Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 10 Weird, Strange, and Unexpected Things You Could Find In your Mail Box

Day 6 ... of ten straight days of Top Ten lists in anticipation of the arrival of October 10th, 2010. Why do I care so much about 10/10/10? Hell if I know, but a guy's gotta blog about something right. Feel free to join in any or all of the days with your own lists or expand on any of mine.



I have encountered some strange things in the mail stream during my 18 year career at the old post office. Today I am going to share a few.

The Top 10 Weird, Strange, and Unexpected Things You Could Find In your Mail Box.

10. Anthrax - I'm breaking form and getting serious for a moment. No I have never actually encountered anthrax myself but in September of 2001, just after 9/11 two postal workers at the Brentwood mail facility in Washington, D.C lost their lives after being exposed to the spores.

9. Fruit - I do not mean boxes containing fruit I mean fruit with a stamp and address plastered on it and mailed. coconuts, pineapples, and bananas.

8.  Bugs - Ladybugs, crickets and bees are the most prevalent. I am not sure what they ladybugs are packed in but let me tell you they stink something fierce. In case you are wondering the ladybugs are ordered by farmers as they eat crop damaging aphids. The crickets I assume are food for other critters and I guess the bees are used in honey production. Honey Productions. Sounds like the name of a porn film company.

7. Stool Samples - This one may not shock you  heck maybe you've even took a dump on a card and mailed it yourself. But think of we postal workers on the other end. One or two such cards would not be bad but when you collect a whole tray full it weighs heavy on your mind that you now have a box full of human shit on your hands.

6. Prison Art - I am constantly amazed at the talent of those behind bars. They artfully decorate the envelopes and when a bath of prison mail comes through I try and check out the envelopes. I like it when they draw a stamp on instead of actually purchasing one. No, they do not get away with it as our machines look for and detect the phosphorous in the stamp.
5. Critters - Snakes, game cocks, baby chicks. Nothing says fun like a bunch of skittish Postal Employees when a box full of baby snakes comes open.
4. Severed Dog Head - Back in the day i worked something called the 110 belt. It was where sacks of mail containing parcels was dumped for hand cancellation and initial sortation. Not sure if it is still the case but back then in order for an animal to be tested for rabies the severed head had to be sent to a lab. We got several of these through the mail but only once did i pick up a box only to have the bottom fall out. Staring down at the dog head I had only one thought ,  heads are gonna roll around here if any one sees this.

3. Severed Finger - Okay, so no one mailed said finger. It actually belonged to a coworker. An old man who should have retired a full decade before he "cut" his finger making dispatch. only after the mail had been load on the truck and sent off did he realize his cut was not merely a cut. The entire tip of his pinkie was missing. The whole joint stopped what we were doing to search for the digit, but to no avail. It was finally decided upon that he had sent his finger on with the mail.

2. Grandpa Charlie -  Yes, you can mail ashes via the US Postal Service. In case you were wondering. The remains must go as registered mail.

1. Bloody Tampon - Yep it showed up right there on the 110 belt out of a tray gathered from the main collection box. Now I get the fact some people do not like the postal service. they blame us for bills, junk mail, and log lines at the counter. and i understand that a woman's emotions are taking a roller coaster ride at that time of the month, but really is it necessary to take the thing out of you and stuff it in the nearest mailbox? That is one package that needs to be marked RETURN TO SENDER.

17 comments:

the walking man said...

OKIE DOKIE there really isn't much to say about that compendium of mail. I am glad and thank you that you mentioned stink in a different context from STINK.

DrillerAA09 said...

Seems like it's a lose, lose situation for the animal being tested for rabies.

Terri Tiffany said...

You have given me new respect for my mail people. Oh my goodness on the dog head. I never dreamed all that stuff is shipped. Just figured it was a bucket of nice mail.

Bee said...

Very interesting post. I will avoid some of the grosser entries to focus in on prison art. That fascinates me! Is it illegal to take pictures of it?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm getting a sense of what your next memoir will be about . . . .

Charles Gramlich said...

Your stool comment makes me think of the southpark episode where Cartman was showing butters the poop swatches to chose from in punishing his parents.

Jessica Nelson said...

Eeeek! Those are hilarious and DISGUSTING!

sybil law said...

Oh.My.God.
Hahahaha
and eeewwww.....

Old Kitty said...

Wow. Used tampons, faeces, dead and live creatures, stamps on actual fruit, drawn stamps... it's too too bizarre. I think I need to lie down now and think only good thoughts!

Take care
x

sage said...

Wow, I never knew I could mail such things... And hopefully will never have to. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I took the photo in my heading in Capital Reef National Park (your heading photo looks like it could be in the hills just east of Cedar City, UT).

AvDB said...

I've ordered bugs through the mail. Sorry about that. I had a mite problem in my yard. :/

That anthrax thing was part of a freaky triumvirate for those of us living in the D.C. area: Sept. 11, anthrax, D.C. snipers. No one wanted to open their mail, get gas, or go to any of the D.C. tourist sites.

jjdebenedictis said...

Re: #8

I know what the bees are for!

Greenhouses need bees to pollinate the plants, so they buy bees-in-a-box, a sort of portable hive.

Heff said...

I feel your pain. lol !!!

T. Anne said...

Oh yuck to some of those! But yay to fruit! I've always wanted to send someone a coconut when I visit Hawaii. So they really do make the trek and arrive OK? It's amazing!!!

Mary Witzl said...

My husband delivered the mail for two years and he couldn't get over some of the things he found...but I'll have to tell him about that last one of yours. It's bad enough that he's got four females at home -- five if you count the cat.

And a dog's head? Who feels like forking out postage for a dog's head?

Tabitha Bird said...

Well I will never be a post officer now. Gosh! Who knew?

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm happy to say I have never had anything close to the list of things delivered to me that you describe here. I make things pretty easy for my letter carrier by just getting normal stuff.

Though I wish I could so something about those rejections....