Sunday, January 07, 2007

4 Paper Route Driver: The Semi-Spiritual Journey of a Not Very Religious Man

Read Paper Route From The Beginning

Paper route drivers have supplies. You know, the ordinary supplies - duct tape, bungee cords, and of course 50,000 rubber bands.

You may be wondering why a paper route driver needs 50,000 rubber bands. And if you are wondering why a paper route driver needs 50,000 rubber bands it is because you are not a paper route driver. Believe me, my dad needed 50,000 rubber bands. Don't make a fool of yourself by asking why again.

Each Minneapolis Star Tribune issue bag of rubber bands is a 500 count bag. Having 100 bags of 500 count rubber bands adds up to 50,000 green rubber bands lightly covered in rubber band dust.

The Scout II was home to a few thousand rubber bands. Each viser was wrapped in at least 100 rubber bands each, the stick shift was looped with hundreds as well, and the 4 wheel drive stick shift a few hundred more. A dozen unopened bags rest in the rear of the truck covered in dusty bask issues of the Star Tribune next to the post pounder, the hydrolic jack, and the dusty duffle bag of paper route driver essentials.

The lion share of the 500 count bags, however, were stored in the one car garage of our small Valley Park townhome. What do you suppose 86 unopened bags of rubber bands means to a 3rd grade boy? Truth is, few 3rd grade boys ever get access to 86 bags of rubber bands. So, since you don't know what a 3rd grade boy does with an unlimited supply of rubber bands will do, I will tell you what he does.

The one thing a 3rd grade boy would do with 43,000 rubber is first to get a friend. I got Todd Orth to help. Todd lived in the townhouse unit furthest from mine in a complex of 5.

After gaining an accomplice, it was time to get to work. Todd Orth and I began our work. We opened one bag. I knew that once the clear plastic bag was ripped we had crossed the line of no return. We were on the other side of the Rubicon. This was illegal activity. I knew that once my father found out I had gotten into one bag of rubber bands it would incite as much rage as opening lots of bags. There was no point in stopping now. 3rd graders have the best logic.

We began to tie rubber bands together, end to end. One after another we tied them, making a very long rubber band. A couple hours of time is plenty to make a super-duper long rubber band.

How 2 third grade boys tied thousands of rubber bands together without getting them tangled up is a feat bordering on miraculous. After tying was completed, it time for the reveal. We opened the garage door and began to unravel the rubber band. We stretched out the rubber band from my house to Todd's. It must have been a city block. It was a success surpassing all others up to that point in my life. I was so impressed with myself.

And then dad came home.

Ecstatic celebration turned into dark dread as I could hear the leather of my father's belt snapping in the chambers of my little 3rd grade mind. Although Todd was at the other end of the same rubber band I was holding, he had no idea of my impending doom in face as I could not even look into my father's eyes. I knew I was dead meat.

I had violated the paper route driver's stuff. I had misused a paper route driver essential. And now, my life was in danger...

Read Paper Route 5


Anonymous said...

This series reminds me of the boy on "A Christmas Story". Did you ever ask for a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas?


Fajita said...

Geez, I tihnk a movie could be made of my father and it would probably do pretty well.