Monday, September 29, 2008

Post Office Prank... Read On

Happy Monday Morning, everyone.

To be creative you have to read.  That's my latest kick.  I know we're all busy and the last thing we feel like we have time for is another item on your to-do list.  I know.  When I was in graduate school I dreamt about the day my dissertation would be done and I would have a moment of free time to read whatever I wanted...  the Sunday paper, the latest Oprah Book Club selection, or one of the many New Yorker magazines collecting dust, but never getting more than the six minutes of my attention (just long enough to read the cartoons and scan the Table of Contents).
Then I accepted a position working full time...  Then Matthew.  Then Jack.  And all of a sudden I was back to cereal boxes and road signs for leisure reading.

If I have valued anything about not working the past months, I have valued time to read.  I get to scan the paper every morning and actually enjoy books and articles... of my choice.  I love knowing what's going on in the world around me, but I also love how reading literally makes me more creative.  

I read and I make connections between two things that days ago were seemingly disconnected. Highlowaha just celebrated National Cream Filled Donut Day and days later I noticed an article about a new children's book that was published titled, The Donut Chef, by Bob Staake.  Then Friday I read the Wall Street Journal and an article appeared about the Annual Guinness Book of World Records.  One of the record breaking categories was tallest stack of donuts, achieved by stacking one on top of another.  Then Sunday, I read an article about the fact that Dunkin Donuts was making a resurgence in the Dallas Fort Worth area.  One topic and, in the span of a week, three related articles.  To you that might seem like superfluous information, but to me food for feeding my creativity.  I don't know how I'll use all three of those pieces of information, but eventually I will.

I have a collection of articles I've cut out and labeled "highlowaha."  There are articles about people or events that I might someday want to share with you - the readers.

Today's post is one of those topics.  Today's idea came from an article in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, September 12, titled The New Pranksters.  It tells of websites and blogs like the Urban Prankster Network, GuerilLA, and Art of the Prank where people organize in their own city's (and nationally) to perform "stunts."  Creators of these stunts dream up outlandish scenarios and then try to make them happen.  One prank sited was having 15 identical twins dress up in identical outfits, fill a New York subway car and mirror each others actions, without explanation.  Other examples were people gathering in a public place and dancing to music no one else could hear or people looking like zombies, smeared with fake blood, and wandering the streets of San Francisco. 

I was intrigued by the idea of people coming together to do something harmless, but something we suspected could yield responses of surprise or laughter.

Then I remembered reader Julie.  Julie mailed me a cake.  Literally, mailed me a cake.  She took this freshly baked cake, walked into the post office, and announced to the postman her intent to mail it from New York to Dallas, Texas.  According to Julie, the first words out of the postman's mouth were, "You're kidding, right?"  Needless to say... the cake wasn't exactly recognizable when it arrived, but it makes for a GREAT story and I'll derive joy from it for years to come (in a way that even cake can't compete).

As a blog we've touched on the pains of mailing, mailing unconventional items, and some of us have engaged in a fair amount mailing since coming together as a community, but we've never talked about playing a collective prank on the United States Post Office!  Now before you begin worrying about federal offenses and the like, let me assure you... I am talking about a harmless and creative prank.

Here's what it would look like...  On a designated date readers of highlowaha will agree to visit their local post office to mail a package.  The prank is that we will use our creativity to think of the most outlandish thing we can mail.  I just ran this by my husband and he suggested a gold fish.  I will leave the creativity up to you.  You decide what you want to mail... AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T BREAK ANY LAWS!  Then, you will come back and report to the group the experience you had.  It will make for a great day of fun and laughter.

We will mail one week from tomorrow - Tuesday, October 7.  And, I have the perfect mailing address.  I don't want to drone on forever.  Today's post is already verging on too long, with the limited amount of time you have to read.  Suffice it to say, I have a good friend who for reasons I'm not quite sure - I have not spoken to in FAR TOO LONG.  It is time for us to break the ice and reconnect.  This would be the PERFECT ice breaker and just the stunt for me to finally take the plunge.  And, on top of all that...  October 7 is her birthday.  Though the packages won't be arriving on her birthday, it will be a thoughtful gesture in honor of her birthday.

To recap.  Highlowaha will play our own version of the New Pranksters.  On Tuesday, October 7 readers with the spirit of #218 (see post from 9/18, for most recent explanation) will mail the most outlandish, unpackaged item you can come up with.  Once mailed you will return to highlowaha and tell us about your experience.  Before then I will reconnect with my friend and alert her that "mail" will be coming her way.  With a little bit of luck, she will report back to us letting us know what arrived and the condition of each.  Maybe I'll even develop some award categories (most original, biggest, smallest, etc...).

The address you will be mailing to is:
T. Shay 
5600 Ostrom Avenue
Encino, CA 91316

One more reminder... the package you will be sending is to be unpackaged.  In other words... you are NOT to place it in a box or mailing envelope.  You will put the address directly on the item and attempt to mail that!  An inflated beach ball, a plank of wood, an apple... you get the gist. 

I'm getting more excited as I type, so I just decided this will be a "patch yielding" event.  Mail something to T. Shay at the address listed above and earn a patch for your patchwork denim. ( See 8/7 Patchwork for more details).

I'm off to read the paper for more fun ideas.  Signing off until tomorrow... 

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