On one of the Seinfeld episodes where Jerry visited his parents' insane retirement community Del Boca Vista Phase II, a map showed that it was in North Florida in the vicinity of St. Augustine.
I was reminded of that yesterday when I faced lines 10-15 people deep to buy two-cent stamps and mail some overdue bills. First-class stamps increased from 37 to 39 cents on Sunday because of a 2003 law requiring the Postal Service to put $3 billion in escrow. There's no stated need for this "rainy-day fund" -- I'm guessing Congress wants another stack of money they can borrow for other purposes, carrying on the pretense that Republicans never raise taxes.
Two post offices and a bookstore that mails packages were a sea of seniors. One in five residents of St. Johns County is retirement age. All of them wanted two-cent stamps.
These 50-per-dollar stamps are so cheap that it seems like you're getting a great deal, so people can't resist the urge to horde them after a rate increase. A post office in Arizona sold its entire allotment of 10,000 in less than an hour.
I don't want to speak ill of my gray-haired homies, because they're generally a nice group of people who share my belief that five miles over the speed limit is plenty fast. But when you take rambunctious kids around large crowds of senior citizens, there's always a few who greet the children with a look of abject terror, fearing that they'll be bowled over and break another hip. The boys don't always allay this concern -- at a Publix supermarket, they once staged an impromptu obstacle course race using several of them as human traffic cones.
Lining up for stamps yesterday, everyone but me was empty-handed, so I know they weren't urgently mailing letters. They were just being conscientious by getting the stamps promptly, which annoyed the hell out of me. That's exactly the kind of thoughtful foresight that stuck them with a bunch of 37-cent stamps.