My parents received a Christmas card from Spain last week so I think it is time to talk about the Post Apocalyptic world we live in where mail no longer arrives on time and sometimes not at all.
The Postman starring Kevin Costner might have been a flop at the Boxoffice in 1997 but here we are in a post-Trump, Covid world where Brexit has interupted European trade, and many people are now trying to avoid all deliveries to and from the United Kingdom.
The post service seems to be in decline and delivery firms and online sales like Amazon are on the rise but it is hard for me to accept that the post could ever become less effective than it was a hundred years ago.
RMS Titanic crossed the Atlantic with the Royal Mail that gave the ship its initials RMS, the packages were lost in the disaster and I'm sure everyone could appreciate the inconvenience of having to resend letters and cards.
In the film, Cast Away, we watched Tom Hanks survive on a deserted island yet holding on to some of the unopened packages that survived the FEDEX freighter flight diaster.
In the past carriages and horsemen carried letters in sachels which were sometimes picked up by trains and ships to cross enormous distances yet these letters still remained stationary.
Jokes aside, men and women raced against time to get messages delivered on time. It is an impressive human accomplicement to connect the world in this way and I am afraid that logistics are no longer appreciated in an age of instant online chat and Messenger.
I've been very disappointed at times with Correos in Spain, I find their service to be absolutely terrible. One time, I found my girlfriend's Valentine's Day card in the street by my house and decided to deliver it the few feet to my building.
I complained to Moonpig.com about the poor postal service which they have no control over and they refunded me the price of the card but the human error was forgivable if there wasn't always something wrong with the Spanish post service.
Under Trump's mismanagement of the US Postal Service, there were many videos shared where mail trucks were dumping content into carparks and dumpsters as the dilusional president desperately fought with mail boxes and postal voting. In some cases mail boxes were removed to possibly hamper voters and in some cases dummy ballot boxes were allegedly installed as a Republican ruse to trick Democratic voters.
Mail is amazing and it brings joy to our face when we get a card from a loved one and a frown when we receive yet another windowed envelope with a bill inside.
The people who have delivered our hopes and dreams, good news and bad, they deserve the recognition of delivering these things as do the courriers who have kept the economy going during this pandemic, whether by truck, car, motorbike or bicyle, we have to love our logistics and the cogs that keep us going but if Christmas cards are going to arrive in time for Saint Patrick`s Day then maybe we should stop writing the year on the date so that these cards can arrive early for next Christmas.
We will have many challenges to face after Coronavirus but I hope that we can still do the things as well tomorrow, as we did yesterday. Each package has a destination and they need to be delivered and received unless of course an iceberg gets in the way but with Climate Change on the way that excuse just melts away so let's hope for a better tomorrow where people appreciate the logistic chain we have enjoyed for over a century, and those working in it and hope that they too respect their weary customers.
I remember one time some tourists met my parents at Athlone Castle and they wanted to send a thank you card for their hospitality. They posted a picture of my parents standing by the castle and sent it to the castle with the picture on the envelope and my parents' first names.
As you can imagine by the fact that I am telling this story, that letter arrived despite having no real addresss and no surname on it. People are magical sometimes and I guess that's why we call them mailmen, following the superhero gender naming of Superman, Batman, Antman, Wonderwoman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Fireman Sam and Postman Pat. Even Bartman looks ecited in an episode of the Simpsons, shouting, "it's the femaleman" when he sees the mailwoman coming with a package.
Thank you whoever you are for all the times I have received packages and letters on time. You might not feel like a hero as the dogs bark at you at every second house but you are.
The postman is an integral part of every single community and we must make sure that deliveries can still reach England and Europe and that things can cross the Atlantic better than a certain Royal Mail Ship did on April 14th 1912.
There have been plenty of packages lost over the years but one cinematic question that has always interested people online is, what's in the box?
What was in the unopened package that Tom Hanks character saved and later delivered at the end of Cast Away?
What could have been inside those unknown boxes. An order of emergency flairs, a satalite phone or maybe a Swiss Army knife?
In the words of Peter Griffin, as he opened the mystery box, "It could be a boat, you know how long we've wanted one of them."
We will never know, but comment below what you think was inside the mystery box that Tom Hanks never opened and kept safe on a deserted island that he could barely survive on.