Monday, April 7, 2008

The Mailman & Me

My mailman and I have issues. Some days, I think we can overcome them...other times, I'm not so sure.

It all started when I looked out my front window on a bleak and windy winter day and could not see my mailbox. Now, I'm pretty sure I had one when I woke up that morning. It was the highest-grade plastic that money can buy -thanks to the previous owners of this house- who I'm certain spared no expense on anything for this humble abode. (More on that to come.) Add to that the exquisite four-by-four wooden post it was attached to (unstained, unpainted and undoubtedly un-treated) and you've got the makings of a first-rate world-class United States Postal Service receptacle.

So you can imagine my concern when I couldn't see it at all. No mailbox...no post...no nothin'.

For whatever reason, this was not a good time to play out this drama/mystery so I forgot about it for the next several hours. Then I happened to notice that the cars coming down the street were swerving...actually quite dramatically...right in front of my house.

AHA!

Now, I'm not saying the "mailman" did it. (Ya like the way I have "mailman" in quotes? For what do we really know about this guy?) I will say that there were suspiciously familiar tire tracks in the snow near the spot where my mailbox used to be....that's all I'm sayin'.

At the time, I thought I had an easy fix: basically stick it back in the hole in the ground. Isn't that how it's done? Evidently not. See, there's some kind of metal sleeve-holder-thingie that holds the priceless four-by-four upright...and mine's bent, rusted and frozen solid.

So we went with Plan B: Connor (age 11) jury-rigs it so it'll stand up. (He's DA MAN) It's got a serious lean to it, but we all agree that it's more "upright" than...well...not. It'll just have to do. Evidently, the mailman begs to differ, as we'd soon learn that if the lean was too pronounced, he just wouldn't deliver the mail that day. (Can you say "power trip"?)

Fast-forward a month or two. Mailbox is cracked in two places and the door won't close properly. This from the half-dozen times it's been plowed into by either:

  1. The mailman who obviously hates us.
  2. The plowguy who obviously hates us.
  3. Taylor (age 16) & (insert name of buddy here) careening down the hill on a silicone-slicked toboggan with absolutely no ability to steer, much less stop.

Last week, I decided it was time to replace the mailbox. I'd purchased a deeluxe plastic-version with a pretty pull-handle (so much classier than the old one) and set about removing and replacing. I'll spare you the sordid details...suffice to say the wood was warped, the screws were stripped and I had a heck of a time getting the new one to fit properly.

But the real challenge? That stupid handle. It came packed inside the mailbox, in a little baggie with a little screw. There's also a convenient hole in the middle of the door. Hey, I'm not an idiot. So, I feed the screw through the hole and attach the pull handle to the outside.

DONE.

Then I close the door....and pull it open (to check for sturdiness), only to have the handle fall off in my hand. This happens...oh, I wanna say...three more times before I begin to understand that the screw is too damn short. Unfortunately, the only replacement I had is about an inch too long, so now the handle's dangling down by about an inch...silver screw squinting in the sun....but do I care anymore?

As for the post? We haven't figured that one out yet. I sent the boys on a scavenger hunt for BIG ROCKS and they're all haphazardly piled at the base, so for now...it's relatively upright.

Last I checked (that would be today...), the new mailbox is already cracked from at least one collision with the street.

And it's got just a little bit of a lean....

3Chickadees said...

I have a mail "lady"...well, I assume she's a lady - ok mail "female" how's that? And I believe she has a drinking problem because I receive mail for the entire neighborhood. I stopped writing "no such person" a year or so ago...now I just put it back in the box and its understood - its also kept between us - a code of silence if you will. So good luck with your post, etc., - at some point I imagine mail boxes will be as archaic as milk boxes! (Those under age 35 are going what's a milk box?). And at the current price of stamps, the mailman should be out there fixing your box! Good luck!!!

Kathryn said...

Welcome 3chickadees!
Love the "mail-female"...that's a keeper. As for the drinking problem: they prefer to call it "address-challenged". I believe it's that "close enough" mentality...I guess they figure we'll take it from there.
Yep...postage rates go up again in May. You should've heard the lady at the USPO trying to explain to me what "forever" stamps are. I just was not getting it. Glad you're here. Keep posting!

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