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?