going postal

Over a two-and-a-half-square-foot surface, a woman meticulously built perfect rows of 39-cent relics. One by one, she transferred them from their roll to the package. Thankfully, the postman took the next couple customers in line while the woman simultaneously decorated and paid the shipping for her gift.

It's a good thing postage stamps come in the self-stick variety.

"Howminnny stamps d'yah need fah that?" someone behind me asked.

As the woman turned to answer the old man, she revealed her UPS store staff T-shirt and apron.

"About $75 worth," she said. "It's going to the U.S. Virgin Islands. I just want to get rid of these old stamps since the rates went up to 41 cents."

She resumed the stamp relocation process after recounting the rows and columns. I knew I wasn't going to make it to work on time.

"We jus' figyuhd ya were a li'l' crazy," barked a woman in front of me.

"Maybe a little," the woman laughed. "I just have so many old stamps." She double-checked the count on the rows she built in a rectangle around the address. "OK, I think this is ready," she said to the postman after adding three more stamps.

He slowly counted and canceled each of the 193 stamps, one by one. After the woman helped him move the large box into a cart, she grabbed her UPS hand truck and headed for the door.

"Next," the postman said, looking at me.

"How much to mail this regular mail?" I asked, handing him a brown-paper wrapped book I was sending to my mom. "I have some old postcard stamps I want to get rid of..."