Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Moving Very Slowly Stop

We just got a telegram. Not the kind delivered by a male stripper dressed as a cop, but an actual all-caps, punctuation-free, dot-matrix telegram on tissue-thin paper. Okay, it's addressed to the landlord, not us, but surely something this urgent should be opened and read immediately, right? (Turns out, he's got an overdue balance of 12 bucks on his credit card. Why the bank can't just call him is a question for another day.)

But in the age of email and cellphones, it's nice to know that Mexico still has an official government telegram service. They have 1,600 offices across the country, where you can send a 30-word message for 20 pesos (24-hour delivery) or 39 pesos (12-hour delivery). If it's urgent, and you have no other way of reaching someone, this seems to us a valuable and reasonably-priced service. That is, if it were run by anyone except the Mexican government.

Did we mention that the telegram is dated June 8?

Both the telegram office and the bank that sent it are located in Mexico City, about 175 miles from here. As the local Jesus freaks demonstrate every year, even an elderly person can walk that distance in less than two weeks. In other words, if the Banamex collections department had simply grabbed a little old lady on her way out of church in Mexico City, pinned a note to her shawl and asked her to wander north along the highway until she got to our house, she'd have made it here in a quarter of the time it took Telecomm. A male stripper dressed as a cop could have done it in a day.

No comments: