Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Snail Mail

My mum recently discovered a little known service currently being offered by the Royal Mail.

It’s called “Asthmatic Tortoise Mail”.

Basically, if you put your package on the back of an asthmatic tortoise, attached a ball and chain to its leg, blindfolded it, spun it around three times then shouted “Go!” The tortoise would arrive at the required destination a good three weeks before the mail could get there.

Now I gotta be clear, I’m not bashing my parents about using this service. They’re sending me all kinds of British goodies you can’t get in the USA, and they’re paying for it out of their own pocket.

What I don’t understand is why it is so much cheaper to send things overland and by boat, than through airmail.

It’s comparison time!

The last time I flew to the USA, it cost me 600 GBP.

Ok, I weigh roughly 250lbs (stop snickering in the back, most of my regular readers have seen pictures of me…I’m big boned, dammit!)

If we figure that in, I’m flying at an approximate cost of $2.40 per pound (Actually, that’s 2.40 GBP per pound, but this stupid American keyboard doesn’t have a pound sign, and I get very bored typing ‘GBP’ over and over.)

Then we factor in my luggage, which was a whopping 70lbs, which now drops the price to $1.87 per pound.

Then we look at the other stuff. My package doesn’t need to eat, sleep, and certainly doesn’t want to buy one of those overpriced set of headphones to enjoy the 3 year old, cut to ribbons movie.

Also, a square box has a much higher packing efficiency than the average human. IE Packages don’t complain about having no leg-room, or have to move around and take asprin to combat deep-vein thrombosis.

Ok, so let’s deduct the cost of the meal, the cost of heating etc from my ticket price. For simplicity, let’s assume that this knocks a dollar off the price.

So, rough cost per pound for airline passengers is 87 cents per pound.

So, in that case, can someone please explain why it costs almost $20 to send two packages of curry paste and a box of British tea, weighing less than two pounds, by air mail?

If we do this in reverse, this means that if I was to fly at the postal rate, it would cost $3250, not counting the cost of the meal, movie, heating, pressurizing the cabin, stewardess’s wages etc.

Let’s just say that the next time my parents use Royal Airmail to send me something, my package damn well better get a complimentary orange juice and a set of pilot wings.

6 comments:

The Girl said...

Try www.britishdelights.com - much easier than this asthmatic mail you have been trying out.

~TG

mistyforeverlost said...

hhmmm....so much for the idea that either PDQ or Ms RB can fly air mail to destination of their choosing with a one way postal stamp. Drats!

MC Etcher said...

I have a couple of questions:

1) Do y'all have that show "Friends" over there?

2) How long does it take to make a proper tea (as opposed to our barbarian methods with Lipton Tea bags)

3) How does a proper tea compare to the crap we drink, and would Americans drink more tea if we knew how good it was?

I'm assuming that everyone from the UK is a tea expert, which just has to be true.

manda said...

big boned.. okay cartman... wait let me finish reading..

Your lord and master!!!!-mandaaaaa said...

Did I tell you that while I was searching for flights from DC to West Palm Beach, I found flights up to like 1k, granted some of it was first class, but some of it wasn't. So seriously.. I can see how this works... My flight is costing me 300 bucks, and that's the cheapest I could find, most are well over 300... Okay think of it like this.. back when u flew it was 600, it's 300 now and less than half of the time. so it's gotta be at least 800 now to fly to England-- and that's being generous..... It's Europe, so they'll probably jack the price up a bit, and they do serve you food on that 5 hr flight.. so yeah.... quit bitchin lol.

Paulius said...

Etcher :

1) No. What is this marvel you speak of?
2) Tea made in an actual tea pot must be made with boilING water, not just boiled water. It must be brewed for exactly 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
3) I have to use about 4 or 5 American teabags to equal the strength of a single british one, and if exposed to 'real' tea, all Americans would believe it was "The Shiznit"

Manda : Not I said it was GBP not american dollars. So even 600 GBP comes out to roughly 1200 dollars. READ before bitching, woman!