My sister's art school boyfriend (Ben), in the 1980s, tried at one time or another to send her the following items in the mail:
- an arrow (for Valentine's Day)
- a hard boiled egg (it cracked)
- a toffee apple (it "ruined 20 pieces of mail" said the postie, clearly very satisfied by being able to impart this news)
Looking back, it's amazing the patience with which these items were processed. History does not reveal how many missives were unsuccessful (but Ben might).
I saw a book somewhere of letters which someone had posted to herself with puzzles (crosswords, word games, join the dots etc) instead of the address. If the postie solved the puzzle (and they often did) the address was revealed. It's a clever idea and it seemed as though some of the posties really quite enjoyed the challenge, although I'm sure quite a few of the letters got binned in exasperation.
(Thanks to My Rusty Sieve for sparking this off with a post about W. Reginald Bray, "The Human Letter", who was a pioneer in the field and a wild experimenter. He posted a turnip, a bowler hat, a bicycle pump, shirt cuffs, seaweed, a clothes brush, and a rabbit's skull. Following those triumphs, he posted first his Irish terrier and then himself .)