For some odd reason this picture kind of reminds of those fabled elephant graveyards.  I can imagine a postal truck wandering off like an old elephant, putting along, looking for a place to lie down and turn off his flashers. 

“300,000 miles,” the old truck groans. “Yup, I reckon that’ll just about do it…”


Think Neil Armstrong, Shackleton, Lewis and Clark…

The Mailman!

For what is the mailman, if not a dashing adventurer wrapped in blue?  Does he not daily brave the sidewalks of America, that place where the average citizen roams wild, unhindered and real?  Does he not tackle blizzards, endure tempests, wrestle frothy-mouthed dogs, overcome mobs of sticky children, and yes, successfully navigate those bizarre and unique spaces most commonly known as lawns?

Yes, the mailman does it all.  But few have chronicled his tales of adventure… that is, until now!

In a style that’s decidedly humorous, not encyclopedic, quirky, but not in need of psychiatric care, letter carrier, Austin Brown, recounts fifteen years of postal life as a mailman.  The doors are thrown wide open, and like the contents of a fragile parcel, the mysteries of postal life are shattered, revealing the inner workings in all their brilliant glory.  So step into a world not unlike a Norman Rockwell painting, but one where the neighborhood dog is firmly latched on the mailman’s leg. 

It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Buy the book not only for a good laugh, but in order to help a great cause, as a substantial portion of the proceeds will go directly to the Be The Match foundation, an organization dedicated to helping people find life saving bone marrow matches. 

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Order it here: Link.


Yeah, ok, so this pretty much has nothing to do with being a mailman, but I love the clip, and I gotta to pass it along.  Too funny!  And so, so true.

I just love delivering mail from the county jail, and I’m pretty sure all letter carriers do as well.  We’ll be flipping through our letters- our stack of simple, legible, plain white letters- when all of a sudden a beacon of blue ballpoint pen artistry will explode into view.  There it is!  Resplendent and glowing!  It is Rembrandtian, but with a tattoo!  It is what you get when you mix a sketch pad with extreme boredom with hormones with a Guns and Roses concert. 

There are flaming swords with slightly obscene lips.  Flying cupids.  Dragons.  Ornate roses (It’s almost always roses).  Hearts.  Breaking hearts.  Cracking hearts.  Tons of hearts!  They’re everywhere!  And yes, we cannot forget this: There are sensitive inscriptions printed all over, and at varying angles, I might add, which is a complete mystery to me… Maybe they want “their woman” to see the words “Baby, I’ll love you forever” from every conceivable vantage point. 

Well, anyway, like I was saying, for some reason, when these poor incarcerated souls are locked up and confined to a 10 by 10 space, the poet and the artist in them suddenly burst forth.  It’s the darndest thing.  One such letter today had the phrase “I Love You” written, oh, seven times here and there (some large, some small).  There was the phrase “When it rains it pours,” which was naturally accompanied by a thunderstorm showering down a gentle stream of rain on the statement.  I think it also said something like “I’m waiting for you.”  Honestly, it was hard to take it all in.  I couldn’t stop looking at the butterfly perched atop the breaking and, I think, bleeding heart.     

So, yeah.  Letters from the jail are pretty entertaining. 

But you know what?  I think I stumbled across one of my all-time favorites today.  I’m not going to recount all the pictures scattered about it.  Rather I’m just going to type out exactly what was written on the left hand side of the letter, right next to the center address.  Of course, I can’t capture the hand-written element, which does add a peculiar something.  So do use your imagination.  And one more thing.  I had to read it a couple times before I was able to fully comprehend Romeo’s plea.  So stick with it.

Well, enough build up.  Here’s what it said:

“I no I hurted u
n it kills me inside
it really does    

I love you”

Ah, yes, real love.  It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

So I was sifting through my hamper, organizing the parcels into neat stacks, when a small green package caught my attention.  I picked it up to examine it.  There, on the cover, I was greeted by the friendly smile of Rachael Ray and her pitbull, Isaboo.  My eyes settled on the word “Nutrish” near the top.  “Hmm. What’s this?” I thought, continuing to scan the package. 

Then it hit me.  I was holding a package of sample dog food- nutritious dog food meant to improve the health and strength and agility and overall endurance of dogs, so that when the mailman needs to flee for his life, Mr. Healthy Mutt will be able to easily run him down, engage in ten rounds of combat, and then drag the poor, exhausted body of the mailman back to its lair, without so much as breaking a sweat. 

This is not an encouraging development.  It’s not an encouraging development at all.

“So there was this guy named Sam Harmon,” began Mark, a mailman with thirty plus years of service, “Who never wanted to work.  I mean never.  One day I’m out making the rounds and he meanders up to me with a change of address card in his hand.  I say, ‘Well, hey there, Sam.  What’s up?’

