I have spent the last several days delivering leaflets for the Green Party candidate in my local election. Or rather I have spent the last few days trying to deliver leaflets. There would appear to be a growing conspiracy to prevent the delivery of all but the most assertive items.
My first obstacle was the gated community. No doubt many readers from the United States are already familiar with the concept of an enclave walled off from the uninvited; however until I am out there trying to deliver candidate information I forget how many private worlds there are within walking distance of my front door. Worlds where there is not even a single letterbox that can be accessed without passing the test of a concierge; or worse where there is only the blank face of a lock, each inhabitant reachable only by individual prior arrangement.
Striving for the same isolation, but trapped in a world that still includes unforeseen deliveries, are the fiefs who declaim that no junk mail should be posted. I have become used to seeing these in varying degrees of professionalism and vehemence such that I had thought their interest spent, but encountered a rare specimen last week: No post that we have not requested; denying not only the 2-for-1 pizza deals and the lawn trimming services but raising the question of whether one has, by act or omission, requested utility bills and letters from the local authority. My own view is that election materials are certainly not junk mail, and by registering to vote you have requested the knowledge of what you may vote for, so do not refrain on the basis of such notices. However, therein lies my issue with them: people who think about issues will think about whether they are posting junk mail; posters of true junk mail will happily ignore the notice; so the notice serves only to reduce the chances of mail that you might want.
Taking a different approach are the puzzle-makers. They have a letterbox but not where you would expect: Two feet behind a narrow-barred gate requiring stretch-armed fumbling; or on the back door not the front, reached by a steep and dark stair.
Least among the puzzle-makers, or adherents of the creed of compulsory exercise are those who make reaching the letterbox easy but using it hard: two inches above ground level requiring a stoop or crouch; six feet up with a powerful spring requiring a two-arm raise; two letter boxes one inside the other with different hinge points, requiring both strength and dexterity.
And for those who have neither charisma, strength, nor dexterity as their dump stat there is the willpower challenge posed by returning along a street already delivered. For no matter how short a time since you delivered, even the facing sides of a cul-de-sac might trigger this effect, there will be some of your leaflets lying in recycling bins, already discarded; your only consolation that they have been recycled and not thrown down and ground beneath a heel in disgust.
Have you ever delivered leaflets, and did it fill you with respect for postal workers? Do you have an unusual letterbox?