Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mail call!

My siblings and I used to do weird stuff to entertain ourselves.  One game I remember in particular was Mailbox.  Yes, you read correctly.  We'd be sitting around, bored, turn to one another, raise an eyebrow and say, "Mailbox?"...Yep, it was something we rather enjoyed.

Our cookie cutter suburban bedrooms were outfitted with louvered metal sliding doors.  Pretty high end stuff.  My dad usually spent weekends spraying WD-40 on the wheels to keep them from making an obnoxious metal on metal noise.  You also had to take care when closing them so they didn't fall off their flimsy track.  I never really understood the point of louvers either....Were they a design of genius so as to allow air if someone didn't know how to leave the closet?  Perhaps slits were strategically provided so food could be slid to a prisoner tied up in there.  Or maybe it was just artistic interpretation.

Whatever the reason, we liked them.  You know those annoying cardboard inserts inside magazines?  We'd collect those.  My mom liked to read all the good housewife garbage like, "Good Housekeeping" and "Family Circle"...She sit on the couch, read her articles, and tear out the inserts.

We'd take our 'mail' up to one of the bedrooms...Each of us would take a turn to volunteer sitting on the floor inside the closet.  Then the closet doors were closed.  The other participant, either myself or my brother, would proceed to slip cards randomly into the louvers.  There was really no objective to the game other than how many pieces you could catch.

It was challenging, mind you...The closet was dark and you had no idea which slot the mail would come from...High, low, middle...left?  Wait, the slot to my right?...Damn!  Missed that one!  Yeah!  Caught that piece!  You get the picture...unfortunately.

Sometimes we would switch the game up a notch by telling the person sitting in the closet to stay as still as possible.  After dropping the cards into the louvers, we'd open the doors and laugh at how the cards landed on my sister's head.  Or we'd keep score on how many pieces actually 'touched' the the game really became how well you could aim the mail through the louvers...My brother ruled on that one.

Is there really anything else to add here?  Any questions?  Perhaps you can play this game on your next family game night.  It really is a hoot...

No, it's just fucking weird...I know...Later....


  1. Love it. Kids always come up with the craziest games.

  2. That’s funnier than you think, but oh Trina, you have no idea what ‘Weird’ is when it comes to childhood games. Gather in close here…

    Back in the early 70’s our parents owned a green Chevy Biscayne station wagon with no air conditioning and brown bench seats. Mom, dad, and us five kids endured many epic journey’s for more than a decade in that car along with a giant dog most of the times while moving around the country and going on ‘vacation’ (cough! cough! Going to visit grandparents cough!). My father was a career military officer which meant at least once in his career he’d have to serve a hardship tour (a yearlong assignment where he went to Korea and we stayed in the states). My mother and the five of us lived in San Jose CA for that year waiting it out. Mother. Five kids.

    Anyway, every other week mom would have to make a trip to the commissary (grocery store in civilian lingo) and have to take all of us with her. These were the days when leaving the kids in the car was common practice (maybe it wasn’t common practice and my mom was the only one who did it, but I remember it not being a big deal). So there we’d be, five kids in a station wagon with brown seats in the hot sun of the parking lot of the Moffet Field Commissary with an hour to kill. Hmmm, what to do? Burn hands with the cigarette lighter your brother told you doesn’t work when the car is turned off? Check. Antagonize the crap out of each other by invading each sibling’s personal space? Check. Calling out to people in the parking lot and ducking down so they don’t see you? Check. All of these things obviously great time killers in their own right, but it was the game of ‘Falling in the Poop’ that has endured in all of our memories, and what a game it was. It entailed two kids hanging off the rear seatback, legs over the back into the cargo area, hands on the top of the seat, with your ass hanging down. Each of the two contestants would do battle to knock the other down onto the brown bench seat thereby ‘Falling in the Poop’. When the loser was vanquished we’d all yell, “Ewww, you fell in the poop!!!” We’d keep score and create tournaments that carried over to the next bi-weekly commissary visit. As with every game we all played together, it would end up with one or many kids crying and somebody tattling to my mom as she returned with her two overflowing carts to the car, “Mom! Lisa cheated at Falling in the Poop!!!” Good times.

    Makes Mailbox seem positively Saturday Evening Post like doesn’t it?

  3. Jessica - Right? Could have been worse I suppose...

    Patrick...Substitute "Blue Econoline Van with Carpeted Benches" and "Six kids" for your car/number of kids...OMG, I died laughing...Thanks for sharing the story...hilarious!

  4. That's hilarious! It actually sounds like a fun game! I'll play it with you!

    We used to do "leprechaun trap"...just as pointless. Spread an afghan out on the floor and put the "gold" in the middle of it. We'd have to dash to get the "gold" and then my brother would tackle me, wrap me in the blanket and torture me until I cried. Good times...