Sunday, January 31, 2021


Friday my daughter received a message that something she had ordered was being returned to sender because it couldn’t be delivered. She went out to the mailbox to see what was going on. She was surprised.

What on earth took this thing out?   We didn’t hear anything untoward. Could it have simply come loose from the ground by itself, or was it the victim of foul play? Feel free to send me your theories, both likely and fanciful.

In the meantime we have to go to the post office to fetch our mail.

The communal mailboxes are such a quirky Columbia thing, to my mind. I wonder if they even still make them. Are they antiques? An obsolete remnant of our community’s past? Is there a warehouse somewhere in Columbia where the last few of their kind wait to be deployed? 

If you travel outside of the Columbubble more than I, you may have reason to know whether communal mailboxes are more widely in use in other places. I certainly had never seen them before I moved here. Most of the time they work just fine for us. We have had the occasional mishap where a letter carrier was so eager to avoid walking up to our house that they wedged a dubiously large package into our mailbox, rendering all mail extraction impossible. Other than that, walking down to get the mail is just a part of our daily lives and we don’t mind it.

What if you had to design an “all new for 2021” Columbia communal mailbox? What would it look like? Would it have any new design features or cool technological capabilities? Or do you get so little mail these days that the entire concept feels obsolete to you?

In the meantime, if you have any information as to what brought this poor mailbox to a bad end, let me know. 

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