The Clown House, A Mailbox Baseball Story – Chapter 4 The Mailbox Goes Up To Be Taken Down

After spending their first night in Hertford, the Halls awoke with the task of installing their first mailbox. Fanny had asked one of the movers to carve out a wooden home plate base and install a threaded insert. Fanny then drilled a bolt into each end of a long wooden dowel he found laying in the garage, perhaps a leftover railing for a basement project from the previous owner. Cassandra was charged with painting the mailbox to look like a baseball – white base, red laces to look like a baseball, “The Halls” and the number 136 in block letters clear as day. It wasn’t an arduous task that first morning. In fact, Faneuil and Cassandra were actually quite giddy as they worked like two little elves on Christmas gifts for the season.

Once the paint dried on the mailbox, Fanny threaded one end of the wooden dowel into the base. Kind of like you would screw the tube into the base of a batting tee. That was the goal here – to create a mailbox that looked and appeared to be there for the taking, propped up on a batting tee. Like this tennis ball on an actual batting tee:

With a few twists and turns, the wooden dowel was now secure into the wooden home base plate. Just hand tightened, he didn’t want to over tighten the bolt into the insert. Next, Fanny drilled a small pilot hole through the bottom of the mailbox, gently so as not to damaged the metal and Cassandra’s work. He then guided the mailbox onto the top end of the wooden dowel and the awaiting bolt. Cassandra, with her smaller and more capable hand, inserted a washer over the bolt, which protruded into the mailbox. Then, a locknut to secure the mailbox to the wooden dowel. She secured the nut with a 1/2 inch ratchet wrench, snuggly so the mailbox would not move a millimeter. Fanny placed the now completed project on the flat ground in front of them and Cassandra stood back and laughed. “This is going to be taken down with a lot of fun and force,” joked Fanny. “Yep, can’t wait,” replied Cassandra.

After a few moments of joy in the completion of their first mailbox to be destroyed, Fanny grasped the batting tee mailbox with two hands and walked it to the edge of his property, where a typical mailbox would be placed for mail carriers to deliver mail. Right there on the end of his front lawn, still on the Halls property. Cassandra followed with a few stakes, which they would use to secure the wooden base into the grass. Over the five points of the plates, Fanny and Cassandra pushed the U-shaped stakes into the ground catching a corner of the base in the process. After the stakes were inserted, the mailbox stood on its own – a lamb to slaughter if you will – ready to receive its first delivery of mail and perhaps its final delivery of mail. Cassandra then went to work on the signage she had printed with the words “#LetterOn” and placed the signs on the lawn like “For Sale” signs. One on each side of their newly minted and installed mailbox.

Cassandra went inside to get a glimpse of her work and Fanny walked to the corner of the house. A convertible International Eagle Scout innocently drove by and Fanny thought nothing of it, until… That same Eagle Scout came driving down towards the Halls about a minute later and then again another minute later. It was going in circles and as the Eagle Scout went past the Halls, 2 boys emerged from the back seat and stood up with both hands on the Scouts roll bar. Fanny crept over to the side of the house, like a detective or spy in a movie to catch a glimpse of the Scout, but not be seen. He pulled out his phone and texted Cassandra, “Honey, take a peek out a window but don’t make it obvious.” The Scout circled the Halls driveway about 5 times traveling on the north then south side of the street before taking off for good. “I think we got their attention,” texted Cassandra who was in the window just above where Fanny was hiding against the corner of the house. “I snapped a photo of the license plate, just in case we need it, ha ha, ” she wrote back. “LetterOn” texted Fanny and with that, the Mailbox Baseball gauntlet had been thrown down by the Halls to the Hertford players.

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