Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Neighborhood Mystery is Afoot. . .

A few days ago, I walked out to get the mail. When I got there, I was quite puzzled by the sudden appearance of this:

NO, not all the dirt and grime on our mailbox. That's always been there and has no projection of being removed any time soon.

A raised, green reflective dot, about the size of a quarter, had suddenly appeared.

Why? Who decided that I needed a reflective dot on my mailbox? Isn't it a federal crime to mess with mail or MAIL CONTAINERS?

So I started looking around.

Across the street: Freddy and Christie had the very same dot.

(You can see it's reflective properties in that picture)

I widened my investigation. Next door: They had a RED dot!!!!

In fact, upon further investigation, most of our neighbors had the RED dot.

But then, some neighbors had no dot at all (for instance, Alice had NO dot, which assuaged my fears that they were marking bloggers).

(Then again, Freddy hasn't blogged in about 10 1/2 decades, so he most likely wouldn't have gotten marked in that case)

Ali and I did an unofficial mailbox survey while out on a walk yesterday and discovered that:
  • 33.65% of mailboxes had no dot .
  • 64.35% of mailboxes had red dots.
  • In the whole neighborhood, there were only two houses with green dots. Ours and Freddy and Christie's.
I am quite puzzled as to the meaning of these dots.

Are we marked for execution?

Or are all the red dots marked for execution and we're marked to be spared?

My un-fun, logical theories are:
  • There's a new person doing the newspaper route who can't read numbers, so in true equal opportunity form, someone went through and marked with colors. Maybe green means we get the weekend papers only, red means daily, and no dot means no paper. (I need to survey Alice and Freddy and Christie's paper practices to help prove this theory.)

  • Maybe they are related to garbage pickup. (Although this would be a riot since we've never paid for our garbage pickup due to being completely unable to get them to send us a bill. Half the time I think that they just pick up everybody's garbage without regard to the fact that we have no sticker, and the other half of the time I think that it must be on auto-draft out of the former house-owner's checking account, and in a very un-accounting like fashion, they never look at it. Oops.)
My preferable, more inventive theories are:
  • Someone is going through and marking the excellent neighbors (green), the bad neighbors (red) and the neutral or hermit neighbors (no dot). We are being classified and a neighborhood caste system is being created. Which means, of course, that we are at the top echelon of neighborhood caste society. YESSSS.

  • A city is finally looking at annexing us and is surveying the neighborhood for people who already have code violations. Like, for instance,
    • The man with 200 white homing pigeons in his backyard (housed in 6 huge birdhouses) = non-annex material.
    • The people with the skateboard park in their backyard = non-annex material.
    • Freddy and Christie, with their immaculate yard, house, and fence = annex material.
    • But then again, we have a green dot. So I guess that blows that theory.
Anyone else have any theories?

Or better yet, has anyone else had any mysterious mailbox dottage happen in your neighborhood?

This post was originally published at my personal blog, Grasping for Objectivity in my Subjective Life, on May 14, 2009


courtne450 said...

My husband's parents have the dot (green). He says he's pretty sure it has to do with trash pick up.

courtne450 said...

But of course they get the paper too... hmmm

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

LOL! I have heard of this, maybe it even happened to our neighborhood one time. I wondered if it had something to do with city services or mail?
Good Luck.
Keep blogging. LOL!

3girlsmom said...

I think it has to do with newspaper delivery. Weekend delivery, daily delivery, Sunday only, etc.....

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Ahhh, Rachel, we too have the dots on our mailboxes too. And we've often wondered out loud what it means. A couple years ago I took off all the dots & refreshed my black mailbox with spraypaint and alas, the dots are back, so I give up. I had thought it was something to do with mail service, but maybe it is the newspaper delivery. Don't know, but you're right, it IS a mystery. Maybe we'll solve it this time! :)

Valerie said...

lol Yes it is definitely the paper. We have had them on our mail box too. I know because I actually seen our paper lady doing it!

Stacey said...

Yes, we have the green dot. I wondered where we got it. Thanks, Valerie for solving the mystery!

trav said...

One of our delivery interns also runs newspapers. I asked, and he said the reflective dots are newspaper delivery code.
So they know what paper the house gets on what days.
He summed it up with "It's awfully dark at three in the morning."
Hard to argue with that.
I had never heard of such, pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

might be something a little more serious then just a dot for the paper-boy

wake up america..

Anonymous said...

will have to copy n paste link..sorry.

If this little dot on your mailbox had something to do with your paper route you would be informed, also its def. not the paper-boy marking the "good" and "bad" could a person do a large amount of house without looking suspicious or handing out a notice with it!

kwgood83 said...

haha. well maybe i am the one who put the dots on your mailbox.... they are for the newspaper route..... different colors are for different subscription types.... your not marked no worried

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