Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Postman Paddy

After I finished high school, I did a brief stint as a postman in Howth in north Dublin. I had to get up at 4:30am and cycle 30 minutes to the sorting office in Baldoyle (not always easy if you went to bed at 1:30am)

When I arrived, I'd have a continental Irish breakfast which was a cup of tea and a cigarette. Each postie was allocated certain roads and streets, so first you sorted the post into streets and then into house numbers in the specific order of your round. There was always a great bit of banter going on as numerous cups of tea and smokes were consumed and some poor postie would normally be the brunt of the jokes.

At about 8am, we'd head off in a van and get dropped off at our allotted spot to walk the route and deliver the mail. A dog may be 'mans best friend' but he's a postman's worst enemy.
There were some fierce and vicious K9's on my route. I soon developed some exceptional survival skills such as clamboring over 7 foot walls to escape the fangs of death. I don't know if it's the uniform or the whistling (it's mandatory in Ireland for the postman to whistle badly off key!) but most dogs HATE the postman.

One of the houses I delivered to had a bad ass German shepherd called Gnasher with a nasty disposition. Luckily he was contained behind a metal gate by the side of the house but as I passed the gate each day, he would be wait silently then suddenly go berserk and bark and snarl and push his face thru the gate with all the force he had. The first time he did it I nearly shit my pants as he caught me off guard.

My last day on the job I decided to get my revenge on Gnasher. I rolled up a newspaper and as he let loose with his torrent of K9 abuse I slapped him on the snout with the paper. Animal lovers - fear not - I didn't hit him that hard but the shock sent him yelping to the back of the house.

A few weeks later I heard thru the grapevine that the poor schlep that took over my route had a bit of misfortune on his very first day. Gnasher somehow got beyond the gate and sank his fangs into new posties butt cheeks requiring stitches and a tetanus injection.

Apparently his bite was worse than his bark.
Luckily, I didn't experience it first hand!

Tags: .dog, dog bite, postie, postman, postal, post office,postman paddy,..

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TCL November 05, 2008 6:26 pm  

Why do they always go for the rump?

Lucky for you.

Broke But Still Drinking November 05, 2008 6:29 pm  

I used to be a paper boy as a man in my early twenties and also ran into many felines. My plan was a little simpler than yours. I just didn't deliver their paper and the customers would call and complain. I continued to avoid these homes and fail to deliver their paper until the customer finally quit and I no longer had dogs on my route.

Quickroute November 05, 2008 9:21 pm  

@ TCL: It's the sweet spot

@ Broke: I wish I could've done the same but messing with post is a felony

iWalk November 05, 2008 10:14 pm  

Hi, Quickroute.

I have read a book about doggie. It specially talk about this phenomena called Chase After Postman.

A postman always go away after deliver. But the dog would think they go away because his bark, So he would think he would win if he bark.

Unfortunately, The dogs all over the world have this kind of misunderstand. :(

Stevo | China Travel November 05, 2008 10:46 pm  

Even dogs hate the Irish?

I was a paperboy in my youth. I remember a customer with a wee but fierce dachshund. I still have a scar on my thigh.

Quickroute November 05, 2008 11:24 pm  

@iWalk: It's the old game of Predator / submission - only I don;t like to be the under dog!

@Stevo: Did everybody in the US do a paper round? - poor kids must be outta work now with online subscriptions

TCL November 05, 2008 11:35 pm  

quick - no paperboys no more. Just men with pickup trucks hucking the papers onto your front steps.

wandermom November 06, 2008 12:02 am  

continental irish breakfast: cuppa and a fag. hilarious.

fwiw: the paper-delivery guy on my block doesn't have a pick-up, he has a very, very old mazda with an obnoxiously loud exhaust. leaves the car running as he chucks papers along the block. wakes me up 5-ish every morning. grrr.

Caro November 06, 2008 3:12 am  

a continental Irish breakfast which was a cup of tea and a cigarette

Sorry, but I'm going to have to rip that off. Brilliant.

