In the early seventies of the twentieth century in the town of Sokotinji, in the African state of Dahomey (now this country is called Benin), a certain Mr. Jean-Pierre M'Bana was in charge of the local mail.
This is not to say that the position of this official was too troublesome and busy. Rather, on the contrary - Jean-Pierre had little work. Residents of Sokotinji were very reluctant to use mail. The literacy of the population was low, and, accordingly, people did not write or receive letters.
They did not have relatives and acquaintances in distant lands, everyone lived nearby, so there was no need to use the services of the post office. In addition, the townspeople had little interest in international news, therefore, they did not subscribe to newspapers either. And local news could always be found at the city bazaar, it was the main media for people.
In a word, the inhabitants of this African town could quite easily do without mail, but the very manager of this institution was clearly depressed by this situation. If everything continues like this, the city will be left without a post office, and Jean Pierre M'Bana - without a position.
If the residents themselves did not care about this at all, then the official had to show ingenuity. He turned to the mayor's office with a very peculiar project. Having convinced the city authorities that Sokotinji, although small, but still a city and without a post office, it is simply impossible for him to exist, Jean-Pierre proposed an original way to increase the income of his institution.
Every resident of Sokotinji had to send a letter at least once a week, and it didn't matter where. But that is not all. In addition, every citizen was required to receive at least one letter every week. Where he gets it from didn't matter either.
Interestingly, this proposal of the postal official, who was on the verge of collapse, received the approval of the city authorities. The mayor's office was interested in such an original way of saving the mail and the residents of the town were legally obliged to regularly receive and send letters.
Whether this made the townspeople happy, history is silent, but they had to use the mail: the law is the law!