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Cheque's in the post

By guest editor Richard Caldwell

Posted June 18, 2018
Cheque's in the post
Ha! Ha! Ha! An artist's impression of a criminal mastermind yesterday. © Ignatius Rake

Richard Caldwell reports on the criminal mastermind who fleeced a corporation with a simple change of address.

For a nation where residency is supposed to be such a huge deal, it seems illustriously easy to fool its official postal service with bogus changes of addresses.

Why, I myself have written on unopened bills "Notify Sender of Interment" or "Court of Appeals Classified Evidence" before dropping them back off for the obligatory mail carriers to then charge the original sender appropriate return shipping and handling fees.

That's what 'paying it forward' means.

But one Chicago man just upped the ante for all of us.

Reports NPR: "Dushaun Henderson-Spruce submitted a US Postal Service change of address form on Oct 26, 2017, according to court documents."

"He requested changing [an unnamed] corporation's mailing address from an address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment on Chicago's North Side."

"The post office duly updated the address, and Henderson-Spruce allegedly began receiving the company's mail — including checks [or cheques if you're British]."

"It went on for months."

"Prosecutors say he deposited some $58,000 [£43,670] in checks improperly forwarded to his address."

While hardly impartial myself, I must say that my immediate takeaways were that this man is at once a hero, a saint, a Discordian Pope and a comedic genius on par with Jimmy Swaggart.

And also, as they say in the American south, 'as stupid as all hell get out'.

let's get shitfaced t-shirt
Click the pic: to order yours today! © Ignatius Rake

But then, how could he have thought that he'd get away with this?

That one afternoon's bong-load might improbably grow into a joke running as far as the reach of a multi-billion-dollar corporation with global operations?

Just how many postal carriers in all those months lazily looked the other way from a random blue-collar dude getting buckets of corporate mail sent to his apartment complex?

It makes us yearn for the days when postal carriers cared so much that they brought machine guns to work so that they could rather rambunctiously coin the phrase 'go postal'.

In a rational society, a postal clerk should have taken one look at the change of address form, realised the ridiculousness of the request and tossed it in the trash without a second thought.

But this is not a rational society (in fact, this is only an article on a website).

It could be argued that the system let this man down, preferring instead to misinterpret a punchline as an invitation for more of precisely what the world can actually do without: litigation, legislation and red tape.

But it is inarguable that this system, which we are expected to put all of our trust in, is as humourless as having no address to speak of.

Like freedom.

Cheers, Richard. Interestingly enough, while NPR says that the actual corporation that got blagged "isn't named in the court documents", it does state that "the Chicago Tribune reports that it's the shipping company UPS".

Now, maybe I'm just being cynical here, but aren't UPS and the US Postal Service kinda rivals when it comes to delivering parcels and the like? Not that I'm implying anything, of course. Heaven forbid! Here's the Dead Kennedys. Stealing people's mail, anyone?

See also RIP Anthony Bourdain, posted 15/6/18.

Richard Caldwell
used to write for the now sadly defunct New Comics Day. Fortunately, his writings still abound elsewhere on the interweb, such as on his flippin' ace blog that you are strongly advised to check out here.

Engage with the Rake & Herald via Minds, Vimeo, FaceBook, Twitter and/or YouTube if you can be arsed. Better still, buy a Rake Clag T-shirt here, yeah?

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T-shirts! T-shirts! Click the pic for T-shirts! They're totally kimo-kawaii. © Ignatius Rake

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