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Kids, Don't Try This At Home

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I was writing an old-fashioned snail-mail card to my brother tonight when I suddenly remembered how, back when I moved cross country during high school, I printed my new return address on an envelope under the name of a fictional correctional institute. (I used a fake logo and everything.) Then I wrote to some of my friends in crayon, telling them how much I reeeeally liked them and missed them.

Let's just say I found out which friends' parents had a good sense of humor with that stunt. (And some most definitely did not. Ha!)

We made a game of inventing ridiculously long titles for each other on our letters, too. Things like "His Supreme Arbiter of All Trekkie Goodness" or "She Who Wields The Phenomenal Cosmic Power." (My friend Chris and I were HUGE Aladdin fans. We still quote it at each other to this day.)

I was about to say we've kind of lost that opportunity for fun these days, but then I remembered the envelope that arrived yesterday from 13-year-old Epbot reader Brie, covered in cat stickers. (Thanks, Brie!) And this return envelope a reader included when asking for an Epbot button:


In fact, a lot of what arrives in my PO box each month is addressed to "Her Cakey Goddess" or "Crafty Queen of all Steampunkiness" or what-have-you, and those that don't are usually covered in cute/geeky stickers and doodles and funny little sayings. Every one makes me smile. Every one reminds me how much fun mail can still be. And, from now on, every one will remind me how much trouble you can cause with a fake logo and a few crayon-scrawled pages.  :D

Posted by Jen at 9:47 PM Labels: , ,

35 comments:

  1. When we want to have mail fun we mail things to my nephews without packaging. Anything that weighs less than 13 oz that you can put postage on can be mailed first class super cheap. We've mailed messages in plastic water bottles, play balls, sand buckets, etc.

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  2. Why would your friend's parents not find the correctional institute thing funny - I think it's creative!

    Allie

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  3. HEE! When I was in college, a friend of mine from HS (at a different university) and I would send mail from the SSD (Schizophrenic Students Disassociation), complete with faux questionnaires and crazed doodles on the envelopes. I'm having a really crappy week (even with your input!), but remembering that made me smile for realz.

    Also, I know you have a zillion things you do, but trading ATCs by mail is a ton of fun. I used to do it a lot, until I lost myself in other things. I miss that thrill in the mail, though...

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  4. One of my best friends in high school spent every summer at cadet camp and always complained that no one ever sent her any mail. One summer, after listening to her complain for months the four of us who stayed behind came up with a plan to make her postal dreams come true....and slowly drive her mad in the process.

    We spent the summer devising the most annoying and irritating letters possible including:
    - a five page letter with each page mailed in a separate envelope
    - a letter written in a spiral
    - a letter written in Russian (none of us speak Russian)
    - letters written in yellow and orange ink....impossible to read.
    - there was even one folded into a variety of origami shapes.

    Needless to say, she never complained about not receiving any letters ever again. :P

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  5. Haha I love that idea . . . I am getting ready to move maybe I should do that for my change of address cards. LOL!

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  6. See, now I want to write to you, just so I can have fun decorating the envelope. :-D

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  7. I mail my 5 year old nephew a postcard every once in a while, even though he only lives about 50 miles away from me. He thinks it's the greatest thing ever. And I'll admit, it's fun to write them.

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  8. My friend and I weren't that creative but we were obsessed w/Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure to the point our nicknames were Bill & Ted. In reality our names are Diana & Heather. She moved out of state before we grew out of this phase and would send letters addressed to/from Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire.

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  9. When my best friend moved away in high school we were huge fans of the show Christy and would write fan fiction. We took turns writing chapters and would mail the whole ever-growing story back and forth. It got to the point it wouldn't fit in a standard envelope and we weren't smart enough to use a Manilla envelope so it eventually stopped and got misplaced.

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  10. A few years back, I had a friend that I met in World of Warcraft. Eventually we came to the idea of writing snail mail letters to each other, even though we talked to each other practically every day.

    It got to the point where I was marking down fun and interesting things that happened, rather than telling him, so that I would have something to write about, but, oh! How wonderful it was to receive those letters!

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  11. YAY! I am SO glad you got my package! :D It was worth it to have a bunch of people in the post office watch me meticulously cover the envelope. :) Makes me so happy to know you liked it.

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  12. Your mailman must love you. At our old place, ours would through a hissy fit if something was accidentally addressed to our street address instead of the PO Box (they didn't deliver mail to our street, which is just BIZARRE in a town of less than 300 people). I can't imagine what she would have done with creative names!

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  13. When I sent my envelope for my pin I was in such a hurry (going out of town) that I didn't have time to decorate it the way I normaly do. I was totaly bummed, now I am crushed. I feel so disapointed in myself.

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  14. At the holidays every year I pick about five or so family or friends and allow my husband to do their cards.
    He does such bizarre and funny stuff that I think secretly people hope they get picked for that year.
    One time he was munching on some chips while filling out a special card and instead of signing it just wrote a single word. "Enjoy" and sprinkled in some chips sealed it and sent it off. I swear if it were not for the return address they would never have guessed who it was from.
    I can't wait till this years cards to see what he is going to come up with!

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  15. When I was in college, I mailed a few of my friends a vinyl playground ball with a postcard type letter written on them. The mailman who stamped them for me at the post office was really old and gave me a weird look, hehe. But everyone got their spherical "package" without a problem. =)

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  16. My husband and I send out anywhere from a dozen to 2 dozen postcards at least every other month, sometimes more often. They're either really weird postcards- "We missed you at Sunday School" or other odd things- or they're as boring as can be (many old postcards are boring pictures of freeways or dull-as-dirt motels or office buildings), to which we add entertaining stickers. Family & friends often tell us how much they appreciate getting them, even though we don't get many back. But it's fun just to send them out. For sure one will be headed your way soon!

