Mailboxes, Etc.

As most of you know, I live a little bit in the sticks. To set the stage, here's a picture of our post office:

There is no mail truck. The mail carrier drives around in a white 1977 chevy station wagon with "U.S. Mail" painted on the side -- in black paint. By hand. With a brush.

Given this level of commitment from the Federal Government, you can imagine that there isn't much in the way of regulations regarding the kind of mail receptacle you need to have at the end of whatever it is you call your driveway.

I took my camera to work one day, and on the way home, I took some pictures. These mailboxes are all within about 2 miles of my house.

First, let's start with my own:

It's old and rusty and loose (like me) and for some reason it looks like it took a straight-down shotgun blast to the head. The empty metal rings contained flowerpots sometime around 2002, but they've been barren ever since they filled with water, froze solid, then fell apart that winter. I am fairly certain that the ceramic shards are still on the ground underneath the ring, and years from now some archaeologist will be able to determine that the people who inhabited these lands were cheap and bought flowerpots at Walmart. All in all, though, it's a pretty bland specimen.

Down the street from me, you'll see the ever-popular milk jug mailbox holder:

There has to be at least 5 of these in a 3 mile radius from my house. This was the hip new thing sometime back in the late 70's I think -- I remember my mother looking all over hell for one of these stupid things. I still have no idea why. The only saving grace here is that it's not actually in the ground. That way, when the snowplow knocks it into next week, you can just stand it up again like the postal weeble that it is, and not have to worry about digging holes and replacing poles. These are also fun to knock over with baseball bats. I am basing this information on the sheer number of times I've seen this thing tipped over on my way to work.

The next one on my list is this one:

Coincidentally, it looks almost exactly like a smaller version of the trailer that it sits in front of, except I think that it has more windows, and the roof is in better shape. If it had wheels underneath, it would be perfect.

This next one raises an interesting question:

Should your mailbox be nicer than your actual house? I think that if I had to look at this every day as I pulled in the driveway, it would just fill me with bitter disappointment at the suckiness of my life. I would keep wishing I could somehow make myself really small and just move into my mailbox.

I find this next one a little bit of a mystery:

I figure that instead of buying a 15 dollar mailbox post, Mr. Mason decided to build a solid brick mailbox tower and then perch his mailbox atop this pedestal of fine workmanship. Somewhere along the line, however, I think Mr. Mason moved out and Mr. Steals-Scraps-From-Construction-Sites moved in. When the mortar finally started to break down, instead of buying a bag of mortar and fixing it up, he instead decided to just nail some pressboard and 1x4's around it in an attempt to keep it from toppling to the ground. So far so good, Mr. SSFCS. Six years and counting. You go.

This guy impressed me:

Whoever lives here obviously decided that he was going to put his mailbox up ONCE and never again. After coming to this conclusion, he ordered a telephone pole, tuned up his Stihl and went to work. After a few quick cuts with the saw, he buried the post 6 feet in the ground. God help the driver of the snowplow if he hits it, because he's going to be very surprised as he finds himself sailing head-first through the windshield of his truck.

I still marvel at this next one every time I drive by:

I am pretty sure this just broke off and fell into his yard one day back when the telegraph was still the best way to converse over long distances, and he just decided to strip the wires off, stick it in the ground and hang his mailbox off of it. I especially like the homemade L brackets and the fact that he went out of his way to hand-decorate it with a floral motif, because that really ties things together. The cherry on this particular sundae? The last name written in olde english script. Nice touch, Samuel Morse.

Last, but not least, we have this fantastic creation:

There are a few things I can deduce from this fine specimen.

The guy obviously loves golf, and is also probably single. There is absolutely No Fucking Way that any wife would let their husband put this at the end of the driveway, even if they live out in the sticks. Not happening. I can also tell you this: Every single time I drive by, I wish to god I had a giant five iron.

I'd still probably hit it into the woods, 5-putt that bitch and end up with a triple bogey, but it would be totally worth it.


  1. You would be amazed at what some wives allow.

    I, for example, have the most obnoxious giant LSU helmet as my mailbox.

    I'm not joking.

    I figure if he gets all hot and excited with that one thing and leaves the rest of the house the fuck ALONE, it's well worth it.

