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FEEDBACK: Queensland's strange letterboxes

Adrian Martin, of Townsville, North Queensland, Australia, has told us of his encounters with strange letterboxes (mailboxes in US). He sent us this email:

I read the article on mailboxes with interest. My foster son and I took on a junk mail run here in tropical Townsville some months ago, and believe me, I'm sure it keeps me fit. As Townsville has almost no footpaths (no-one walks), the great majority of our cycling is across folks' front lawns.

We certainly see our share of strange mailboxes, and we soon learned which ones were set like a mousetrap, and would disintegrate as soon as anything was placed in them! Usually the houses with two 4WDs parked in the drive.

There is an Australian standard for mailboxes, so I'm told, and they're supposed to be able to take an A4 envelope. Most have a nice wide section at the top for what we deliver - the dreaded junk mail - whereas others hardly have room for a telegram to fit inside.

In case readers think that junk mail deliverers are grossly overpaid, I've calculated that after collating, wrapping and cycling around the streets, we get $3.00 an hour! But it's three hours' cycling twice a week at 30-34C that I wouldn't normally get to do. I think I'll quit when I reach 70.
- Adrian Martin,

Story first posted May 2005

Copyright 2005

Eric Shackle

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