2020 – A morning chat between a Canadian and an American

Fermo and I were out for our morning constitutional this AM, when we encountered a man putting some mail into his mailbox at the end of his driveway.

“Good morning, nice day isn’t it?”

“Yup.”

“That’s very handy. You put mail in the mailbox and your mailman takes it to be mailed wherever.”

“Yup, six days a week too. All you gotta do is turn the red flag up on the mailbox to signal the mailman that there’s mail there, ready for posting.”

“Impressive.” I replied, “In Canada, we use a ‘super mailbox’ system where a dozen or more mailboxes are joined together to create one giant super mailbox, saving our postman work and saving money.”

“Saving money, huh,”…Americans don’t use ‘eh.’ “Our government is crazy. I’m from Idaho and we still have small places in the countryside with a post office building to which only 5 or 6 people come all week. Crazy, huh? Should get rid of the post office, if you ask me.”

“Yes, I hear ya. But you have a federal government run by a man who seems to do wrong in whatever he does.”

“Hey man, Trump’s the best president we’ve ever had. He gets things done. He barrels past both parties and does what needs to be done. Not like wimps we’ve had in the Whitehouse before.”

“Uh, you like Trump, eh?”

“Outstanding president. The best bar none.”

I thought it best to steer the conversation into another direction as my views of Trump were polar opposites to this man’s.

“You lived here long?”

“More than 20 years. Came from Idaho and before that Colorado. So I know country living and our mail system is wasting money.”

When I heard the man tout rural living, I thought of a book I read recently which wrote about rural American life.

“Do you read much? Or watch TV more?” I asked thinking I might recommend he read ‘Downtown’ by Ginger Kuenzel.

“Nope. Got hit by a bungee cord on my right eye. Almost lost it but still have some vision there, Glaucoma startin’ though. So if I try reading my eyes hurt very soon and I have to take a nap. Had leukemia a few years back but the chemo worked for me.”

“How’s your health now? Are you married?”

“Been married three times but not now. Live on my own. My leukemia is in the past. Work out a lot. People gotta take control of their own lives, not depend on the government to come and bail ’em out all the time. I watch out for myself and don’ need no goverment to do that for me. Other people should do the same. Trump’s doin’ it right. Makin’ people take care of themselves and cuttin’ out government hand outs.”

I decided discretion might be the better part of valour and that it might be best to bail from this conversation. This man, bare chested, shorts and flip flops wasn’t packin’ but I wasn’t about to challenge him about his political views and the role of government … after all he was steps away from his house and whatever he stored there.

He flipped up the mailbox flag and I said, “Enjoyed talking with you have a good day.” I worried a little at how he would accept my rejection of his proffered handshake, but smiled skipping the handshake with a “tough time, eh!” 

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