That’s right, to test how honest or helpful passersby would be, I dropped five stamped, addressed envelopes around town to see how many would be mailed for me. In England, where the test emulates an apocryphal claim by P.G. Wodehouse, the results have been as good as 85%. Here, not so much.
As I reported a couple of weeks ago, two were delivered. Sadly no others have reached their recipients.
Who can say what happened to the other three. Those on the ground might have been swept up by cleaners who never noticed these were stamped, unopened, un-postmarked letters. Or a letter had so little significance to the finder that it was simply thrown out as not worth the effort to mail. And, of course, a suspicion always lingers that untrustworthy finders opened the envelopes to see if there was something of value inside. In that case, I hope they read the contents and felt at least a tiny twinge of guilt.
But perhaps we should focus not on the three that fell into the black hole, but on the two that arrived at their destinations. Two honest, goodhearted people (40% of the finders) took the time to post the letters. They didn’t have to; no one would have been the wiser if they threw the letters away. Yet, these people made an effort because to them, mail mattered. The unknown sender and recipient mattered. So, let’s salute them, those anonymous passersby, who would have made P.G. Wodehouse proud.