Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Joroleman Ja Rollin Mon

Castles Made of Sand Here

I rode to a park with my daughter this weekend. Unplanned, just went.
We leaned our bikes against a small tree.
She worked on building a hill-castle in the sand.
I snoozed beneath the small tree on the grass in the shade.
My helmet was my pillow. I put my head just so, it worked.
My external occipital protuberance nestled in a vent hole comfortably.
The dappled sunlight warmed me.
The slight wind cooled me, and caused the tree to sway.
I listened to the wind blowing through the branches, and the sound of the bikes rubbing against the trunk.

On the way home, we rode down a quiet street. I don't think any cars passed us the whole time.
She took advantage of the empty pavement by driving a little crazy.
Figure eights, up/down/up/down the curb, etc.
She wasn't exactly watching where she was going.
As she was coming down from the curb, I noticed someone had left their mailbox door hanging open.
It was right at the level of her neck.
I was following behind her, and as I saw her roll down off the curb toward the box with the black steel door open, right at the level of her neck, I thought: that would be nasty if she ran into it.

Watch out! Decapitation risk! I shouted something at her.

This was a round top type of mailbox with the flag/indicator on the side, the type that lines the roads of the countryside. I looked it up: invented by a postal worker named Roy J. Joroleman in 1915, as part of an effort to standardize mailboxes, to make them look like they were a part of something official, rather than a slapdash hodgepodge of rotten peach baskets and soap boxes, which is what they apparently used to receive mail before Roy J. Joroleman came along. In order to encourage the adoption of uniform boxes, the design was released without patent or other hindrance to any manufacturer who wanted to make them, only a design along with standards for size and construction. Open source mailbox! GPL postal equipment! Anyway, this was the particular instantiation that almost took off my little angel's halo-holder:

Black Steel Death (door safely shut at the moment)

My daughter's reaction to my (over)reaction? She swerved out of the path of decapitation, and resumed figure-eights and up/down/up/down curb running, waving at me and smiling.

Sometimes, I just need to chill out a little. Relax. Back away from constantly being Safe T. Man. Yeah. I did prototype a child neck protector in my mind while we rode home, to protect against childhood Joroleman-style mailbox decapitation, after considering then dismissing the concept of breakaway safety mailbox doors. Heck, if the doors fell off just because a kid ran into it, we might as well go back to peach baskets and soap boxes, those loosey-goosey pre-Joroleman days of mail receptacle chaos. Nosirree. No thanks. OK, I need something to soothe some parental anxiety. How about some fresh blackberries just picked by the park-biking daughter in my backyard? Good idea. Good thing she kept her head. Get up. Go ride.

    Joroleman Ja Rollin Blackberries Mon


  1. The addy on that mailbox freaks me out!
    Berries, yum.

  2. It is very possible I edited the mailbox photo a bit to increase the likelihood of tetraphobia response.


Please feel free to comment here, almost anything goes, except for obvious spam or blatantly illegal or objectionable material. Spammers may be subject to public ridicule, scorn, or outright shaming, and the companies represented in spam shall earn disrepute and ire for each occurrence.