Recently I promised to tell you the story about what happened to this mailbox:
As you can see, the door is missing from the left hand box. Well, my friend was coming home from work the other day and she noticed that it was missing too.
“Darn kids,” she thought as she pulled into her driveway. ”School hasn’t even been out for two days and already they’re out tearing stuff up.”
As she entered the house, her spouse said, “Hey, let me tell you about the mailbox.”
“Yeah, what’s up with that?” she replied. “I noticed it was torn up.”
“Yeah, well, the mailman came down and told me all about it. It seems that when he came to deliver mail he opened up A’s box and there was a copperhead coiled up in it and it rared up at him.”
“Poor snake. I can just imagine him lying there, sleeping in a nice warm dark place. “Hey! Who turned that damn light on?”"
“So anyway,” the storyteller continued, “The mailman sat there and thought about it. Then he unscrewed our mailbox door and used it to beat the snake in the other mail box to death. He brought the door to our mailbox down to me, and apologized.”
The question still remains, how did the snake get into the mailbox?
We all figure it got there via someone who doesn’t really like A particularly. Sadly, there is a fairly long list of people who share that attitude.
Anyway, that’s what happened to the mailbox.
So, a comment on a post a couple of days ago reminded me of something that happened back when I was around four years old.
At that period of my life, we lived in the San Diego area, and on a regular basis my folks loaded us up and took us down to the beach, usually by Mission Bay where the water was not too rough for little ones. You also have to understand that by this time in my life, I had already learned to read quite well, and had just spent a considerable amount of time reading and digesting the contents of a book of fairy tales. My understanding of the differences between fiction and non-fiction was still rather shaky.
One of these stories was entitled “Why the sea is salty.” It involved a wish of some sort and the upshot was the people in the story wound up with a magical salt cellar that continually ground out salt (I don’t remember why this happened) and they couldn’t get it to stop. Once it filled up their house, they ended up throwing it into the sea outside their place and according to the story, it is still down there grinding out salt and that is why the sea is salty.
The other thing that had happened near the same time was we had visited my grandfather on his dairy farm, where I saw 25 pound blocks of salt distributed around so the cows could lick them and get the minerals they needed. They looked a lot like big ice cubes to me.
Let us not inquire into the fertile imagination or the sort or rationalization that went into my next leap of logic, but somehow from all the above I developed a phobia of the ocean water in Mission Bay. Somehow, I concluded that there were big blocks of salt floating around in the ocean like ice cubes in a drink or something, and that was how it got salty.
It wasn’t long before we were taken to the beach. I refused to go out and actually swim, which upset my mother a great deal since she had just spent considerable time and expense acquiring swimming lessons for me at the YMCA. So, she inquired as to why I was not enjoying the ocean the way I usually did.
Whereupon I informed her that it was because of my fear of the blocks of salt that would be floating around in the ocean making it salty. I was afraid that I would swim into one and hit my head, which would cause me to drown from being knocked out.
“Where on earth did you get such a ridiculous idea?” was her response to my notion.
I endeavored to explain how I had come to such a conclusion, and after my parents finished laughing at me, I was informed that the sea is salty for other reasons. And blocks of salt do not float. And I should get my silly stupid butt out there and enjoy the waters of Mission Bay.
Needless to say, the ridicule and the contempt that I was treated to that day made a big impression on me. Anyway, this is one of the many reasons why I do not laugh at people who have fears regarding what may be in the water they are swimming in.
More than likely they are not envisioning big cubes of salt floating around waiting to bash them in the head.