It's a scene that replays itself again and again on my route. Well, two scenes, really, but they come as a set.
There is one particular house sort of toward the end of my route.
When it snows, some people don't bother to shovel. These people shovel.
This summer I was fighting my way past a creeping tendril of thorny bush that seemed to be tasked with guarding the porch from invasion, growing ever further out and more fully blocking the top of the stair. They cut it back, then wired it completely out of the way.
They seem intent on doing everything right, everything they can do to ensure that I can get to and from their mailbox. This is a good thing, believe me, and I would be happy about it if not for one thing.
They refuse to pick up their mail.
Days go by, and the mail just piles up in their box.
Weeks go by, and I'm prying at the mail that is already in the box, trying to slide and stuff and cram more mail into the box until it is more than overflowing; it is deformed and out of shape from the pressure of the paper held within it, all trying to burst loose and be free.
Eventually I have no choice but to throw a rubber band about each day's mail and stack it on top of the straining mailbox.
I have tried taking the mail back to the Post Office, leaving a notice in their mailbox saying that the mailbox was full to overflowing and they can either come get the mail at the P.O. or they can call for re-delivery. When I have done this in the past, the very day I leave the notification there is a call put into the Office asking for re-delivery the next day. So the next day I bring out the huge bundle of mail and leave it on their porch, leaned against the wall beneath the box.
And there it stays.
Okay ... all that up there? That was not the scene, or scenes I was talking about. That was just the set-up.
Are you ready?
So, yesterday I made my way up on their porch, and found that I was right behind the lady of the house who was working her key in the lock. As I approached she got the key to turn and the door opened. The door that is right next to the currently filled-to-overflowing mailbox.
She looked back over her shoulder at me, and I saw her gaze focus on the mailbox. Letters, magazines and catalogs spilled forth from wide open box like some square gargoyle vomiting forth over spill from torrential rains. A stack of banded off mail from days gone by gave the little gargoyle a strange top hat, so that the box was simultaneously bursting and being crushed by built up mail.
"Here, let me take those from you," she said, turning back to meet me. "There's no room in there anyway!" She nodded her head toward the overworked receptacle with a sheepish grin.
"Thank you," I said with relief as I handed her the wad of paper that comprised that day's post.
I walked away happy, satisfied that, after seeming embarrassed by the state of her mailbox, she was going to do something about it and I'd have a nice empty mailbox to work with, at least for a little while.
Can you guess how this turns out?
Sshhh... don't spoil it for the others!
So this afternoon I go skipping up the stairs to their porch, past the tamed vine of thorns, and I turned toward the mailbox to find ...
...that it still vomited mail like a frat boy with a big appetite on morning 2 of Spring Break: Daytona!
Are you serious?
Talk to you later!