He delivered our Christmas packages 

Posted 11/29/23

Who’s the real Santa Claus now? Who brings us those gifts? 

A strong argument could be made that it’s the hyperactive deliverymen (mostly male) who are now buzzing nonstop …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

He delivered our Christmas packages 


Who’s the real Santa Claus now? Who brings us those gifts? 

A strong argument could be made that it’s the hyperactive deliverymen (mostly male) who are now buzzing nonstop around our streets for UPS, Amazon, and FedEx.

 One of them —  we’ll call him Chris —  just moved in next door to us.

 “Chris,” who’s just retired from one of those Big Three package-delivery companies, was built for this demanding work: He’s tall (about 6-3), and, yes, muscle-bound.

 But delivering all those packages, which is especially stressful around the holidays, took a toll: Chris has had both hips replaced. 

 He figures he lifted around 18,000 pounds a day on his route. “50 pounds used to be the maximum we’d accept for a package,” he says, “now it’s 150.” 

 The handcart he used could carry 200 pounds. Chris’ route was 12 miles a day. 

 “I started in 1990 — before the internet hit big,” he says. “And now the peak Christmas delivery season starts on Black Friday.” 

 His movements — steps, stoplights, deliveries — were all monitored at the company warehouse. He delivered around 600 boxes a day, weighing 30 pounds on average. 

 “I actually got pulled in once — for being three minutes late,” he says, smiling and shaking his head. 

 He averaged 17.5 delivery stops per hour. ”On some streets, you make six deliveries.” 

 “After Thanksgiving,” he says, “you do get an assistant in the truck to help.” 

 It was major physical exercise delivering those packages all those years: 

 “I once figured,” he  says, “that I've walked around the earth two and a half times.” 

 But even in retirement here, Chris is still delivering boxes…for our local food bank. 

—I always smile when I call Jefferson Healthcare and the recording starts, “If you have a rotary phone…” Who has one of THOSE today? (Well, I am in a Rotary Club). 

 —As of this writing last week, U.S Bank’s time and temp sign downtown still hadn’t been changed from Daylight Savings and was an hour ahead. (Maybe they can’t afford to have it done?) 

—I was surprised and happy to see the large turnout of kids and parents at the City Council’s recent tour of our current aging pool. Council did the right thing, approving a path to a new pool. Let’s hope our county commissioners follow suit. Kids, seniors — and all adults — use and need a pool here. It’s critical to replace this valuable and vulnerable resource. The proposed sales tax to pay for it is modest — forget all the misinformation. 

—I once did a column for the New York Times’ regional paper in the San Francisco area. Coworkers enjoyed it when I brought in a copy of Madness Network News, a monthly written and edited by local mental patients. Its NYT-like motto? “All The Fits That’s News to Print.” 

—Some have complained on a local neighborly newsletter that people here don’t know how to use roundabouts, referencing the newest one now open. But they do, I’ve observed. 

 —There’s a musician in Port Hadlock with a name, Paul Rogers, that’s nearly the same as that of the great rock vocalist, Paul Rodgers. Smiles the local guy, “We also have the exact same birthday.” And our Rogers isn’t…bad company. 

—A nightmare scenario before Christmas:  Imagine you’re channel surfing and you can only see — Medicare Advantage ads. 

 —Next: Our annual survey and grading of colorful local holiday light displays.

(PT humorist Bill Mann is also Newsmann9@gmail.com)