I don’t admit this to too many people, but if you know me at all it won’t surprise you: The biggest highlight of my day is going to the mailbox to get the mail. And I’m talking about days when I go out to a real restaurant for lunch, get a new pair of jeans, and have a week off from carpool. Those things are all overshadowed by the 15 seconds that it takes me to walk out my front door, down the walk, down the driveway and to the mailbox, where upon opening it, I find that Brian the Mailman has been there like a little elf in the night and left me presents of paper and envelopes.
Man, that is nice.
More than 40 years of opening mailboxes six days a week and finding mail in there, and I still get a little flutter. (“What?! What’s this?! Is this for me?? Did someone send something tome?”)
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Which is why I’m surprised that the same chain mail frenzy that’s happening with e-mail hasn’t happened with regular mail. Oh sure, we used to do those chain letters – the ones that started out “This is perfectly legal” where you were supposed to send a dollar or a Golden Book or a recipe to someone on the list and then sit back and wait for your own avalanche of millions of dollars, dozens of copies of The Pokey Little Puppy, or Spam recipes from a pyramid of billions of people. (I even got one for dishtowels. I kid you not.)
But Fun with Mail never really gained a lot of momentum. I think it’s because as much as we all love to get things in the mail, we can’t be bothered to find an envelope that doesn’t have a phone message scrawled on it and a stamp for the modern-day correct amount of postage. Let alone lift a finger to prepare something to put inside the envelope.
Some people are big on sending out mail, but they’re businesses and non-profits and The Pottery Barn. And then there’s the KSU Alumni Association, which if they could bottle their mail marketing techniques, could rake in millions and never have to charge admission for another Flashes football game.
If I ever was in the witness protection program, KSU Alumni would crack the code, see through the disguise, find me, and, for a $35 annual renewal of my alumni dues, would keep quiet about it.
I’m going to try to start sending out more things by mail. Not just letters, but more interesting stuff. I just put in the mail yesterday five Hillary campaign stickers for my friend Chris. I’m trying to revive an old thing we used to have going, where I bug him long distance. I once mailed him half a case of Genesee Cream Ale, one can at a time, from New Jersey to Chicago. I think I can come up with enough Democratic candidates’ campaign chum to fill his mailbox from here to November ’08.
Brian, a warning: Next week may be payback time.