometimes you don't feel so smart, but you confuse sometimes intelligence with experience, these are not the same. You are smart, and have more experience of the world than most of your peers. This is good, continue. Get out of your box, my box, explore new things, challenge yourself with adventures and experiences I couldn't offer you, didn't think to offer you, didn't even know I could offer you.
Perhaps sometimes you worry about my opinion of you - whether you are what I'd hope - I hoped - you'd become. Whether I approve.
Be whatever you want - do it well, to the best of you're ability, and I'll be happy. I wouldn't expect less than the best of you, but - understand - the best of you, according to your standards and expectations, not mine. My expectations, my desires for you are only this.

IN no particular order, but numbered all the same:
#1)  It's natural for a parent to love their child. All (with rare and perverse exceptions) parents love their children. It's the way of the world, Darwinian, if we didn't we'd quickly dispose of you and your carcass and get back to the party. It's nature's way of ensuring our species, our genes propagate, compete, survive. I love you like this, surely, but it's not so extraordinary, all parents love their children thus, there's nothing here to brag about.
#2) In Specific, and with slight reason applied.
First, let me enumerate your good qualities:
You're bright. Smart, articulate, you have some wit, you have some social adaptability (to go from dealing with your mom to me demands enormous social flexibility, I know). You're good looking, after your Mom, which is good, really, because - to be truthful - you're Mom's pretty good looking.
These are good things, to be sure, but they're not reasons to love you.
Some will love you for them, be careful, these are not good reasons to love anyone.
You think for yourself - ask questions that are not popular, you have with me, I know, I've encouraged this. And you've had the sense to restrain yourself where you've intuited that the questions, the questioning might not be so popular. This is social intelligence. This is good.
You've experience beyond your years - not all - initially - good, but all in all in the end great experiences. You've survived hitch-hiking back from Idaho, a small thing, true, but more than many, and a reminder that despite the news, the newspapers, the world, the universe, is a friendly place. In the end a remarkable vacation, and one I hope you'll remember - not unkindly - to the end of your days.
I like this. I like intelligence, wit, experience, I like being able to parry wits with those able to return the dialogue, like the banter, the entertainment.
I like the way that you read books I recommend, see films of my choosing without (too much) complaint, the way you're open to better, to more challenging ideas. This is good.
If you are what you eat, then certainly you are as well what you read, watch, ingest online and in the endless social media, you are the sum of your experiences. Feed yourself well.

You are my - our (Her and Mine's) child, and it is to be expected that a portion of your life experiences parallel mine.
I like this. I like as well the way that she - _____ - has opened up for you a world of experience that - for me - would probably only have ever existed in theory or abstract appreciation.
It gives you balance.
And - despite - no, because of our differences - this is good. It gives you perspective, it gives you choice.
It makes you larger than me.
These are things to appreciate, admire, but are not things to be loved, not on their own anyways.
These are merely ornaments, stones, pieces of something that is to be assembled larger...
What do I love about you?
Well, beyond simply you being you - you being my child, qualities I find worth loving in you:
You have the beginnings of principle, character and integrity.
There is the foundation within you upon which you can become the sum of your parts, your experience.
I love the possibility, my expectation, that you will be congruent with your principles, ideals, that you will act with reason and good judgement, without prejudice and with fairness and consideration towards all. Easily said, not so easily done, but I fancy I see the beginnings of this within you.
This is rare, this is extraordinary, I hope to see it's fruition within you.
I love this about you.
I see and love the possibilities you offer - that with determination, hard work, and perhaps - but not necessarily - adversity - I see you growing and becoming more than me. This is why we have children, the hopes that they will be better than ourselves, the hope that they can share and profit from our experiences, learn from them, grow, make a better world for themselves and others.
I love this in you. It won't be easy, but perhaps I prejudice you with my own experience. Maybe it will be? Why shouldn't it be? Still, should you be offered adversity, push back, challenge it, lightly, pleasantly, appropriate to the challenge offered, often what you perceive as adversity will prove merely a phantom of your imagining. And sometimes it will prove real, but persevere nonetheless, there is nothing you can't do if you focus and apply yourself.

Take time to think, reflect
. Think some more. There's no rush. Stay away from the computer, the TV, power off the phone and take some time to yourself.

Think through your ideals
and clarify them, write them down, share them. Question them always, times change, so will your ideals. They are always worthwhile, but be open to other ideas. Don't compromise them, those who demand the best very often receive it. But remember as well - if you would expect the best from life you must offer it.

