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The Fine Print

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Intriguing - I rather like British post boxes the red colour they are painted is a cheerful addition to the landscape. My mother has transformed her downstairs loo into a post box gallery with postcards and phographs of particularly fine examples of post boxes in the uk and abroad.

Post box design is highly politicised and after Queen Elizabeth ascended the thrown in the UK Scottish Nationalists objected to EIIR on the boxes as she is NOT the second Queen Elizabeth in Scotland and started a campaign of post box destruction. Apparently hiting them hard on the top makes them tend to shatter. Eventually the post office in Scotland just left off the II and all our post boxes post 50's have just ER on them.



This IS a curious thing. And when people do enhance their mailboxes, it's often so cutesy and folksy that one longs for stamped gray steel again. Mailboxes have made our local news three times in the last decade (to my recollection). Someone went to a lot of work to make a masonry and stuccoed structure to house his mailbox. It was a tad odd but well done. But then the old lady living next door complained because it looked just like a headstone in a graveyard and it was creeping her out. Made the front page. Before that, it was a standard metal mailbox that made the front page after a mail bomb was discovered in it (didn't go off, fortunately). They were chasing a mail bomber across the country and eventually got him, I believe. It was part of that story. And then the typical mailbox story: mailbox baseball. I was still living out on a county road and we got hit a few times. My retired engineer neighbor said, that's it. He asked if he could add our mailbox to the structure he wanted to build, which he did. He wanted to be sure that the next batter would either break his bat or his wrists. So, like, you know, anyway, I think one reason for standardization of mailboxes is the P.O. itself and the need for efficiency. A cheap, standard, recognizable mailbox for everyone.

TJ Goerlitz

Hello Mr. Brilliant! The metal US Mailbox is occasionally seen here in Germany and I always get a visual of people packing their clothes into the mailbox and then the mailbox into their suitcase. They might be ugly, but when I see one I get all mushy and homesick anyway!! xoxoxo tj

John Ptak

Dear TJ: danke! The modern German mailbox as a suitcase for a suitcase? Curious! There are plenty of good mailbox designs throughout the world, just not in the U.S., though.

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