This is from the postal code of ethics. The United States Post office is an institution held in high esteem ever since Benjamin Franklin became the first Post Master General in 1775.
Benjamin Franklin as seen on the $100 Dollar bill.
The strong code of ethics has been portrayed in such books as the Postman (made into a film). Bukowski is renowned for his questionable morales so this is a very ironic entry to his book.
Women along with drinking and gambling were the foundations of Bukowskis writing.
This is a unconventional use of grammer. Subtle things like this consolidate Bukowski’s rejection of classic writing methods.
Bukowski was notoriously hygienic, enjoying up to four baths a day. Something very different to his image as a 'dirty old man'. In his own words - “Nothing is worse than to finish a good shit, then reach over and find the toilet paper container empty. Even the most horrible human being on earth deserves to wipe his ass.” —Factotum, Black Sparrow Press, 1975.
This dialogue occured after Chinaski wrote a report of complaint about how the job was flawed. But he left saying that Mr Johnson is a fine man. He also complains that the “Union man was worthless”. Very typical Bukowski who recognised the hopelessness of the underclass, being ignored and trodden on by the powerful. His grave reads “don’t try”.
The impossibility of delivering the mail come up in Bukowski's writing throughout the novel. For a contemporary take on this see the recent dispatches documentary Post Office Undercover
Bukowski talking about hangovers, something he had a lot of experience with
Chinaski was essentially a temp, temps have few employment rights, contracts are feeble and they are a dispensible workforce. It is a method used by corporations to reduce the power of workers. The contemporary comentator Naomi Klein gives a very interesting account of this in modern business in No Logo and other works.
Postmen are notoriously harassed by dogs. So much so that the German post office has started giving lessons in dog phychology.
Bukowski was tough. He puts it down to being beaten by his father as a child. When he was 16, he came back drunk and was sick on the carpet of the family house. His dad rubbed his face in vomit, Bukoswski punched him, knocked him clean out. That was the last beating he got from his dad.
“I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church” He did not believe in god or religion, as with any other institution he was scathing of it.
For an interesting account of sewers and their failings see the facinating book by Rose George, The Big Necessity.
Having baggy trousers is now a fashion, a fashion in some states that has been made illegal.
L.A often suffers from bad weather. After this adventure delivering post in the rain Chinaski ends up parked on a submerged front lawn.