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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

How the USPS is Saving Us, too.

Anybody who knows anything about The Rough & Tumble knows that they love themselves the United States Postal Service. In fact, anyone who has been to our shows has heard our bit about the FREE postcards we hand out in hopes of you and your friends filling them out with a friend or family member or frenemy's address-- and then, if you actually know an address off hand, we pay for your postage. Got it? Yeah, we know, you've heard our bit. The thing is, we are hoping to save the USPS one postcard stamp at a time. And maybe share our music at the same time.

For the most part, we try and respect the privacy of our fans' postcard writings (we are practicing to be mail carriers in our future when the camper breaks for the last time). But occasionally, we glance down to find a sentence or two before putting the postcard in the proper place to be mailed to the proper person. For the most part, we are delighted-- "Check out this band!" you say. "This was a killer night-- wish you were here!" you say.

But then, lately, we've been noting a few changes in sentiment. We love being a fun-loving band. We love telling you all of our horrible jokes. We love being able to laugh and have a good time. But the truth is, we also built this little band in an attempt to address The Great Sadness-- within and without ourselves. And with the introduction of Pieces and Pieces into our set, we've felt strangely liberated to play a few of our older sad songs, too. The ones we wrote about our exes and our dead ones, the ones that used to mean something different and now maybe mean that we should apologize to each other, instead. And these little postcards are picking up on it, too.

"I wish we hadn't been fighting this night," you say. "I'm going to do better," you say. And just as we thought we were breaking your hearts, you broke ours. One little postcard jot at a time. And we hope our little postcards are unbreaking the hearts of the people you are sending them to.

Honest, we aren't peeking. It's just that, sometimes, we see things we didn't mean to. And sometimes we are so glad we did, because it means that this one time, for this one performance, we were all together trying to do right by The Great Sadness and The Great Happiness that exists between all of us. And we are happy to pay $.39 to deliver the message.

And then, sometimes, we get something amazing in that little mailbox just for us. Not just a "hello," either. But a long, thoughtful postcard to a little folk band from a certain someone in Minneapolis who told us that he saw us a year ago. And then, he says he's been listening to us since then. And then he tells us that he was having a hard time the last time he saw us, and that somehow, some way, in that one year our music made him not have a hard time, anymore. That postcard didn't get a stamp-- it went straight to where it belongs: hanging in our tiny camper just above the stove. That is so every time we are nourishing our bodies, we can nourish our souls, too, and remind ourselves why we are doing what we are doing.

Don't worry. We still have plenty of hilarious jokes to tell you, too. And we are still going to deliver your happiest and saddest postcards (and, we SWEAR, we are trying not to peek!). But for all of our efforts of trying to save the USPS, it seems like they have saved us, too.

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