  2. I agree with Southern fried girl...us wives can be pretty generous in certain situations.

    I do like the house mailboxes though...and by like I mean I like to make fun of them.

  3. Anonymous5:59 PM

    Absolutely briliant! I've seen mailboxes that were knocked down so many times that the owners finally encased the suckers in brick and mortar. Voila! No more Mailbox Homeruns!

  4. I want to invite you to the game of LOST:

    Win $5,000!

  5. Those photos seemed pretty up close & personal! Weren't you afraid of getting shot while taking pictures out there in Sticks-ville?

  6. It looks like you live in a beautiful area. Seeing all the green makes me realize I really DO live in a desert.

    Your post office looks like a restroom at a campground. Love the post today!

  7. Um, yeah. It's not green right now. Right now it's under about 30" of snow. These are old pictures.

    SFG, I'm so sorry.

    KK, I have a good camera lens.

  8. I love it when you find a mailbox that costs more than the house it sits in front of. Reminds me of home.

  9. oh lord.. I needed a good laugh about now. Thanks for sharing.. my street doesn't even get mail service.. we have to pick ours up at the post office.

  10. Anonymous8:35 AM

    I love your Americana photo series.

  11. Were you playing Mailbox Baseball when you snapped these pics?

  12. JV, you should have a show on the travel channel. You could call it "Johnny Virgil's 15 Minute Trip Through The Sticks." It really makes us cityfolks appreciate the blandness that is city living.

  13. Anonymous12:25 PM

    JV - have you been awoken by a Holstein in your yard yet?

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  15. tfg - no, but man that last one is tempting, isn't it?

    R2K - As you can see by my complete lack of modifications to my own blog template, I have no idea what I like in a template.

    JTS - no cows, but have been awakened by my neighbor shooting his gun from his porch.

  16. What... no 30' high mailbox with the quippy "Air Mail" written on it?

    Our mail carrier when we lived in Wilton had a very similar vehicle to the one you described. USPS are some cheap bastards.

  17. I absolutely love to see the things people do in their yards.

    When I lived by the Ocean, the Mailboxes were decorated with (or made from) concrete dolphins, chains, sailboats, & various other marine leftovers.

    The creativity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

  18. OH well shit.

    My dad actually makes big gaudy personalized mail box posts and boxes. AAAAAAANd since he retired he's started making them as gifts and giving them to family members.

    He just can't wait for me to get a REAL home so he can make me one.

    Great. Just great.

  19. I'm scared.

    The moment I saw mailbox #5, off in the distance, I heard the dueling banjo riff from Deliverance.

    Hold me!

  20. Anonymous9:14 PM

    maven - no "Deliverance" music, JV is a Yankee. You just don't want to know what we get up to down South...

  21. Anonymous10:52 PM

    A good (bad?) idea would be a mailbox on a giant hinge, with half of the post hidden underneath with a hidden passageway to the top. There would be a bag of sour cream/dog poop on the bottom end. When someone hits it with a baseball bat, the mailbox goes down, other end comes up, and they get a poopy sour cream bag thrown at them.
    It's the perfect crime.

    Hey R2K, I noticed you have some flash on your blog... if you or anyone else can tell me how to put a .swf file in a post, I put a post up specifically asking how to do that.... leave a comment. Blog names in the profile.

  22. I am thoroughly impressed with the golf ball mailbox. I've seen bass fish boxes, dogs, log cabins and all sorts of other stuff but that is by far the most interesting. Our subdivision does not allow any mailbox competition. We must all succumb to the standard blue metal box the cookie cutter subdivision allows.

    Also, your post reminded me of riding along with someone in high school when they played mailbox baseball. If my parents only knew back then...

  23. JV ... nice nice nice.

    Up the street from me (up the road apiece?) there is one of those 30 foot high mailboxes. It is next to a normal mailbox, but written on the mile-high one in large letters... it says, "BILLS"

    Now that's what I call clever.

  24. Check this out - it's a mailbox alarm! When your mail arrives, an alarm goes off inside your house (up to 300 feet away) telling you that the mailman has come & gone.

    No idea if it can warn you that somebody's driving down your road playing mailbox baseball...

  25. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Great post, you make me laugh evey day. Thanks
    I was hoping to see the mail truck!

  26. Funny story! if you need to find a mailbox in the sticks try: