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Playing “Post Office” in broad daylight on a Sunday morning

Updated on November 19, 2012

There was a time when every kid over the age of 14 or so knew the few rules governing how “Post Office” was played. It was never played alone; that is, it was a party game. It was a game played in dim light, if not in the dark – and certainly not out in the sunshine. No one, as nearly as I can recall, ever played “Post Office” outdoors on a Sunday morning.

Leave it to an old Redneck to figure out how to do things that no one else would ever do.

Preliminary instructions

My boss (wife of these several years) rousted me from a state of gentle contemplation on this Sunday morning with fairly clear cut instructions to get some air in my lungs and some blood pumping around and “take this list and get what it says on the list from the store - and no candy bars or boxes containing oddball vittles, either.

What's a guy gonna do?

More instructions

So it was into the old red pickemup truck and off to the H-E-B Pantry Store over in Bellaire. Ringing in my left ear were the instructions from the younger of my daughters (now pretty much an old lady and very bossy) to buy some Hostess Twinkies – all I can carry. She wants to join the crazies on eBay who are selling the things for three bucks apiece. The vibrations in my right ear were again from the boss of this house. She repeated her earlier instructions and warned me to not dilly-dally along the way.

What they don't know won't hurt me

Little did either of them know that it was my intention to play a round or two of “Post Office” prior to hitting the market place for list fulfillment.

Sony Mavica-91 camera in its carrying case. To the right is a camera holder that can clamp onto a tabletop. To the left are batteries, battery charger, and a set of 3.5-inch floppy disks
Sony Mavica-91 camera in its carrying case. To the right is a camera holder that can clamp onto a tabletop. To the left are batteries, battery charger, and a set of 3.5-inch floppy disks
A standard "high-density" 3.5-inch diskette of the type that is used with the Mavica-91camera
A standard "high-density" 3.5-inch diskette of the type that is used with the Mavica-91camera
Post office view #1
Post office view #1
Post office view #2
Post office view #2
Post office view #3
Post office view #3

New rules for the game

Sunday morning, you see, is an ideal time during which to play “Post Office” - at least to play it the way this old Redneck plays the game. Bellaire, as well, is a place that is doggone nearly perfect for a session of “Post Office.” Being afraid of trying to play the game in the dark – and by myself at that – the bright daylight was OK with me, if not the perfect time for a round or more. Sunday morning was also a great choice, in that there would be few people out and about. The game of “Post Office” is one that benefits from the least number of outside kibitzers.

The straight scoop (finally)

By now most of you HubPages denizens have figured out that I am pulling your legs. That gets tiring for me, too, and so I will exert myself back into seriousness as best I can. I should probably admit that it is very difficult for me to do that, but I will try.

Why Sunday?

To play “Post Office my way, I wanted lots of bright sunshine and lots of onlookers and by passers to be missing from the scene. I wanted to make some broad daylight panoramic photos of the little post office building in Bellaire when no one but Gus The Redneck was there. I had tried to work out a photo session one time before, but there were people and cars coursing around the parking lot in front of the Post Office building seemingly at all hours of the mornings on weekdays and on Saturdays. Sunday seemed like it might be a better day for making pictures of the place. There were a few people coming and leaving Sunday morning, but they came and went one or two at a time randomly and with a minute or more in between.

Other purposes for the photo-making session

I wanted to see if my recent camera acquisition, an old Sony-brand “Mavica 91” digital camera would produce panoramic photos for me that might be comparable to or better than those I had been able to produce using my little digital Canon camera. Also, now that I had a sturdy tripod on which to mount a camera, it was also to become part of the test session.

When I reached the parking lot in front of the post office building, there were several parked vehicles. As I was setting up the tripod and fastening the heavy camera onto it, the car left and then the truck moved out, too. The sun was behind me as I faced the building. A car came along, and then it left. My game plan was functioning as I had imagined it might.

1-2-3 with a click-click-click

The Mavica-91 has a lens turret on which there is a selector switch allowing the user to choose between telephoto and wide angle lens settings. I selected the wide angle deal after looking through the viewfinder some. It looked as though I could record three views of the building that encompassed its whole length plus a little extra on each side. Had I chosen the telephoto setting, more individual views would have been required.

Starting at the farthest point on my left, I recorded the first of the three images. The shutter clicked meaningfully and then the camera whirred nicely as the image was transferred from the solid state gadget that initially records the digital image (pixels) and produces a JPEG image on the 3.5-inch standard floppy disk that I had earlier stuck into its slot in the camera.

Turning the camera to my right to view the middle third of the building, I repeated the image-capturing steps. After that, the final third of the building was viewed and made its way as an image onto the floppy disk.

Producing the panoramic photograph

Making good use of Serif's “Panorama Plus” introductory software, I entered the three views of the post office into the program. Once the three images had been accepted by the software system, I hit the stitch-em button and it produced the panoramic photograph for me. I could have used any one of the many photo-editing programs to crop the panorama to get rid of any unwanted edges, but I chose to use one that you, I, and the Pope in Rome are free to use. It is called “picmonkey” and it seems to work quickly and with a minimum of instruction. That is particularly good for Rednecks like me.

The three views stitched together resulted in the production of the single panoramic photograph
The three views stitched together resulted in the production of the single panoramic photograph

Now you know how old Rednecks play the game of “Post Office"

The moral of the story is that you, too, might have some fun playing “Post Office” despite your various bosses and sub-bosses bossing you around on an otherwise gentle Sunday morning. My crew here did not know what all I had brought back from the market with me – like some nifty photos. I had distracted them all with my buying of – not Hostess Twinkies – but two packages of H-E-B Pantry Foods peanut butter cookies plus two more packages of their “Swiss Chocolate Coated Cakes” ( 8 to a box ! ) They had suspected all along that I would pull a stunt like that, and so they never caught on that I had made my little side trip to play “Post Office” in the bright light of Sunday morning right out there in public view in front of the Bellaire post office.


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