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Brian's dangerous holiday turkey light

The deadly neon turkey, inspiring fear and dread in postal carriers everywhere. (Photo by Sue Matuszak)1 / 3
The dead electrical cord in question. Wrapped in foam for extra deadness. (Photo by Sue Matuszak)2 / 3
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Dear United States Postal Service,

I get it. I do. I realize the challenges your carriers have during the holiday season. Traipsing about in frigid winter air that instantly transforms nose hair into microscopic frozen sticks. Clambering up Mount Unshoveled Sidewalk and hauling 50-pound bags of icy mail chunks. Dodging frosty slobber from bellowing dogs that are (hopefully) chained up in a yard.

And yet, they always come through. What's that inspirational creed of yours?

Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Apparently, you need to add "neon turkey light" to that list of insurmountable obstacles.

We have lived in our house for 20 years and every November, we usher in the season by hanging a single light on our front door in the shape of a turkey. It's never been a problem. It's certainly not dangerous and definitely not worth the strongly worded letter we received not long after it went up this year, informing us that all delivery would be suspended to our address unless it were taken down. It seems the new carrier on our route believes the single cord strung out the mail slot, connecting the light to the outlet in our porch, poses a safety hazard.

As we informed him and his supervisor, there is no power going through this cord during the day. We only turn it on at night when it adds a warm glow to our neighborhood. And you can't see lights during the day, so having it lit would be rather silly.

Plus, it's tiny. The slot is wide enough to slide our correspondences right on through and altogether avoid that small wire. (Which, if I hadn't mentioned, has no electricity running through it.) But in the spirit of compromise, we encased the lifeless braid in insulated foam. You know, in case our cat accidentally plugged in the turkey light when we weren't home.

Not good enough.

Apparently, a meeting was held between the safety officer and the Duluth Postmaster (both of whom have never contacted us but we assume are real people) and they agreed that our turkey light is a "safety hazard" and our mail won't be delivered as long as that powerless string is in the slot. Since our Christmas lights must also be hooked up this way due to the layout of the outlets in our house, my wife and I are deciding what's more important to us this year: Spreading good cheer or getting our mail.

It may sound like we're frustrated with you, USPS, but we'd still like to wish everyone down there a happy holiday season. Please let us know the best place to drop off our gift to you this year: 20 boxes of common sense.

I don't think our carrier is going to know how to pick them up.

Your pal,


Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at He would like to personally mail all of you an invite to the holiday revue opening Dec. 4, but you probably wouldn’t get it until March 25. Of 2018.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at