The postman always asks twice

Obviously, I have quite a complicated and confusing surname. Or that’s what you would assume talking to my new postman. Perhaps it’s the way I say it? So yes, about three weeks ago, this new postman comes on the scene. I’d grown quite attached to the last one, and okay, so we were not exactly sharing a laugh and a joke every day/month/year, but you know, we were on first name terms (unfortunately, I found out only recently that his name was Paul when I had spent three years calling him Geoff. And boy, is that a hard habit to break now), and you know, I could always go to him for any postal advice (what’s the best colour envelope to post?) or questions I may have had (so, what would you say was the heaviest parcel that you’ve ever delivered? Have you ever been tempted to not deliver the post and instead hoard it in your house for months on end? How much money have you stolen from peoples birthday cards?), but perhaps I had started to come across as a bit desperate and lonely, delaying him for as long as possible, just so I could talk to someone (Do you have a favourite postal uniform from all the years you’ve worked as a postman? What’s the top speed you’ve got out of that van? Could we consider what we have here as a friendship? Please be my friend).

So anyway, the new guy. The first day he is here, I have to, like most days, sign for certain amounts of post. He asked for my surname. Andersen. He asks me again. Andersen. He asks me to spell it. A N D E R S E N. He hands me over his little gadget thing to sign, and there it is, ANSAN. I let it go. After all, everyone makes a mistake every now and then.

The next day, he delivers the post. He asks my name. Andersen. Sorry, again please. Andersen. Can you spell that? A N D E R S E N. He hands me his sign thing. ALSTON. I’ve seen him write, I’ve seen him read. I know he can do both. What is it about my name? Perhaps, without realising, I was adopting a strong Australian accent every time I said it?

Wednesday, in he strolls, and I’m thinking, ah, finally, he recognises me! He smiles, sorts the post, and then asks me my name. I pause, letting him look at my face, waiting for him to say something along the lines of Oh it’s you! Sorry I didn’t recognise you with those shoes on, etc. But no, nothing. In fact it was quite an awkward few seconds of him staring at me, waiting for me to say my name, me staring at him, waiting for him to recognise me. Nothing. This must be what it feels like to be a d-list celebrity. He asks again. Oh, err, Andersen. Can you repeat that please? Yes of course, it’s Andersen. Can you spell that? And it’s here in the story that my brain snaps or something. Because I say A N D T H E S U N. He doesn’t react, and hands me over the device. It reads HAMSEN. Which gives me an idea for Thursday.

So Thursday rolls around and in he waltzes, all smiles and good mornings. Has he recognised me? He sets out the post on the desk, looks up at me and says Could I have your name please? I feel my eye twitch. Andersen. Again please? Andersen. Can you just spell that for me please? Yes, it’s H A M S T E R R U N. Thanks he says. Hands it back to me, A N B R E S. Baffled at how he could even reach that one, I sign it, bid him good day, and set to distributing the post.

So Friday is here. I can’t even bring myself to look him in the face. And once again we go through the whole thing of him not recognising me (by this point, my confidence was taking a knocking) and me saying it out a couple of times like I just love hearing myself say my own name. He then asks for the spelling. Today, I give him A N T S A R E F U N. His device beeps in anger. He asks for it again. H A N D L E F U N. It beeps again. I’m thinking, oh god, what if it’s picked up on me giving false names. Is that illegal? A siren can be heard in the distance. I gulp. He asks again, and I give him the correct spelling this time. A N D E R S E N. And as he hands me over the device, I realise that it’s actually a different postman to the previous days. Similar looking but not the same. And when I see the name he has written on the gadget, it just reads ARSEHOLE. I’m slightly shocked, quite speechless and so ashamed, I just sign it. D Arsehole. I hand it back, he winks at me, and disappears in a red blur. The next week Geoff is back on the scene. Or Paul, as he prefers to be called.

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