16 June 2023

The mail van roof problem – one more step forward

But no where close to the solution. You might remember the original observation and some progress to this problem from my prior posts.

This evening, I sat down in our balcony with Jay Jay and a cocktail when I noticed that there was a crew of two people in the post office yard. And in a few seconds later realized that they were painting the vans. Especially the roofs.

I got excited. Maybe finally I will crack this problem?

But there was something very incongruous about their painting. They had not covered up the windshield!! I was wondering how were they preventing the white paint from getting all over the glass?

The curiosity and the possibility that I might finally know the answer to the roof rust problem got the better of me. Put Jay Jay inside the house and walked up to those guys from a side entrance.

The two gentlemen could not have been more surprised by my question!! A very interesting conversation happened then.

First thing, I learnt is that they were not painters. They were simply cleaning the vehicles. And that was not rust – it was mold!! They see this mold in all the mail delivery vans. And they agreed that it always forms on that particular edge. But neither had any clue why.

Oh! so close!!!

As I was walking out, I saw a USPS gentleman trying to put something in another van. I walked up to him and made friends with him. He first apologized that our house looks into the USPS yard. I assured him that it gives me endless joy watching the vans and trucks come in and the workers milling around.

And then I asked him the all important question. You know what he said? He said that from the upper deck, it had noticed that pattern too but never knew why. And he had not spent much time thinking about it anyways. Then both of us stepped into one vehicle to see if we could see anything from the inside. Absolutely no clues!!

He did teach me something. He explained that these were 25 year old Grumman LLVs. And that USPS is switching over to newer vehicles by Oshkosh. Came back home and read up about it. There are fascinating facts out there about these vehicles.

But not a word on why mold grows on only one edge of them.

The endeavor continues!!

Posted June 16, 2023 by Rajib Roy in category "Puzzles

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