Introduction

Post Early for Christmas is a one-act play by R.H. Wood. A busy and chaotic post office all in a rush to get their work done and enters an anxious tourist with a suspicious parcel. A usual busy morning soon turns eventful in this little post office.

Characters

  1. A young lady assistant 
  2. Mrs Smith
  3. Mrs Jones
  4. A deaf old gentleman
  5. A farmer
  6. A fussy old lady
  7. Mrs Higgins
  8. Bertie, her son
  9. A foreign tourist
  10. A policeman

The Post Office

The scene begins with the assistant talking about her previous day at work which was awfully busy not sparing her a minute’s rest. With Christmas approaching, the workload has doubled. She met some funny people who would come to her and ask for silly things. Her first customer is Mrs Smith who comes and purchases a book of stamps and a postal order for half a crown. The rest of her shift is just as busy with more people coming in and buying either stamps or posting their parcels. Later, an old deaf man comes engages in a comical exchange with the assistant. 

The man with a hearing issue misunderstands ‘book’ with ‘cook’ and ‘said’ with ‘bed’. He scolds the assistant for wasting his time and then finally receives his pension and gets content. Next comes a fussy old lady needing advice for her sick cat. The lady accidentally comes to the post office thinking it was the vet’s clinic. However, throughout all this, the assistant deals with each case with patience.

Mr Brown, the farmer who comes to drop his parcels, shares a piece of scary news with the lot. The Scotland Yard issued a warning that a time bomb disguised as a Christmas parcel was discovered in a London post office. Any suspicious-looking parcel should be reported at once to the local police station. He alerts them that any parcel with a ticking noise could be a timebomb. 

The Tourist

While Bertie, an untidy little urchin and his mother, a large loud woman are arguing over grammar and manners, a man enters the office. He is a foreign tourist and wishes to post his parcel. The man seems a little anxious and enquires about the delivery time and safety of his parcel before leaving. However, he forgets his gloves on the counter.

The assistant is not very convinced with the man’s behaviour and she suspects hearing a peculiar sound coming from the parcel, a ticking sound. Soon everyone agrees to hear the ticking and they begin to panic as the farmer announces it is a timebomb that will soon blow. The policeman is immediately called and just then the tourist returns to fetch his forgotten gloves. He is taken aside by the policeman and informed that his parcel will be opened. The tourist not very impressed with this starts shouting. However, the policeman dumps a bucket of water onto his parcel as everyone dives for cover to protect themselves from the bomb.

The parcel that created so much chaos contained a clock that the tourist had brought from Switzerland, which is now ruined. He leaves angrily and vows to never again post anything in their country and that he will sue them all. The assistant tired of all this ruckus at the post office too leaves and says that she will now work at the animal dispensary as animals do not behave in such a silly manner.

The play concludes.