Sunday, 11 December 2011

Post a brick

I was entertained to see a link to this article about how to get back at junk-mail providers.

Now admittedly I often stuff all their advertising material back into the postage-paid envelope and post it back to them, sometimes with a kindly

"No thank you, I thought you might like this back so that you can re-cycle it"

But even I had never thought of using their own envelope to post a brick back to them, thereby helping to increase the profits of the Post Office while depleting the coffers of the junk mailers.

The very idea of posting bricks to people reminded me of something that happened a good few years ago.  When I was at university, I did actually mail a brick to a friend who lived less than a mile away . . . to cheer her up!

The idea came about because she was upset that her 21st birthday was coming up and she didn't think she would get any presents on the actual day.   So I organised a solution to the problem.  I found a nice clean new brick somewhere, painted it white and set about finding people to help pay for the mad and extravagant scheme.

I asked everyone I could find who knew her to pay 5 pence to sign the brick.  The donations just covered the cost with a few coins to spare, and these were put in the holes in the brick so that it made a sort of jingling sound.  At the time I think I remember that it cost just over £2 to post it to an address less than a mile away.

The man in the post office seemed to think I was mad - perhaps he was right.  :)

Amazingly the photo survives to this day and although it is not perfect quality I was able to scan it.

Small note: I wonder whether Janet still has this?


Derby Sceptic said...

As a co-conspirator in the birthday brick I remember this well. Just as I remember cycling back from town with a brick liberated from the leftovers after a nearby building project.

As of December 2007 I received correspondence to the effect that whilst looking through some old boxes, a certain brick did indeed come to light.

I too use the post paid envelopes to send back the junk mail, and also if there is room I include junk from those companies who do not provide such an envelope.

The brick concept may be harder in the UK as you have to take the item to the post office to send it rather than a parcel drop as mentioned in the article. Might be worth a try though!

Hilary said...

D'you know I think I remember that! ...would this be Janet as in...Janet??? And in fact...I was over at my friends today who I knew at school but who moved to a place and got to know Janet without realising that she was a Uni pal and of course it was very funny all the connections that then ensued, but they just told me today that they have recently heard from her, and I do keep in touch usually at Christmas so I will find out for you if she still has the brick! I've a feeling she will still have it.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks

The brick is alive and well. It has functioned for many years as a bookend. It reminds me of a really fun time a long time ago. Some of the names are a distant memory but it is surprising how many of them we still get news of. I try not to think how many years ago....

Plasma Engineer said...

The power of the internet never ceases to amaze! Hi to anonymous Janet and thanks for the news. I'm delighted that it has been treasured for so long. Well . . . not all that long really!

Pruthvi said...

Wow ! Looks like a happy reunion !

Little Miss Joey said...

This is genius! I've been laughing loads :D

Hilary said...

Hey anonymous Janet - is it really you or an imposter pretending to be can we be sure...ok here's a 'proof' question haha what are the names of our mutual friends whom I knew from school and who you got to know independently of me because they lived near you and one of them worked with you...:)

Derby Sceptic said...

@Hilary - I can verify this really is the Janet you think it is.

Hilary said...

Ah :)