Parent of the Year Nominees: Turn of the Century Edition
Barb here. No matter how many mistakes you’ve made as a parent, at least you aren’t these people.
Remember how every time you were being a little shithead as a kid, your parents would threaten to ship you off somewhere? Apparently in the early part of the 1900s, some parents actually did!
According to what I found out, up until 1913, only packages weighing less than four pounds could be sent. When that changed, humanity handled it with the precise level of logic and common sense you would expect. Which is to say, they lost their goddamn minds. Mail carriers ended up with everything from bricks to live snakes. And because things hadn’t gone far enough yet, some parent got a brilliant idea. Grandma wants the baby to come visit but travelling is expensive. What’s a budget conscious family to do? Plaster a bunch of stamps to the poor kid and mail them of course.
It took two years, and at least seven known occurrences for the post office to finally get around to fixing the regulations so human beings could no longer be considered packages. So Dissy, my former postal employee bestie, what do you think about this!
My first inclination is to be incredibly disappointed that no one ever tried to mail child-Dissy anywhere. But that’s 49-year-old me talking. Child-Dissy was pretty much a chicken shit who was afraid of strangers and would probably be glad no one ever tried to express her off to parts unknown.
I did know this fun WTF fact, and, interestingly enough, I did not learn it during my brief tenure as a postal worker. I did, however, narrowly miss a classic “postal episode” where a dude missed out on retirement by less than a week because he couldn’t keep that brain in check for just a few more days. Well, maybe the prison retirement plan was more lucrative.
I learned it on either TLC or the Discovery channel. I am a huge fan of those “top ten” type shows.
Anyhow, I digress…
I think we’re only horrified by these things now because we’d never dream of doing them. Hindsight and all… I’m sure it seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. Logistics, now, that concerns me. Who pulled diaper and feeding duty? I mean, there was no such thing as overnight delivery back then (was there?), so it’s not like the transport could take place during bedtime. I suppose it’s also a good thing that they didn’t have a ton of automation back then. Who wants to send Junior through the machinery involved in the postage cancelling and sorting process?
You know, for all the packages I’ve mailed in the course of my life (maybe 8, tops), they’ve asked me all kinds of questions about what was in the package. Is it this? Is it that? You don’t have (insert thing that it would be very bad to try to mail someone) in this package, do you? Never once did they ask me if there were any children in the package. Maybe they’re not so strict about this rule anymore. I think someone should try it and see what happens. (do I REALLY have to put the “kids, do NOT try this at home!!” disclaimer on this? Yes? Okay. *sigh*)
DO NOT TRY THIS. IT WAS A JOKE. DON’T BE STUPID.
NOTE: Dissy is a shit starter. There are lots of stories of her goading her friends into doing ridiculous things in the name of a good time… think “peeing on electric fence” type things. Don’t listen to her. Ever. Unless it’s helpful, wise, or unless you sign a waiver relieving her of any responsibility for horrible outcomes. Now, if Dissy’s shit starting generates millions for you, of course she wants her cut. Barb needs some too because she’s Dissy’s partner.
Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way…
Bottom line: Don’t mail Junior.
Have a great weekend!!