Yes, fun. And no, I haven’t been drinking.
You scoff, but mailing lists are very entertaining if you give them a chance. Seriously, they’re like a travelogue. You don’t need a passport or luggage, you don’t need anything but an imagination. Oh, right, and a mailing list. Then it’s bon voyage, ta-ta, off you go.
How else would you drop by, say, Friend, Nebraska? The name alone conjures up bucolic images of a neighborly, affable whistle-stop of a town. The kind of place where pies lie cooling on windowsills and porch lights serve as an open invitation to visit. No doubt it’s populated by clones from Lake Wobegon, sweet, good-natured folks.
At the other end of the spectrum is Finks Hideaway, a street in Louisiana, a dead end most likely. Granted, Hideaway is kind of quaint, cozy even. But Finks? Jeez, you might as well call it Weasels Bolt-hole or Snitches Haven, who’d want to live there? I’ll bet the block parties would be great, though, like something out of Spy vs. Spy, bedecked in Spanish moss.
Did you know there’s a Hollywood Boulevard (minus Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? A Winter Street in Rock Falls (my condolences to the residents — cold and hard? Yeow, double whammy). The list is long and oh-so-entertaining.
The thing is, when faced with a stack of mail, most people just peel off an address label and stick it on an envelope. That’s not fun, that’s monotonous. They don’t notice the names or the addresses or the towns. And that, my friends, is where the magic lies: in the proper names.
Once upon a time the phone book had the same effect; I got lost in there for hours at a stretch. I’d lose all track of time and forget what I’d started looking for in the first place. Alas, the phone book became a victim of technology and turned into an anachronism. A similar fate, I fear, awaits the U.S. Postal Service.
Please, don’t let that happen. Buy stamps, send greeting cards, mail packages, support your postal carrier, for pete’s sake. And, by proxy, my daydreams.
Thank you : )
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