"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman

:malicious user:

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

talkin' (mailbox) baseball
i have a theory about kids that play mailbox baseball, at least in areas of the country where we have real winter. i believe a large percentage of these bat-wielding sociopaths graduate from a life of drive-by whackings to a career in snow-removal. specifically, they become snow-plow drivers.

stay with me here.

if mailboxes have a natural (?) enemy, it is the snow plow. the wall of snow borne up by the plows as they clear the streets is nothing short of the slushy hand of god for the rural mailbox - the outcome is inevitable every time: the road is clear, the post remains at a sickening angle, and the container is gone, buried under several feet of dirty snow and ice. the postal carrier whizzes by in her truck, along newly cleared streets, with no need to stop. the hardware store owner goes to orbitz.com and reserves another weekend in the caribbean, ensured of a wave of suburbanites shelling out for replacement boxes.

i've moved three times in the last five years. all three abodes have had rural mailboxes. the first mailbox was decapitated five times in two years. after the last time, the town threw away the post and nailed the container to the wooden post-and-rail fence separating our yard from the neighbor's.

the second mailbox was safe only because it was set an illegal distance from the street. but the plow tracks paid witness to the fact that those plow drivers tried their best.

in our current home, in which we've lived since this past december, we've had the mailbox knocked off its feet three times. the most recent was this past weekend, after what i'm hoping was the last snow of the season. it took until late afternoon for the plowman to reap his harvest, and at that point the snow had mostly turned to melted mush, so you know that man had an agenda.

the nice thing about renting this house is that we have a fairly attentive landlord. his business is located on the property directly behind the house, so he's here almost daily, and he addresses our concerns in a fairly timely manner. thus our mailbox has been repaired three times this year within a day of its injury.

there is a certain ironic justice to our landlord repeatedly needing to resurrect the mailbox. his business, which as i have mentioned is based behind our house, is landscaping. this keeps him and his crew busy during the spring, summer, and fall months.

in the winter he drives a snow plow.
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i used to be disgusted. now i try to be amused.
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