As I was hanging out at my friend's cafe today, making the occasional chai latte or cappucino and penning a few (long overdue) letters, a friend dropped in who works for the Defence Department. I've never really gotten into what he actually does there, except I know he wears a uniform and travels from time-to-time, but today I got a little more of an insight.
He asked me about how my letter-writing was going, and then asked me if I ever got any worrying letters. I knew what he meant: anything off-kilter that might make me wonder how 'stable' the sender was. The answer is - happily - no. I've had all kinds of interesting, creative, off-the-wall mail but none that has freaked me out.
Then he told me that the Defence Department gets crazy letters all the time. It might be a proposal for an 'amazing' new weapon they just invented, or a plan for Australia to conquer the world. Or they might want to share the latest conspiracy theory they've uncovered. Often the letters are addressed to the Defence Minister, and they then get passed down the chain of command. My friend reckoned that his office dealt with at least one a week. They write back, thanking the letter-writer for their interest but letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that the Australian Defence Force will not be taking them up on whatever they're offering.
I just found this insight really amusing. I mean, assuming these people who write don't mean any actual harm, I find it kind of fascinating that these kinds of letters are being written and mailed. And then it's someone's job to have to reply to them.
Makes me wonder what other sorts of quirky letters might be being written and received every day.
Love from Kaz