return to sender


mailboxI trot out to the local —

Mailbox. I have an envelope that needs to hit the mailbox by 5 pm. I know it has to get there by 5 pm because I know pick up schedules. And I have time. It is 4:35. It is three blocks. Easy. I trot along. Get to my corner.

And. The mailbox is not there.


To an observer this probably looks like a bad reality TV show. I am standing paralyzed on the sidewalk looking up the street, down the street, checking landmarks, my corner, street signs, and the spot the mailbox should be in.

No mailbox. In its place there is a huge triangular sided metal structure with movie posters and advertisements on each side and at the top it says “information.”

I think, Yeah, I would like some information, like where did you take my mailbox.


All is not lost. I still have fifteen minutes to make it to a mailbox. I turn and hoof it for my other mailbox. Time is shorter now. And. This mailbox is further away. In the other direction. This means going back three blocks I just covered and then another five to get to a more distant box. But no biggy right?

Until I get there.



Freaking aliens.


where the art work comes from :
that is from redcrashpad

0 Responses to return to sender

  1. You know what they say: once is an accident, twice a coincidence and three times, enemy action. Better check another mailbox.

  2. max

    Those are the only two I used regularly I do not get just arbitrarily removing them. Now I must find new mail boxes. :::grrrr:::

  3. Unless… you amble past them tomorrow, now that your deadline is gone, and find they’ve returned…

  4. This is a disturbing new trend. The USPS has done this all over the place to consolidate routes and cut costs. There used to be one right in front of my building… Not anymore.

  5. max

    So how does that work? They are no longer picking up mail and are renting out advertising where the boxes used to be instead? Who is going to tell Kevin Costner?

  6. No no no. No rational explanations please:

    ‘There’s nothing else for it,’ said Jim. ‘We’re going to have to steal the post boxes.’

    ‘Mailboxes,’ muttered John.

    The others nodded, resignedly.

    It was unfortunate, but there it was. They’d tried everything else. Bribery. Cajolery. Chocolate. Prostituting themselves. Additional cats. Fluffier cats. Cats so rare that even the pedigree circuit hadn’t heard of them. But the bloody woman wouldn’t budge.

    ‘We’ve asked around and her schedule is always the same. She sends the letters as close to the deadline as possible. And on Mondays she’s always at home. So she’ll likely use either this one,’ Jim thumped the map blue tacked to the wall. ‘…this one, or this one.’

    Tom frowned. ‘Can’t we just get into her flat-‘

    ‘Appartment,’ muttered John.

    ‘-and deal with the problem there?’

    ‘Well. Half inching-‘

    ‘Ganking,’ muttered John.

    ‘-her post-‘

    ‘Mail,’ muttered John.

    ‘- won’t get us all that far. She’d just write more. Be thankful she’s got this thing about little green men reading her emails, or we’d be looking at some snot nosed 15 year old hacking into her laptop. And just remember what happened last time we tried that.’

    The others nodded, shudderingly.


    ‘No,’ muttered John.

    ‘I meant, you know, deal with her,’ said Tom.

    There was a moment of silence.

    ‘Crikey Nora, Tom-‘

    ‘Bejezus’ muttered John.

    ‘-we’re advertising executives, not the mafia.’ Jim was not amused. ‘Besides, it’s been tried. Her flat-‘

    ‘Appartment,’ muttered John.

    ‘-is locked up tighter than the Bank of England these days-‘

    ‘Fort Knox,’ muttered John.

    ‘- so that’s why we’re going after the post boxes.’

    ‘Mail boxes,’ muttered John.

    And in the end it was easy. They all dressed up in the traditional blue uniform – John muttered a bit about the Royal Mail logo but everyone ignored him – and waited until their target had posted her letters and shuffled back out of sight. Removing the blue boxes and bundling them into the back of the vans was the work of moments what with the special drill, and replacing them with some advertising hoardings to cover up the holes took barely longer. John wasn’t too happy that the flyers were mostly for West End musicals and tidy little bistos in Soho, but he was over ruled on that one too on the grounds that no one ever looks at these things anyway.

    In fact, their only dodgy moment was when some leggy blonde showed up at not one but two of the boxes almost before they’d got properly squared away. But as she just scowled at the first and kicked the bulletin board at the second, they reckoned they’d got away with it.

    Back at the office, Jim was jubilant. ‘Here it is,’ he crowed, holding an envelope aloft. ‘End our careers this could have. Bad enough that we were chased out of the UK by that pedantic bint and her petitions. But who’d have thought her cousin would turn out to be the Good Grammar Crusader herself, the woman who has brought down more publishers, newspaper editors and grocers than most of us have had hot dinners?’

    ‘TV diners,’ muttered John.

    ‘I mean we’ve got all these posters from that aborted campaign at ASDA all ready to roll. We couldn’t have this landing on the desk of the boss-‘

    ‘CEO,’ muttered John.

    ‘-of Wallmart, could we?’

    And he held up the letter for them all to see.

    Dear Sir,

    It has been brought to my attention that your company is planning to eradicate free plastic bags at the point of sale, and that the slogan that will be used to inform people of this move will read ‘Together we can use less bags!’

    While I applaud the action you are taking, I cannot but shudder at your use of English. I must implore that no national campaign sullies our great tongue by butchering the difference between the countable and uncountable nouns.

    I am confident, however, that this remains an oversight, and that by the time the posters reach our stores they will, of course, read ‘Together we can use fewer bags’.


    [Solnushka’s cousin]

  7. Pingback: On tall tales. « Verbosity

  8. Whoa- people still use the mail?
    ( Just kidding )

  9. I’m pretty sure this was an episode of Twilight Zone. It means you’re dead. Sorry.

  10. max

    Damn I hate it when that happens.

  11. Loved the picture to the post – and the story is fab, Sol

  12. petecrow

    … max: this is a classic.

  13. max

    Thanks Sol, thanks Pete.

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