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    Postal Service never used to be an oxymoron. As he strolled down the block, the mailman used to deliver mail to a mailbox outside people’s homes, or drop letters directly into a slot in the front door.

    Our mailman used to enjoy reading postcards that my Grandfather sent us from London.  My grandparents had escaped there from Germany at the beginning of World War II, and my Grandfather tried very hard to learn the English language. The mailman came to our door laughing as he read, “London is fine, but we don’t have enough intercourse.”  Unfortunately, my proper Grandfather had forgotten to add the word, “social.”

    In those days, the FBI would never have had to subpoena a suspect’s records to find out what he was up to. All they would have had to do was to ask our mailman. He would know everything.  However, the mailman was everyone’s friend. Nowadays, I have never even seen my mailman’s legs, because he never leaves his beloved truck. If an alien vehicle is blocking my mailbox— Forget it!  No mail that day!

    Granted, now, postal workers have lots of competition, such as UPS and FedEX. Their drivers do run to the door, ring the bell and yell something like, “Trick or Treat, and then they run away. It’s only a problem when they deliver a package to your door that belongs to someone else. I have, on many  occasions, run after a UPS truck, but have never, ever managed to catch it.

    Recently, Amazon has gotten into the act. A drone can hover and deliver, but the problem arises if you stick your head out of the door at the wrong time. I enjoy reading books, but not getting crowned by them.

    The newest innovation is that now Amazon can deliver a package to vehicles in “accessible locations.”  I remember when we lived in Chicago and had to park on the street. That was “accessible” until it snowed and we had to move to the other side of the street every other day. How, in the world, could the Amazon person find our trunk—-let alone defrost it?

    There’s no limit to the innovations from chief digital workers. Not only can I now give strangers access to my automobile, but they can also waltz into my living room to deliver a package “securely and reliably.”  Maybe, for a few extra bucks they’d vacuum the carpet on the way out.

    There is no end to the mix of commerce and innovation. Maybe, soon, Amazon drivers can make house calls that doctors used to make. The digital officers of the company may find a way to set up a driver-medical-delivery-care app.

    Some people might really appreciate the delivery into their bathroom of rectal suppositories.  After all, “Amazon expands its reach into places long considered no-go zones for most people outside the immediate family.” Amazon intends be at the forefront of any invasion of your privacy that you will allow.

    I think it’s the mailman’s fault. He should never have read Grandfather’s postcard.

    Esther Blumenfeld

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