Tuesday 10 April 2012

I Loved My Prospectors

I just heard a rather distressing commercial on the radio. A wife was asking her husband why he was taking the long way to get where they are going. He replied that it was a beautiful day and this route was much more scenic. She gave him that wife ”Really?” reply and he said that this way had fewer stop signs and he was saving his brakes. She laughed at him and said “Did you just say that out loud?” The announcer then came on and flogged some brake place. I feel sorry for the guy.

Hell, I am that guy! There have been times when I have coasted to a stop light so that I would have minimal impact on the brakes. I’ve picked routes that have fewer lights and stop signs, but normally I tell myself that even though it may be a bit slower, I like the feeling of continual movement. That’s what the guy in the commercial should have said. I had a car once that cost $100 dollars and I used snowbanks to either slow me down or bring me to a complete stop. I have taken my bike or walked instead of driving. Of course, I told myself that it was for exercise, but you and I both know the truth. I think that the emergency brake on pretty much every car that I have owned has either seized or rusted out mainly due to never being used. I just don’t park on hills.

This carries through to a lot of aspects of my life. Shoes in particular. I will walk on the grass in order to keep from wearing the soles off of the shoes prematurely. It is also much easier on the feet walking on grass as opposed to concrete. Of course the added benefit as a letter carrier is that you would save time and get home earlier. Sure, some people would be pissed off, but grass grows and most people don’t like to be complainers.

When I was a letter carrier, I would wear shoes out on a regular basis and it would get a little costly. Don’t get me wrong, the Post Office would give us $150 every six months to buy boots and gloves, we called it the “Booze and Drug allowance”. There were a fair number of people that wouldn’t spend the money on footwear, but I figured that my working life was in my feet’s hands, as it were.

For the longest time I would buy hiking boots that not only had a good positive sole, but also gave ankle support. There was a fine line between buying the best pair of boots and buying a pair that would come in on budget and last the full six months. They should last more than that if at all possible. One year, I came upon a pair of boots that was about $50 dollars over the limit. They were Prospectors and had a good positive sole, great ankle support and were made of good leather. The best part was the guarantee, which said the boots were guaranteed for as long as you owned your feet. This company didn’t count on me. I wore a pair out every couple of years, and I would send them back to the company and they would return a brand new pair of Prospectors that would carry me on my route for another couple of years.

I sent the boots back six or seven times and on the last time I was sent a pair of boots and a note. The note said that the company was leaving the country and could no longer honour the guarantee, and if I would send them $50 for this last pair everything would be cool. Send them $50? I don’t think so! I wasn’t as outraged as I could have been, because I did get to pocket about $200 bucks a year for the past 12 or so years. I figure that the Prospector shoe company and I were even.

The gloves? The first year in the post office I bought a pair of gloves, after that I would pick up gloves that people dropped in the parking lots, sidewalks and on the way to school, send them to the wash and if they made the warmth cut, they would become part of my winter attire. They didn’t match of course, but you needed a warmer glove on the carrying hand than you did on the delivering hand anyways. Sometimes one was pink and the other blue, but my hands were always warm and it didn’t cost a penny.

Life is like a carton of milk. Some people pour the last of the milk out and then either toss the carton or recycle it. I pour the last of the milk out and then stand the carton on end until the very last drop comes out. Make sure that you get every last drop out of your life.

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