For some reason, I look forward each day to coming home from work and opening my mailbox.

Maybe it's because I think someday I'm going to discover that I've won $1 million and I'll never have to come home from work again, or maybe it's simply the element of surprise lurking behind that small aluminum door that gets me excited.But I don't think I'm alone. I think many people look forward to opening their mailbox.

However, like most people, I'm usually disappointed in what I find. In fact, I don't like most of my mail and end up filing it - either in the to-be-paid-later file or the to-be-filed file, which is later filed by my curb for collection.

But every now and then my mail does surprise me, and I like what I find. My curiosity is most frequently satisfied if my mailbox contains a sports magazine or an envelope with a return address of someone I know.

But, because of certain letters I have received recently from people who I believe are friends of mine, I am a little hesitant about opening mail with a familiar return address. I'm afraid it may contain another curse.

Yes, I said curse. My friends have been cursing me through the mail, wishing bad luck to come upon me. In the past month I have received not one but two chain letters from friends. The letters said that if I broke the chain and did not send five copies on to other friends I would have bad luck.

"Are you stressed out?" the letter begins. Well, I wasn't until I read the letter.

"The one who breaks the chain will have bad luck. Do not keep this letter. Do not send money. Just have a wonderful efficient secretary make four additional copies and send it to five of your friends to whom you wish good luck."

I guess if I wasn't such a tightwad it would have been worth a $1.25 in postage to avoid a curse. But I just cannot understand why grown men are participating in such a silly game, especially my friends.

True, the main point of the letter is that golf is more important than work, and those who play golf are known to be silly and have their priorities out of order anyway, but is the minimal entertainment value worth the effort and expense and worth cursing a lazy friend?

I would get great pleasure in throwing a look-alike doll of one of my friends into a 10,000-foot ravine and saying, "Gunga, galunga, lunga," but that doesn't mean I'm going to do it. Why would I want to curse my friends? There must be a logical reason for this kind of behavior. I thought that maybe Postal Service workers, wanting to increase revenues, initiated the letter. But one of my friends, who is a postal worker, said the Postal Service strictly prohibits workers from participating in chain-letter activities and will fire anyone caught doing so. He denied having anything to do with it.

But that leads to a solution to this problem. If you have friends like me and get a letter like this in your mailbox, just send copies to five postal workers. That should either bring an end to this plague or create several openings at your local post office.