For fifteen years I used to deliver newspapers. It was a morning paper, so they had to be delivered usually between 2:00 and 6:00 in the morning. It was a difficult and miserable effort to do this EVERY day. The average quantity delivered was probably about 500 per day. Multiply that times 365 days a year for 15 years and that is over 2,700,000 newspapers. With that many deliveries, there has to be a few unusual events that occurred. There were so many I could write a book. But right here, I am confessing to just four of them.
Snowballs in the Road
There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground from earlier in the day. The sun came out after the snow and melted it enough so that it became hard and icy when it refroze that night. The streets were plowed and everyone had cleared their driveways. They either shoveled, used a snow blower, or plowed the snow. Some people who plow often have a tendency to plow the snow right back into the street, ignorant of the fact that other people have to drive over the snow mass they so carelessly left in the street. One person not only left a trail of snow on the road, but also left very large chunks of frozen snow balls. Roughly two feet in diameter, about the size of snowman segments. This particular house was in the middle of a dead end street. Therefore, I had to cross over his snow pile twice. Any of the other neighbors had to drive over this glacier as well. I was so mad at this inconsiderate slob that I pushed with great effort two of the biggest of the snow balls back into the middle of his driveway. Fun for him when he has to leave for work later that morning.
Knock Over a Mailbox
Every fall Toys R Us would advertise how their Christmas toy catalog was the biggest yet. They had commercials showing this massive catalog crushing anything and everything it came in contact with. This was a case of truth in advertising. This WAS a massive catalog and made the already heavy newspaper that much heavier. It was not unusual to have just the Sunday ads weigh in at over 4 pounds, all stuffed into plastic bags. The Toys R Us catalog was close to a pound just by itself. All the Sunday newspaper ads and half the sections were delivered in the wee hours of Saturday morning after midnight. The Sunday news section was delivered early Sunday morning. Throwing those heavy plastic bags was not easy. Sometime about 2:00 in the morning, I hit someone’s mailbox and knocked it right off the post. Just like the commercial predicted! So as not to get the blame, I put the paper further up their driveway and balanced the mailbox back on top of the post. As a result, the next person who opens it will pull the whole thing off. So, if the mailman does it, then it’s likely he will also try to balance it back up for the home owner to yank it down once more. I don’t care, just so I don’t get the blame.
Junk For Sale
I like signs. Not all signs, just certain ones. At the curb, along a fairly busy road, someone had an old yard sweeper. It was those things you use to pick up leaves and grass with a big front brush that rotates as you push it, and the brush shoves the debris into a large canvas bag. They had a cardboard sign in front of it that read “for sale”. Normally, I’d think that’s OK. But not in this case. It wasn’t a yard sweeper. What this thing really was, was a pile of rust in the SHAPE of a yard sweeper. How dare this guy try to take money from the poor slob that might buy this pile of iron oxide. He should be paying them to take it. He did not write the sign very well either. The guy left a big space a above the word “for”. With my handy magic marker, I used that convenient space to make the sign a little bit more honest. Now it reads, “junk for sale”.
A new housing development was being built on my route. There were not many residents yet and the ones that were there were few and far between. One street had only one house on it, and the new people had just moved in. They did not shut their second story bedroom curtains, or they hadn’t bought curtains yet. I know this because as I drove by one night, I happened to look up and saw someone in the window. A woman. A topless woman. “Woo Hoo,” I thought with excitement. The best part about it was it did not happen just this one time. I got lucky enough to see the peep show three or four times during the first month. But all good things have end. One night she noticed my headlights and promptly pulled the curtains shut. After that I had no reason to bring my binoculars anymore.