I love any reference to the dodo bird. I will take any opportunity to insert Gone the way of the dodo into any conversation where I get the chance. It’s funny to me that the dodo bird has somehow become the international symbol ‘for you are screwed.’ I mean really, why the dodo? Why not something like gone the way of the T-rex or the raptors? How about Gone the way of King Kong? Here’s what Wikipedia says about the dodo:
The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter tall, weighing about 20 kilograms (44 lb), living on fruit and nesting on the ground.
The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century. It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history, and was directly attributable to human activity.
The phrase “dead as a dodo” means undoubtedly and unquestionably dead, whilst the phrase “to go the way of the dodo” means to become extinct or obsolete, to fall out of common usage or practice, or to become a thing of the past.
I think we somehow feel sorry for the dodo bird because it seems like people put a Sopranos-style whacking on them. We’ve allowed the dodo bird to live on in forlorn tribute through our fond remembrance. I’m not buying any of this.
The dodo was a goofy bird that was just not well constructed. It was fat, flightless, nested on the ground, and was fearless of people. This seems to make it great for an easy meal, but the meat was tough and disgusting. When humans arrived with natural predators like cats, dogs, and hamsters in tow (I made up the hamster part), it was curtains for the old dodo. Feel guilty if you want, but the dodo was no different than the Edsel; it was a poorly designed creature with no vision. When I think of the dodo, I think of it as a symbol of ineptness. Really, wasn’t it was just a matter of time before some lizard floated in a piece of brush and ruined the dodo party?
What’s the point of all my dodo nostalgia? I have a candidate for what I am going to call dodoness: the United States Postal Service. I think the days of the USPS in its current form are on a collision course with Dodoville. It is possible the Postal Service can’t evolve? Could it really be a fat plodding bird who can’t get out of the way? What do we honestly need the Post Office for anymore? Before you go crazy, let me explain. Here are the reasons I can think of that we might need the USPS:
- Bills – I would guess this is the primary use for the USPS. Do we really need paper bills anymore? It’s possible to pay bills and receive statements electronically. I don’t write many checks anymore, and I’m sure many of you don’t either. There are some current issues today, but they could be standardized. I don’t think we’re ready today; maybe in the next 10 years. In 2020, I don’t even think we’ll use personal checks.
- Packages – The Priority Mail system was a nice try, but don’t you use FedEx or UPS if you have the chance? The tracking is better, and they just seem to run more efficient operations. I trust them much more than the USPS.
- Magazines – Magazines have about 4 more months in their current form anyway. Magazines are a waste of paper, and are better read online. By the time you receive a magazine today, it is old information. Yesterday news, literally.
- Advertisements – The original SPAM. Want to save the planet? Don’t send me anymore junk mail. My recycle bin is full of green mail already.
- Cards and Letters – Nice thoughts, but very easy to do electronically.
Why do we need the Post Office? What would we do with all the mailboxes? I would miss standing in line for no good reason, or as Borat would say, “NOT!!!” Everything on earth has to evolve or “dodo it up;” those are the only options. I just don’t see the USPS losing weight and nesting in trees anytime soon.
Don’t believe me, check out this Washington Post article I found as I was checking my facts for this article. Maybe it isn’t that scary to think about a life without a trip to the mailbox.