It was a governmental day in the neighbourhood when Mortimer Snert was awakened by telephones ringing. Scattering cats all over creation, he reached over and answered the noisy thing. On the other end of the phone was a friend of his who lived in a distant city. It seems this person had written Mort several letters and stuck them in the mail box, expecting him to receive them, and for some unknown reason, they had all been returned. Mort thought that to be a bit strange, but then again, he could only recall receiving bills for the past month or so. So he set out to try an experiment. Sitting at the desk, he wrote himself a letter. Not a long one, mind you, but just enough of a letter that one could tell there was something inside the envelope besides air. On the outside of the envelope, he put his address, and up in the corner, put his address for the return address, and in the other corner, he put a postage stamp. Everything looked proper, so Mort took it to the post office, and inserted it into the mail box, and went home to see what happened. A couple of days went by, and no letter appeared. A couple of more days went by, and he quite forgot about the letter. So after about a week and a half, Mort came home one day and discovered in his mail box, a letter addressed to him. On the front of the letter was this big stupid stamping, the one with the hand and the index finger pointing to the return address, and it said, Return To Sender, Address Unknown. Now Mort thought this to be mighty strange, since he was in fact the one who had mailed the letter in the first place, and it was his address that they had attempted to deliver the letter to, and his address that they had returned it to, after deciding they could not deliver it to his address. In addition to this, there were no fewer than 3 post marks on the stupid letter, and no two of them were the same. So he loaded up the letter, got in his car, and headed off to the post office for an explanation. Arriving at the post office, Mort cornered one of the employees and asked him what he thought the problem might be. The guy hemmed and hawed around, and quoted the figures for the post office making that kind of mistake, which, by the way, were rather incredible sounding, and concluded that it must be a quirk of fate. Unsatisfied with the explanation, Mort went home and promptly wrote himself another letter, put it in the envelope, addressed the same address on both places, plastered a stamp on the front and mailed it to himself. A few days went by, and no letter. A week went by, and one day he returned home to find a letter in his mailbox with the familiar looking rubber stamping. Having suspected this to happen, Mort loaded up this letter, and the previous one which he had saved for the occasion, and headed for the post office. Being no dummy, he had made sure to write down the name of the helpful feller that he had talked to at the post office last time, and arriving there, Mort had them round this nice man up, and presented him with both letters. Paling slightly as he talked, the nice man assured Mort that this could not possibly happen, there must be something seriously wrong. Mort, just as confidently, assured the man that not only could it happen, it did happen, and with some regularity. After discussing the matter with a supervisor, and hearing basically the same song and dance, he went home and promptly wrote himself another letter. This one was the same as the other two, with the same address in both places. As he was looking for a stamp to put on the front of the thing, Mort began to wonder if these people maybe didn’t think the postage rates were high enough to justify sending letters around, and if they just returned them, then the person who sent them would just have to buy another stamp and send them all over again. So with that logic fresh in his mind, he pasted 2 stamps on the front of the letter, and inserted it into the mail box. A couple of days went by, and no letter. A week went by, and no letter. Mort went to the post office. The guy was not there. The one who was looked up Mort’s address, and told him that the reason the letters weren’t getting there was that they were addressed to an abandoned house. Mort assured the man that his house certainly was not abandoned, nor had it been for several years. Then it occurred to Mort to ask the nice man what exactly qualified as an abandoned house. The guy told him that if there were no cars in the driveway, or no visible signs of life, that they classified it as abandoned, and returned all the mail. Mort told the guy that if that were the case, then half the houses in town would qualify as being abandoned, to which the man replied "They are." Seeing that he was getting nowhere with this joker, Mort decided to return the next day and talk to another supervisor. This guy assured Mort that his house would be taken off the abandoned house list. Mort then asked him if the house was abandoned, why did all the bills get through. And what about the 2 letters that he had written to himself. What was that about. The man had no answer for that either. So, Mort returned to his house, and wrote himself yet another letter, and jammed it in the mail box. Only the government could cause such a mess. He decided that truth was stranger than fiction, and the post office was a mighty strange place indeed.