Plumb Lines

April 15, 2009

Tax Day in Chicago, Tax Day in Princeton

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Schaengold @ 3:27 pm

On the the Northwest side of Chicago, the Logan Square post office stays open until midnight on April 15. All the staff are out on the floor running interference, translating from Spanish, helping people fill out forms, and everyone is generally having a stressed-out, magnificent party. There are mothers with strollers gliding in at 11 PM cradling reams of unsorted papers; they have never heard  of a 1040. There is a white woman cruising around on roller-blades who finished her taxes last week. Now she wants to send a giant box to Brazil, possibly full of papaya or some other substance the USPS really would rather you not send through the mail.

The Princeton post office closes at 4:30, and the last pickup is at 5:00, as usual. The lines are a bit longer, but everyone is still quiet and polite, as always. Most people are carrying large but very neatly sealed and addressed envelopes, no doubt full of itemized deductions.

Naturally, I much prefer the Chicago style. I should note, though, that Princeton has never lost any of my mail. In Chicago only the Mayor receives all of the mail addressed to him.

David Schaengold


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