. You are never done learning. Learn something new. Read something different. Challenge yourself, change your map, ask the hard questions to those who may have the answers, to yourself and then find the answer. Grow. Memorize a poem, a quote, see a different film, Think. Different. Meet someone new. Get outside your box. Listen. Never be afraid to disagree, but think before disagreeing.

Leadership often implies making others see things your way. This is the traditional view of leadership. But - great - truly great - leaders - see things from the point of view of their followers and disciples. Remember this. Try to see things their way. And think of them when you gather your thoughts and formulate your ideals. They are important too.

Finally - you are, right now, perfect.
Perfection is a process, not an end. The end is death. Perfection is the continued application of one's talents and abilities towards a higher goal. Whatever that goal may be.
Perfection is a process.
Continue to be perfect.

I Love this about you.


I understand your being busy and I would not want your lack of interest to stand in the way of a possibly great working relationship. So I've taken the liberty of continuing the development of your life story in a couple of formats: (let me know what you think):

Having brooded over the circumstances of your injury for perhaps far too long now I've decided the best format to portray it (in film at least) would probably be in a mixed-media animation style, similar to what the Brothers Quay did in "Street of Crocodiles". I've toned the events described to me down somewhat to appeal to a broader audience, substituted the human pincushion for "Bendy Girl" (ah, carnival love, but who has not been a carny would understand) and thought to portray you as a pleasing assortment of fruit (like those old fruit & vegetable people portraits). We'd give you a strawberry beating heart (here we use 2 or three different sizes of strawberry to animate the beating), we'll give you blueberry eyes, a banana body and, well, we'll work the rest out depending what's in season.

The rest of the characters would be papier mache except for the midgets and we'd make them out of clay. Midgets aren't like everybody else, but you know that already.

Anyways, we begin with the tattooed man - he'd be kind of evil so there would be evil music, dark lighting, his eyes would be painted on and he'd have all sorts of weird sh*t written all over his body in indelible India ink. We'd probably have a few different bodies for him as the message would change every time he was in a shot, for one shot it would be all these Celtic braids, in another it would be UPC bar codes, and yet in another it would be bits of fruit posed in all sorts of rude and naughty poses, which would show us that despite being a villain he was a complex and sensitive villain.

Music for him, I imagine the violin and cello, percussive strings plucked with long suspensive pauses, then the sound of breaking glass.

Enter Bendy Girl, made out of rubber bands and licorice and erasers, "wah-wah" music and the sound of bed-springs and creaking as she's forever trying to get his attention and bending in all sorts of obscene directions. She's new to the carnival and is hot for the tattooed man.

And then finally there would be you entering, and wherever you were you'd light the stage with your fruity goodness and conspicuous would be your beating strawberry heart which would foreshadow the impending "accident", if indeed it was an "accident" which I think we should leave to the viewers to interpret as people love to puzzle over that sort of stuff.

Whenever the tattooed man came near you he'd pluck a piece of fruit off and then eat it so we'd have to imply your romance without having any great animated love scenes or you'd be completely devoured, and in any event since he's seen the bendy girl he hasn't been his usual doting self.
For you, the music would be like that of a summers day, and wherever you walked in the sideshow (between the magicians chests or the dog-boys pen or between the cages with the origami unicorns and paper tigers) there would be a beam of sunlight and the sound of birds singing, as that is how I like to imagine you.

Now that's as far as I've gotten with the Animated Story of your Life, but I've also done a short treatment for OYR's "High Performance Rodeo" - Freakshow bit, which involves you sitting in a freight elevator on a crimson swathe of fabric, sword protruding from your mouth (hilt only, "Excalibur" written upon the side as I thought that was a nice touch) and a trio of midgets dancing about you. Then they would stop and it would be your chance for a speech:

"aahghhhhghh kkkkasgagaga agagagag" you'd say, then the first midget would say:
"Who would pull the sword from the stone and be king?"
"I think she wants a glass of water" would say the second
"Fie, there are no kings here" would say the third, and wave dismissively at the audience.
Then they'd keep dancing around you a bit longer and you'd say:
And the midgets would stop dancing and the second one would say knowingly and touching the side of her nose:
"The show must go on"
Then they'd begin dancing again and now it would be your chance to grab the hilt of the sword and begin to pull it out of your mouth, a huge scarlet ribbon attached, unending (symbolic of the fountain of blood issuing forth from your insides) and you'd say:
"glug glug glug glug"
And the third midget would say:
"The End"

And then the freight elevator doors would close and the audience (outside) would hear screaming and loud banging noises from the inside.

Probably it's too late to get this in this years "High Performance Rodeo" and in any event you seem to be too busy, but next year, next year could be our year.