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  17. Man, I knew there were others out there like me! My best friend and I STILL put funny return address names when we send each other birthday cards! It's always a famous person's name. I also once put together an entire college package for her and sent it to her when she graduated high school. I wrote a letter from the dean, included a map of the campus, a list of freshman classes, who knows how long i took to put this together. The last page was a letter from me saying I GOTCHA! I even got my dad to send it from the state where the college was located (he's an airline pilot). She and her dad ACTUALLY FELL FOR IT, I couldn't believe it!

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  18. "we were obsessed w/Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure to the point our nicknames were Bill & Ted. In reality our names are Diana & Heather."

    LOL! My friend Erica and I (I'm Andrea) did that too! And yes, we'd write notes to each other in class from Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esq. She was Bill because she was short and blonde. I was Ted because I was tall and had dark hair. We even dressed as Bill and Ted for Halloween!

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  19. i luuurve me some aladdin, def top 3 fav movies of all time

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  20. My name is Amy and my best friend started calling me Aim Toothpaste and when she moved out of state I would get mail addressed to Aim Toothpaste. I would then reply to the Tooth Fairy. The postman told my mom that he loved to deliver mail to us as it made him laugh! Thanks for reminding me of the fun she and I had (and still do!)

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  21. Phenomenal Cosmic Power is overrated. After all, to get it, you need to put up with the itty bitty living space.

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  22. When Christmas cards from the cat or dog first came out, I was living up in New York City and my folks were down on the Jersey shore. And they had a cat named Bruce.

    I saw this really cute card from the cat, so I got it to mail to them. But I decided to have some fun. I held a pen between my hands like I had paws and both signed the card and address the envelope that way. Even used a pencil eraser to do a little paw print on the card. And mailed it off.

    My mom later told me she thought I was drunk when she saw the envelope.

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  23. You always talk about getting mail - but what's the mailing address??? :)

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  24. I once shipped a package to a friend with a label on the top that read "Caution Men Working Below" and a label on the bottom that said "Caution Men Working Above" The clerk at the Post Office thought it was hysterical...

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  25. I love snail mail. LOVE IT. I send the people on my mailing list all sorts of things whenever I can afford it. It's fun, helps me keep in touch with them without feeling like I am selling something all the time, and tey get neat stuff like cookies and tea. (for national chocolate chip day and international tea month, respectively) I just hope they enjoy getting stuff as much as I enjoy sending it!
    My friend Bean and I were fantastic pen pals for a very long time, Then someone made email really east to aquire. Then Zuckerberg invented Facebook.

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  26. Ha! My friends and I would do stuff like this all the time. One of our favorite things to do was put a movie quote as the letter head, then make decorations that had to do with that quote.

    My favorite was when my friend quoted Spaceballs "No...They've gone to PLAID!" and EVERYTHING was decorated plaid-like. It was hilarious.

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  27. As a postal employee, I love this post.
    I always enjoy working the mail and getting the "really colorful" pieces. We are not technically allowed to read anything on the mail, but sometimes, you just can't help it when it's sitting right in front of you.
    The "Jail mail" always amuses me, because there is always some really sappy message on the outside of the envelope and they pay someone in cigarettes or candy bars to draw a picture on it for them.
    I also love to see the mail from pre-teens in love. It's like watching Twighlight without the vampires and werewolves. LOL

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  28. Oh- Yeah- Just remember You can mail anything first class under 13oz's but don't put it in an envelope and expect it to get there unharmed if it's something with any bulk to it. Pens, buttons, bracelets, rings... All that stuff jams our machines and ruins whatever is inside. Use a padded mailer or pay the extra postage to have it sent as a parcel instead of a letter.
    Love from your postal workers!
    Nowhere To Go But Crazy

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  29. Snail mail will alway, always, always be cooler than anything electronic.

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  30. I sent my mother a post card or letter everyday for the 8 years she was in a nursing home. I printed out special address stickers and covered the envelopes in stickers. She really liked showing them off until she couldn't think anymore. I also sent postcards everyday to my daughter when she was in college. I used art museum and other interesting postcards. One week I missed sending out the cards and the guy that processed the mail at my daughter's dorm. Asked her if everything was okay, because he missed my cards, especially the nudes. LOL

    In 100 years, no one will be sighing over the emails of their great great grandparents, but the cards and letters, those will be saved.

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  31. Karma rocks! I sent the envelope, loved receivimg it with the button. Oh yeah, it's my birthday! John & Jen, you 2 rock for taking that picture & saving it for today! As usual, the comments rival the post for laugh out loud humor, Thanks!

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  32. So glad people still send snail mail. I was lamenting the demise of letter-writing when I learned students no longer spend much time learning cursive handwriting. You all have inspired me to sit down and write some notes this weekend. Thanks for that!

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  33. For my friend's birthday I bought a plush microbe of Anthrax from Giant Microbes, and sealed it in a shipping box all addressed and stamped out to her. Wasn't silly enough to actually MAIL it (we also lived together) but handed it to her on the day and told her it came in the mail.

    So I sent her Anthrax in the mail. ^^ She still thinks its one of the best presents ever.

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  34. I have a deep love of sending "HAPPY MAIL!" (Which is what I call sending random objects without packaging.) I am currently in the process of mailing an entire set of penguin bowling pins one at a time, at the end I will send the ball. Every summer i send the invites to our river days on Frisbees. At least a few times a week I am mailing something odd and the man that runs our tiny little post office LOVES it! I have been exchanging completely random cards with a friends as well, He wishes me a happy 60th birthday, I congratulate him on his bat mitzvah...

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