On the way to town a few days ago, I was startled to see a road stick. Not the kind that Crazy Stick Dude throws out in the middle of the upper gravel road by our other property. Those are dead limbs, and he piles them along the driving lane on his side of the road. No, that's not what we're talking about today. Crazy Stick Dude has been lawfully warned, and has been controlling his stick-i-ness lately.
This was a metal pole. Like the fence poles they use in Kansas, where there are no trees. Not a green metal pole like most of them I've seen. This one was gray. Metal-colored! And it was a cylindrical shape. Like a pipe. Not flat like a fence pole. On the top was a boxy little protuberance. The whole rig was stabilized with two cables, both with orange warning tape flapping from them. That's what caught my attention.
Huh. Maybe that's a surveyor's thingy, for the road approach to the low-water bridge. The road IS too narrow right there on the hill. Or maybe it's to see about when the bridge floods. Maybe it's from the county highway department. Maybe we'll be getting a new bridge!
On I went to town. I wished I'd had time to take a picture, but that pole was right at the top of the hill, and startled me. I considered getting one on the way back, but it's not a good place to stop in the road, with the dips that block the view from behind T-Hoe. I didn't want to get rear-ended taking a picture of a mysterious pole. Besides, it was right in front of a house. Across from their mailboxes. I didn't want to look suspicious, like I was casing their house for a future burglary attempt.
Wait a minute! Across from the mailboxes? Maybe that homeowner put up his own camera. Like a game camera. For surveillance, because there's a lot of mailbox bashing out here. Down the road and around the curve, I'd noticed a couple of brand-new mailboxes. That happens when one has to be replaced. Folks out here don't go around upgrading their mailboxes all willy-nilly. They don't upgrade at all. Just slap up another cheapie when the old one is destroyed. The mail keeps coming and coming, you know. Gotta have somewhere to receive it.
When I next saw Farmer H, which was of course almost instantly, him being fully retired now, and having a sixth sense about where I'll be at any given moment so he can appear as if by magic...I asked if he'd been to town yet. He's not always forthcoming about his secret early-morning donut runs. He said he hadn't seen the pole, but would look for it next time. I asked him to get a picture. Not that I wanted him to get rear-ended, but a hospital stay, no matter how brief, would put the kibosh on our recent togetherness.
Farmer H had a different theory. "Oh, that's Good Ol' Boy's house. His son lives there now, I think. Good Ol' Boy has had mail stolen before. I bet it happened again, and he's trying to catch them."
Well, Farmer H had a point. It was the first of the month recently. When checks arrive. My chip debit card still hasn't shown up. So maybe somebody's been stealing mail again.
"I can't believe he's got it that close to the road. The only way it could be closer was if it was IN the road, like Crazy Stick Dude's method."
Huh. I guess somebody objected and he had to take it down. Or somebody crashed into it. Or maybe the mail thieves stole it. Because when Farmer H went to town later that day, the mysterious road stick was gone.
I know I saw it. I'm sure.