‘I want to put in a forward.’


He hands me the form and I look it over.  I notice that the forwarding address reads ‘Return to Sender.’  I’m like, ‘Sam, you can’t just forward the mail back to the sender.’

“Why not?”

‘You just can’t.’

‘I don’t see why not.’

‘Sam, it’s got to be a real forwarding address.’

Sam looks at the form, ‘I just don’t see why not.”

Mark and I start laughing.

“So he wants you to forward his bills back to the sender?” I ask, shaking my head.


Mark gets a glint in his eye, “You wanna hear something really funny, Austin?”

I smile.

“You know those apartment buildings down near North Street by the river?”


“Well, that’s where Sam used to live.  Come to find out he fell asleep in his apartment, while smoking a cigarette.  Apparently the thing fell out of his hand and started a fire.  He wakes up and sees flames and just starts running- runs straight outside.  But he’s buck naked.  I mean not a stitch of clothes.”

“Buck naked!” I interrupt.

“Yup.” Mark says, laughing. “I see him standing along the street, no clothes on, just staring at the burning apartment building.  A moment later there’s fire trucks all over the place.  Sirens.  Hoses.  Firemen running all over.  It’s quite a commotion.  Now one of the firemen looks at Sam standing there and goes and gets a jacket so he can cover up.  I see him hand it to Sam, and Sam just looks at it for a moment.  Then he slides it on.  Like normal.  Doesn’t even zip it up!” 

“The look on that fireman’s face, Austin.  Let me tell you.  It was priceless.”

I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Terrier the Fence Muncher. 

At the sight of the mailman, some dogs fling the full weight of their bodies against windows, some bang their heads against doors, some run in circles, some frantically jump up and down, some bark incessantly… but some, as is the case with this little friend of mine, completely lose their minds and start gnawing wildly on the fence that restrains them. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture my furry friend biting the fence, because, for some reason, he only attacks the wood while I’m walking.  So no walk, no bite… and taking a picture while moving blurs the image.  Nevertheless, the evidence is right there!  Believe it or not, there must be at least twenty other spots where he’s dashed some salt on the fence and chomped away.     

And is it just me, or does that dog look strangely happy?  Maybe he likes to imagine that my leg is the fence…

Need I say more?

It is a momentous day.  I’ve successfully infiltrated, err, joined the Yahoo APBT Lovers Group!  What does APBT stand for?  Oh, yes, that’s right.  American Pit Bull Terrier!  

Now the rules for joining are quite clear.  The sign on the gate reads, “If you love pitbulls, then you will fit right in!!…  I will not tolerate any rude or crude comments about pitbulls.”

I was like, “Hmmm… If you love pitbulls, you may join…” 

But then I kept reading and noted the following tasty little addendum, “You may join this group to educate yourself about this wonderful breed, we know that a lot of you just have the ignorant views that the media has gotten a lot of you to believe, so please ask all the questions you might have, so that we may give you proper information, we have quite a few very educated owners that post on this board.”

Oh, sweet mother of Pearl!  That’s me- a poor, uneducated, brainwashed pit bull hater!  Sign me up!  A few clicks later, I, Austin Brown, became an official member of the APBT Lovers Group!!! 

Eager to poke around, I quickly made my way to the message board.  I’d like to share with you, dear non-APBT Lover member, the most recent post.  It reads, and I quote (except that I changed the poster’s name in order to protect his identity),


“Bad Rap For Such a Lovable Family Dog”

“My name is BillyBob and our family member names is Katty.I met katty and named her
that one inthe month of november at a Home depot parking lot in the truck of a
car.A mother and her kids were selling them.As I was walking up to the truck to
pick one out,she came up to me and we just bonded right then and how.
Katty was only 7 weeks old then,all white coat with a brendale patch on her side
and tail and black spots like a dalmation under her coat.She has been the world
to me my kids and girlfriend etc.She is are little girl and pretty much is
treated like a person.
Katty just loves compamy and attention plus will lick your face to death if you
let her.There is a mean bone in her body unless we are threated with bodlily
harm oh yes she likes to just chase cats and what dog doesn,t.She never has hurt
a cat on the contrarry it is her who gets smacked then lokks at me confused.We
even had a ferret and those too would play hide and seek all day it was so fun
to watch them play.
You are so right about the idiots out there and the damage they have caused for
this breed.
We live in a large apartment complex and everone has gotten to know and love her


Did he say “Lick your face to death?” 

[Note to self:  Try to find this phrase in Roget’s Unabridged Thesaurus.  Start with the word “maim” or “disfigure,” and go from there.]

So, yeah, anyway, I already feel like I’m receiving a good education.  How about you?


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