Let the record show that my mail used to arrive mid-morning. Maybe 10:00, 10:30. Always before noon. I understand that sometimes there's a substitute delivery driver, which makes mail run later. But lately, it's been getting here after I have already made my trip to town for a 44 oz Diet Coke. Also let the record show that retired Val does not get up with the chickens any more. Some days, she doesn't even leave for town until noon. Or 1:10, like today.
I stopped at the end of my gravel road on the way out this time, to fetch the mail from EmBee. I figured it was there, because just across the low water bridge, I saw the mailman.
I thought that perhaps the mailman was getting the next set of deliveries in order for people up the road. I heard talking when I got out of T-Hoe. A woman's voice. Last I knew, we had a male mailman. This looked like the usual car, though. I thought perhaps she was on her cell phone. Even though the reception is nearly nonexistent down there in the bottom, as Hick says. I grabbed my Edward D. Jones statement and a School and Community magazine, and got back in T-Hoe and headed to town for my magical elixir.
It took 15 minutes going, and 15 minutes coming back. Maybe five more getting my 44 oz Diet Coke at the gas station chicken store. As I started up the hill before my final coast down the other side to the mailbox condo, I thought again of the mailman. Surely if it was car trouble, she would have waved me down when I stopped before. I fully expected that mail car to be gone as I crested the hill. But there it was! Pulled face forward into that little side road that it sat across before. That's the place where I saw the old man in the ditch the other day. Digging, I thought.
WHAT IN TARNATION IS GOING ON IN OUTER BACKROADSIA?
If I was a fiction writer, this would give me plenty of fiction fodder. What if somebody had been bumped off, and the guy the other day was digging a burial hole? What if this mail woman was in cahoots with him? What if she was delivering more than just the mail? OR...perhaps I had stumbled upon a romantic afternoon tryst. OR...these were undercover FBI agents trying to bust a meth ring. It was just in the papers yesterday, almost 30 arrests spanning the greater St. Louis area, with roots down into Mexico. And it started with a local bust!
I know I have a vivid imagination, interrupted only by paranoia. But we DID have several boxes of equipment from a traveling meth lab dumped on our road a few years ago. AND a couple years after that, a headless body was found in a septic tank only a half mile past my homestead, up our gravel road, and the tattooer-for-a-living victim's demise had connections to a drug cartel.
The second time I saw this mail car today, I did NOT take a picture. I sure don't want to draw attention to myself. Besides, my mail delivery is messed up enough as it it.