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Will Somebody Please Think of The Shareholders

For a nation where residency is supposed to be such a huge deal, it seems illustriously easy to fool its official postal service with bogus changes of addresses.

Why I myself have written on unopened bills “Notify Sender of Interment” or “Court of Appeals Classified Evidence” before dropping them back off for the obligatory mail carriers to then charge the original sender return shipping and handling fees. That’s what ‘paying it forward’ means.

But one Chicago man just upped the ante for all of us. Reports NPR:

“Dushaun Henderson-Spruce submitted a U.S. Postal Service change of address form on Oct. 26, 2017, according to court documents. He requested changing a corporation’s mailing address from an address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment on Chicago’s North Side.

The post office duly updated the address, and Henderson-Spruce allegedly began receiving the company’s mail — including checks. It went on for months. Prosecutors say he deposited some $58,000 in checks improperly forwarded to his address.”

While hardly impartial myself, I must say that my immediate takeaways were that this man is at once a hero, a saint, a Discordian Pope and a comedic genius on par with Jimmy Swaggart. And also, as they say in the American south, “as stupid as all hell get out.”

But then, how could he have known that he’d get away with this? That one afternoon’s bong-load might improbably grow into a joke running as far as the reach of a multi-billion-dollar corporation with global operations? The kind of company grown so rich from ripping off so many of its customers throughout its existence that of course it couldn’t possibly manage to insure a few tens of thousands of dollars in falsified signatures? How many idiots had to take this seriously enough for it to have endured for so long and to such extent?

Just how many postal carriers in all those months lazily looked the other way from a random blue collar dude getting buckets of corporate mail sent to his apartment complex? It makes us yearn for the days when postal carriers cared so much that they brought machine guns to work so that they could rather rambunctiously coin the phrase “go postal“.

In a rational society, a postal clerk should have taken one quick look at the change of address form, realized the ridiculousness of the request and tossed it in the trash without a second thought. But this is not a rational society. (This is only an article on a website.)

It could be argued that the system let this man down, preferring instead to misinterpret a punchline as an invitation for more of precisely what the world can actually do without: litigation, legislation and red tape.

But it is inarguable that this system, which we are expected to put all of our trust in, is as humorless as having no address to speak of. Like freedom. Which is far more transient than not.