Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Death of a Mailbox, by Joan Bochmann

Written in 2006, author Joan Bochmann rues the vandalism of her and Carl's country mailbox.

© July, 2006
Joan Bocmann



Joan Bochmann

            It has served us well, ingesting everything from letters and bills to ads and flyers without complaint. Poor thing has undergone at least three different moves dictated by the U.S. Postal Service. (First it was on the north side of the road; then we were given a deadline for moving it to the south side of the road. About a year later someone decided it should be on the north side of the road after all. We complied, but had to disturb it yet again because it was a few inches too high.)

            It lost its little red flag sometime during this process and one of its black on white numbers fell off. The black paint was peeling a bit, but it was dent-free and doing its duty—until last night.

            I am sure if it had a brain it would be totally baffled by the brutality of the beating. It was whacked not one or two, but three times, battered into a twisted, shapeless hunk of metal lying in the road about 10 feet east of its home. It would probably protest that it didn’t deserve such treatment and, of course, it didn’t. I don’t think it was a grudge against us or our particular mailbox, because too many of its neighbors suffered the same fate. I hope it wasn’t rage— that’s just too anonymous and scary.

            Poor mailbox! I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve never really understood random vandalism. I’m thinking that with the price of gas, these box bashers must be fairly affluent. You can’t drive around the countryside battering mailboxes for a few dollars anymore. Maybe they could contribute some of their wealth to a fund folks could draw on to replace the quintessential mailbox. Maybe that would make them feel better. Do you think so?

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