At least you delivered the post. I think my postman chucks anything heavier than bills into a skip.

Thriftcriminal November 06, 2008 7:51 am  

Toffees work better. Or wrap some sausage meat around a lump of chilli if you want to be really nasty.

Queenie November 06, 2008 8:21 am  

Pepper spray...I love dogs, honestly!!

Nick November 06, 2008 8:56 am  

I wouldn't fancy being a postman. Lots of grateful customers I'm sure but the weather and the dogs would finish me off. The post here is very reliable but I've read several times of English posties with houses full of undelivered mail because they just couldn't be arsed.

The Irish continental breakfast is brilliant. That must keep the pounds off!

Anonymous,  November 06, 2008 9:44 am  

I always wanted to be a postman when I was a kid - mainly because I loved packages and didn't realise that most of the mail was bills.

Xbox4NappyRash November 06, 2008 11:32 am  

the irish breakfast was pure poetry sir.

Quickroute November 06, 2008 1:34 pm  

@TCL: Times have changed alright

@Wandermom: put a banana in his exhaust pipe

@Megan: stuff you used to wipe yer arse with before they invented toilet paper

@Caro: Seems to be a common occurrence

@Thrifty: Cruel but tempting - very tempting


@Queenie: Crueler but even more tempting

@Conortje: Beware the ones with windows - burn them

@Xbox: cheers Bigears - more poetry!

Quickroute November 06, 2008 1:36 pm  

@ Nick: Maybe I should start smoking again? - I need to lose a few pounds

Baino November 06, 2008 3:11 pm  

It's the hat! I had a dog that used to go ballistic at the postie. Ours all ride Honda 90's and wear cycle helmets these days so the dogs don't seem to feel threatened . . well that and the mail box is at the end of the driveway out of harms way. Whaddayaknow. I have an Irish Continental brekky every morning!

Anonymous,  November 06, 2008 5:55 pm  

I never get anything in the mail other than bills, pay or die letters. Everyone I know who means something to me e-mails me, skypes me, texts me. Last year I bought paper especially to write letters and send snail mail with the hope people would write back and I'd get to open a real piece of mail. Alas, I haven't got around to doing my bit yet.
I remember once I'd wait for the postman just inside my door, bringing me letters from my boyfriend at the time. Such a rush, it was.
Dogs just bark at anyone in uniform I think! It's not just the postmen.

Quickroute November 06, 2008 9:16 pm  

@ Baino: I could've done with a Honda 90 back in the day

@ Gaye: Women love a man in uniform but dogs hate 'em eh!

VE November 07, 2008 4:20 pm  

I can relate...I was attacked by two Rotweilers once...

Mark H November 07, 2008 4:54 pm  

Great story. Love the description of "Irish breakfast". In the same vein in Australia, a tradesman's seven course lunch is a descriptor for a pie and six-pack.

Quickroute November 07, 2008 8:02 pm  

@ VE: ....and???? you lived to????

@Mark H: Similar to a Irish 7 course meal of a sixpack and a pack of crisps

Lifecruiser November 08, 2008 5:42 pm  

This reminded me of the Brit com: Keeping up appearences, where mrs Bucket always get attacked when visiting the sister.

I also remember that the postman were terrified to deliver her post.

So, what's worst: the dogs or the old hags? *giggles*

Quickroute November 09, 2008 10:59 am  

@Lifecruiser: some of the old hags had fangs - those were the worst!

Gwynaeth,  November 10, 2008 9:52 am  

I just saw this and thought you'd find some of it mildly amusing:

Anonymous,  November 10, 2008 9:53 am  

Hmm that didn't all post..

Anonymous,  November 10, 2008 9:54 am  


Fingers crossed!

Quickroute November 10, 2008 11:58 am  

@ Gwynaeth: Got it thanks - quite funny!

Tradesman September 14, 2009 10:43 am  

At leaset you did not have it too bad, i heard of a postman who turned tail after being bitten, in his haste he tripped and impailed himself through the eye on the open and swinging gate! Thats a bad day at the office.

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