You would think that picking up the mail would be a simple task. One that needs no rocket-scientist experience, no MENSA membership card, no Olympic athlete physique. And if that's what you think, YOU WOULD BE WRONG, BY CRACKY!
The Pony stayed behind while I navigated the new Hillmomba Autobahn detour route to town for my daily 44 oz. Diet Coke. Today was a case of not the struggle, but the triumph. The trip itself was fairly uneventful. I only had to shake my curmudgeonly fist of outrage a couple of times. I nabbed that magical elixir in record time. But since The Pony was swishing his tail in the basement paddock rather than riding behind me and trotting out to get the mail, I had to do it myself.
I know how that husband felt, back in the 70s, when he asked his wifey for a beer, and she hollered from the kitchen, "GET IT YOURSELF, BOB!" Except my name isn't Bob. And I don't drink. So I didn't want a beer. But other than that, I know exactly how he felt.
First of all, a kindly anonymous donor paid for about ten loads of gravel to be put down on our road. I don't know the official name for this size gravel particle. Whereas the standard gray driveway gravel we get is called two-inch clean by the gravel dealers, this stuff must be in the double digits. I swear, it is HUGE. Every time I drive over it, the word riprap comes to mind. You know riprap. The rocks that line dams and levees and lakes, where you don't want any erosion going on. When we drive on our gravel road now, there arises such a clatter that my Sirius XM Seventies can hardly be heard. A seasoned mountain goat would be hard-pressed to take two steps over these particles without spraining a fetlock.
Secondly, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not enjoy a noontime hike. Gone are the days when I could whip a U-turn, pull T-Hoe over to the wrong side of the road, and open the door of EmBee the steel-pipe mailbox from my driver's seat. The new Hillmomba Autobahn put an end to that practice. So I had to maneuver myself over those bonebreakers to even get to the blacktop edge of the new Hillmomba Autobahn.
Thirdly, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is no Frogger. Yet super-duper, George Costanza Frogger skillz are needed to get across the new Hillmomba Autobahn without taking a direct hit from a septic-tank sucker or a 15-roll hay wagon towed by a dually. I proceeded, I listed to port, I receded, I sidled starboard, and I arrived at EmBee's wooden, multi-mailbox hut. I had to step aside for a moment, as a passing Hillmomba Autobahn missile screamed past, blowing my hair like the hipster tie of that guy in a chair listening to a Hitachi speaker.
Fourthly, the carrier had rammed a large envelope addressed to Genius deep into the recesses of EmBee's green metal tube innards. I had to balance an eclectic mix of postcard electric bill, two #10 business envelopes, an Entertainment Weekly, and an internet service half-size cardboard flyer in my right hand while digging out that big envelope from the Missouri Secondary School Principals' Association with my left. It must have been a certificate of some kind from his Top 100 Scholars fete.
Back at the Mansion, I called The Pony as T-Hoe chugged down the driveway. He cheerfully bore my burdens into the house. I washed my hands of the dust of sweet, sweet Juno, who is a dirty girl in the summertime. She revels in a daily dustbath, and snoozes under the $1000 Caravan. While prepping my 44 oz. Diet Coke for downstairs delivery by double-cupping, I saw a stain on the damp paper towel I had just used to dry my hands. The Pony had squirted out some ketchup for a corn dog I brought him from the gas station chicken store. I mentally chastised him for cleaning up his mess with my hand towel. I might have used it to wipe off the side of my Diet Coke cup. Because there's nothing Mrs. Hillbilly Mom loves more than saving the environment one paper towel at a time, unless it's her 44 oz. Diet Coke. I said nothing, though, because that little fella is such a help to me. I said nothing. Until...
"HEY! That's BLOOD all over my paper towel!"
I searched myself for entry wounds. There. On the back of my hand. It was bleeding like a stuck leech in a Coumadin factory. EmBee had gouged me good with her screwy snaggletooth. The one that juts from her circular door flap, to mesh with the magnet at the top of her pipe-hole opening. The Pony ran to get me a bandaid. He hates to see me hurt. And to see blood flowing at the kitchen counter.
Life is fraught with danger here on the frontier.