Just when you think the world is going crazy. Favre's playing for the Jets, the Dow is plummeting toward Death Valley, Britney Spears wins three VMA awards!
Something happens that makes you realize nothing's really changed at all. As much as you think the planet is spinning off its axis, it really isn't.
Normalcy is still the norm.
The U.S. mail is running late.
I'm referring specifically to the special airmail delivery that was scheduled to take place Monday at Salt Lake Airport No. 2 in West Jordan. Three biplanes, circa 1928, were supposed to arrive at 11 a.m. with several stacks of mail to commemorate the 90th anniversary of transcontinental airmail service.
But they didn't arrive. Weather problems had them grounded in Nebraska.
Normally, I wouldn't bring this up. Mail's late? Big deal.
But the problem was, I planned to write a column about the vintage mailplanes flying into Salt Lake City, bringing with them nostalgia from a bygone biplane era when guys like Lindbergh (an airmail pilot himself) reigned.
Salt Lake was one of the 15 stops on the original U.S. Postal Service cross country route, and I thought I'd bring a little of that history into an e-mail world.
But inclement weather, residue from Hurricane Ike, changed all that.
That meant I had to go to Plan B. But there was no Plan B. (Most newspaper columnists I know follow the lead of the late, great Jim Murray, who, when once asked if he kept a spare column in the hopper, said, "What? And risk dying one ahead?")
So I decided to write about airmail anyway.
For more information, I called the United States Postal Service at 800-ASKUSPS.
You should do this sometime when you have an eternity or so to kill.
After a dozen recorded messages, I finally connected with a live person. He had an English accent. He said he'd connect me with media relations. I got another recording: "You've reached media relations for USPS. Please spell your name and publication you're with and we'll get back to you."
I left my information. Later in the afternoon I got a call back from someone in media relations with another number I could call.
By this time I was up against my deadline.
At press time, the word was that the weather had improved and the airplanes were in Wyoming. They're supposed to be at Salt Lake Airport No. 2 today at 11 a.m. Honest. Be patient. The mail is coming. It's just late.
Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please send e-mail to [email protected] and faxes to 801-237-2527.