Monday, August 5, 2013

There Must Have Been a Rerun of Stand By Me

Alas! Poor MB, our embattled country mailbox, has taken another hit. This time, the attack was physical. No, not a mere groping by thieving paws, besmirching her dignity, while leaving her outer shell intact. This was a vicious, premeditated act of cowardice.

Hick discovered MB in distress on Sunday morning. She and 15 of her closest friends, clinging precariously to their dignity, and their support system. Hick assumed it was an accident. A hit-and-run. Quarters are tight now with our county road being used as a major detour. The meeting of a large delivery truck and a dump truck pulling a backhoe, perhaps. A case of too much width and not enough road. A sideswiping that knocked MB and her cohorts off their pins.

Yes, their roof and their flooring separated. Their individual partitions were ripped asunder. No longer do they enjoy their solitude, their privacy. Like insecure new inmates in a communal shower, they must avert their eyes, stare straight ahead. MB, gasping for fresh country air, is upset that her fine green coat was besmirched with wood rot and dust. Her neighbor, a fan of Home Alone, Scream, and Edvard Munch, emits a silent shriek.

Hick, the caretaker to the old and decrepit, spent an hour shoring up their confidence. Set what bones he could. Braced their broken supports. All but one survived to carry out their daily activities at the start of the new work week.

When The Pony and I went to town, we discovered that this was not the accident that Hick assumed. Evidence of additional carnage was clear to see. No, this was no accident.

It will be remembered as the Night of the Federal Property Destroyers.

The destruction of federal property in the form of rural mailboxes is not a new fad. It's been going on for years, and is most likely called "boys being boys" by those not personally affected. Still, it carries a fine of up to $250,000, and three years in prison for each act.

Hick constructed MB of steel sewer pipe in an effort to make her indestructible. She holds her own. It's the framework in which she resides that takes a beating. Our fellow property owners came up with this long cubby box idea, to stop the more fragile mailboxes from being whomped on the top with metal bats and rebar and tire irons and crowbars and whatever federal property destructors are using these days. They cemented the metal supports, and have had few incidents of mass destruction over the past many years.

Up the road, some mailboxes were completely gone, some were in ditches, some, in their wire cages, were just fine, and one batch was squeezed on top, as if a reverse Jaws of Life had pinched them like giant pliers. Homeowners out here take various routes to combat this willful destruction of federal property. One guy buys half a dozen cheap mailboxes, tightens one on his wooden post with two screws, and simply sets out a new one after destruction. Two people have built elaborate brick posts and semi-circular enclosures that surround their mailbox like a glove. A red, rectangular, brittle glove, but it has worked so far. Some buy the hard Little-Tikes-playground-type plastic enclosures. Another dude with a family compound row of six or eight mailboxes has his supports set up so that the framework will collapse upon contact, and all he has to do is set the whole thing up and put in a couple of screws. This is good business for screw manufacturers, it seems.

So all of you who may brag of your youthful shenanigans playing inning after inning of mailbox baseball may want to ask yourselves, "Is it worth $2.5 million, and 30 years in jail?" This isn't the 1950s anymore. A good game camera that is motion-activated goes for less than $50 at Walmart. And some folks are armed and just plain crazy.


  1. Someone I know once had a mailbox that was "lined" with cement/concrete (whatever). He used to chuckle, thinking of the reaction when a carload of hooligans drove down his street, hitting a homerun with each mailbox until they got to his.

  2. I've heard of mail box baseball and I think they even showed this in that movie "Stand by Me" with a young Keifer Sutherland wielding the bat, but I can't understand why anyone would get a thrill vandalizing other people's property.

  3. We asked the police officer who investigated our destroyed box if we could rig up Christmas lights around the box so the perp might have a shocking experience. The cop said, no.

  4. I'm liking Linda's idea. Or, how about an IED. You want an exploding mailbox? Take THAT! BOOOM! Bwahhahahaha! Okay, they're just smart alec kids who are suffering from a bad experience in their Little League days. Poor little wimps.

  5. Sioux,
    Oh, believe me, we did that too. That's when the mailboxes just sat on a long board. Hick loved thinking about how heavy metal MB would rattle the arms of aluminum-bat wielders. Especially in the winter.

    I believe Kiefer was the driver, and his buddy "Eyeball Chambers" swung the bat. Yeah, why all the vandalizing? Why can't kids just go around sucking the blood from new boys in town like Kiefer did in The Lost Boys?

    Funny how those cops keep property owners from having any fun.

    NO! People used to do that around here. Instead of a simple federal property destroying bout of America's pastime, they were putting explosives in rural mailboxes. Shh...we don't want to revive that game again.