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Say Goodbye to Snail Mail

The squat blue mailbox—nothing short of an American icon—is fast disappearing from the nation's streets. 20,000 mailboxes have been taken down over the past 20 years as the volume of mail declines. And now the postal service is aggressively removing “underperforming” mailboxes—which collect less than 25 pieces of mail a day—after a week-long “density test.” Said a postal service spokeswoman: “We’re like air. People just take it for granted that we’re always going to be there. Well, if you want to keep your collection box, would you mail a letter, please!” The disappearance of mailboxes might be based on numbers, but it’s impact will be felt in daily life. “It was a nice-looking box,” said a 77-year-old woman in Wheaton, M.D. “That was my exercise. Going across the street with the mail every day.”