Delivering free newspapers with my brother was brilliant fun. I was thinking about this today, when my mind had wandered onto the subject of letterboxes.(mail boxes)
Letterboxes vary around the world. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any other country but the UK, who gets their mail delivered through a slot by their front door. When we lived in America, we had used to virtually stalk the mailman at times. We would hide out of sight, anxiously awaiting news from home. The sight of that little red flag had filled us with excitement. The thing I had loved about America was the fact that they did not just deliver the mail, they would also collect it from our mailbox.
I went on a mail run with a New Zealand mailman. It was an experience I will never forget. I saw toilets being used as mailboxes. The mailman, had simply lifted the lid and deposited the mail. There is something appealing about the concept of having all your bills deposited in a toilet. We had also had the thrilling experience of visiting an actual Maori village. The Marae /Meeting House had been particularly magnificent. I have a vague recollection that my friend had been propositioned by the son of the village chief.
In the UK, post is deposited directly into people’s homes, via something called a letterbox. My brother and I had had endless fun delivering the free newspaper locally. In the UK there are a lot of jokes about dogs and postmen, with good reason. There was one particular flat(apartment) which had always caused us issues. I think I had tended to be the one saddled with delivering their newspaper. Their dog had been particularly terrifying. It would crouch under the letterbox, ready to grab the newspaper and if at all possible, also my hand. Occasionally I would give this dog a dose of its own medicine and play tug of war with the newspaper. We had had a dog at home with whom I had often played tug of war with an old stuffed sock so I had been used to this. I think I had finally given up on delivering to this flat, the day I had shoved the newspaper through the door and run, only to hear the sound of it being torn to shreds before it had even hit the floor.
I just found this video, apparently this is not an isolated experience.
My mother had been encouraged to use a walking stick. She was deeply unhappy about the idea. I had thought how I would have handled the issue. I knew I would have gone out and bought myself the most brightly coloured and garish stick, I could find.
I had found Mum, a beautiful walking stick, decorated with delicate flowers (I had known she would not have gone for fluorescent colours like me.) I had then gone to the post office and posted it off.
I will never forget my mother’s thank you email. She had thanked me profusely and mentioned how she had proudly walked down the street with her new stick, immediately upon receiving it. However I had also discovered how out of touch I had become with some of our British ways. Apparently my mother had heard all these noises coming from her front door and had listened perplexed. She had eventually realised that the poor old postman was trying to stuff a big, long parcel through her letterbox.
Yes you guessed it. It was the walking stick.
I doubt he had needed a workout that day.
Source:Most Amazing Pictures:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEH6fJZMr20R6hYHobmKuiQ