Or is the plural of hoodlum hoodla?
Anyway, Saturday morning, when I left for the store, I didn’t notice anything wrong at the end of the driveway. Slightly later Saturday morning, when I returned from the store, I noticed right away that the mailbox was missing.
It was a white mailbox, so it was rather noticeable. I doubt that it was there when I left that morning, because it is across the road from the end of the driveway. As you drive down our 300-foot-long driveway, you are facing the mailbox the entire time.
But just before I turned back onto our driveway, I noticed it was conspicuously missing. I got out of the minivan and looked around. I expected to see it damaged, lying nearby. But there was no sign of it anywhere.
People have hit the mailbox before and broken it. Our driveway is the first one off a major road, so people who missed something often use our driveway to turn around. (Because of that, whenever I miss my turn and need to turn around, I use the second or third driveway, not the first.) When those people hit the mailbox, at least they leave it alone – either on the ground next to the mailbox post or dangling from it.
Since there was no sign of the mailbox, and since it was only an hour or two until the mail was supposed to arrive, I figured I needed to put a replacement mailbox up immediately.
All you thrower-awayers out there, especially those who have tried to convince me that I shouldn’t save everything: take note. I did not need to go buy a new mailbox because I still had my old one in the garage. I had replaced the mailbox a few years ago because the number stickers were peeling and the paint was wearing away. When I installed the new mailbox, I did not throw away the old one, even though there was ostensibly no use for it any more. I just put it in my garage because it was still functional. And when I had need for a mailbox, it was right there for me.
This incident has furthered my resolve that yes, I really do need to save that, whatever that may be that I feel like saving. If anyone asks me why I am saving something, my answer will be that I might need it someday. And you never know when that will be (although it usually works out to be just after you throw it away).
I re-installed the old mailbox and went back inside the house to do other things. Later that day, I glanced down the driveway and noticed something white at the end of our driveway. Someone had found our mailbox and placed it on our yard. Or maybe the hooligan who took it had a change of heart and returned it. It was rather undamaged for being torn or knocked from the post. The plastic newspaper box that was still on its post (right next to the mailbox post) was severely bent, so I know that some traumatic event happened there.
Now I am back to two functioning mailboxes. I have the old mailbox collecting mail and the newer, nicer mailbox collecting dust. Maybe I’ll wait for something to happen to the old mailbox and switch them then.
But if it is actually stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.