Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mailbox Survival

I went out into my yard to find my mailbox had fallen prey to some road beast. It and the support bar had been knocked from the cedar post. I was furious.

You see, I have been battling the denizens of the busy road for a year now. My mailbox was knocked off last winter three times by the snow plow. With the heavy amounts of snow being launched of the road, it took a beating. Then Christmas morning(2008), as I shuffled a bag of wrapping paper, cardboard and those darn plastic ties that require wire cutters to shear through them, I saw that my green box lay in the gray-brown clumps of plowed snow.

"Oh, well," I thought, "stuff happens."

This was the beginning. I spent the rest of the winter battling the increasing snow drift by the mailbox (postal service left me a note to clear it, so they could get to it), and battling the tidal waves of snow play snow whihc resulting in me half standing, half kneeling in the monstrous bank reattaching the box two more times.

When winter finally subsided, I thought the mailbox was safe. Yet, a cruel turn of events, or should I say "drift and swerve" of events happened. My mailbox was hit by a car. Heidi, my wife, heard an awful noise in the mid-morning of a spring day. Upon investigation, she found the black plastic mailbox shattered along with the white pole (3" pipe) in shards about the yard and driveway. After calling the police, she had learned that a witness had seen a car veer off the road and hit our mailbox. The woman driver was on her cell phone. Unfortunately, the witness did not get a license number and the car itself was a generic enough make and model to make a search far from successful.

A weekend trip to the hardware, a cedar post, quick dry cement and a new mailbox put us back in business. I was quite proud, and I did pound on my chest and strut about. Sura, handyman, lord of his yard!

The repair of the mailbox this morning only took a little time if you subtract the fifteen to twenty minutes to find the drill, the Phillips head drill bit, nails, screws and hammer. I am proud to say that my mailbox is a little worse for wear, but attached and sturdy.

What gets me is the how and why of the incidents along with the recent frequency of mailbox injury. Why did the lady on the cell phone not stop and apologize and make amends? With the recent late night incident, was there malicious intent or some vandal sport involved? Did I scare the innocent motorist who drove by as I repaired the mailbox with my scowl and threatening hammer waving? And lastly, how many more mailboxes will suffer this year?

I tell ya, its a jungle out there.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

Tarzan! He is the ultimate man in literature. Yes, literature. Throw away those images of the Tarzan movies of old with the, "Me. Tarzan. You. Jane." Tarzan was quite educated, as well as, strong, noble and fierce.

If you have read Edgar Rice Burroughs and the 24 books of the adventures or Tarzan, you know Tarzan to have taught himself to read by recognizing "bugs" below pictures in the primary readers left behind by his parents. You also know that he was eventually found, taken to society, and educated by his friend from the French Foreign Legion. Yet, he returned home to live in the jungle where the rules were simpler. They may have been the laws of the jungle, but they also seemed to give Tarzan a nobility beyond civilized man.

And, now we look at the 21st Century, a new jungle, savage and dangerous, yet filled with wonder, beauty and truth coming to us at the speed of digital photo-energy. So, like Tarzan, let us go cautiously forward and find the treasures. Let us respect all the denizens of the jungle, avoid the dangers and predators and stand tall to cry out into the wilderness our presence.

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle!