Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Mysterious Case of the Missing Mailboxes

It all began, quite mysteriously, on the night of December 19 when Lincoln had its first snowfall of the year. There was quite a bit of accompanying winds.

When I got up the next morning, I saw that our mailbox was gone. I posted this photo on my Facebook wall, pointing out that the stick to the left of the tree is where our mailbox used to be. I went out and looked around and the mailbox was nowhere to be found.

Dad found another old mailbox in the garage and enlisted one of his buddies to try to jerryrig it to the post. It didn't really work, so his friend went and got a new one for us and installed it on the post the next day.

All was fine until last night. Dad reported that the doorbell rang about 11 p.m. I didn't hear it. He went out and the OLD mailbox was sitting on the front porch, so he brought it in. I saw it sitting in the hallway when I got up this morning. I looked out the kitchen window and the NEW mailbox was gone! What? What's going on here?

Dad was rightfully pissed off since he had just spent $50 on the new mailbox. But why would someone return the OLD one and then take the NEW one? Figuring that this theft is some sort of crime, I called the non-emergency phone number for the Lincoln Police Department. As I reported the incident, the woman I was speaking with couldn't help but laugh. "I'm sorry," she said, "I know this isn't funny, but it IS amusing." We thought so, too, but we were still pissed off about it. So she said an officer would be out to speak to us.

A very nice officer showed up in about 15 minutes and we explained this bizarre story to him. Then he asked about the other mailbox that was in the driveway. "What other mailbox?"

He went back outside and retrieved the NEW mailbox that was sitting next to our trash barrel - up by the house, not by the street.

Now that makes everything even stranger! The OLD mailbox has been missing for nearly three weeks, it mysteriously reappears and the NEW one is removed from the post and placed by the trash barrel. What's up with that?

By now, the officer, Dad and I are all quite perplexed, but laughing about how strange this was. The officer asked if I knew the date that the OLD mailbox disappeared. "Yes!" I replied, "Because I posted on Facebook!" So I was able to look up the date for him. He asked if he thought we had been targeted or if we knew if any of the neighbors had witnessed anything. We replied that we really hadn't talked with anyone about it.

So, the officer took down some more information, gave us his card and the incident report number and took off to interview some of the neighbors. He said if he got any information, he'd be back to see us. So I guess he didn't find out anything new.

I just hope that my phone call to the police department doesn't wind up on that crazy police calls segment on The Tonight Show!

copyright 2013 Susan M. Petersen

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

There You Go! No Problem!

I have quite a few pet peeves. Many of them have to do with how people butcher and misuse language.

A few weeks ago, I sat through a full-day seminar on photography during which the presenter pronounced "pictures" the same as "pitchers."

In recent years, I have started responding to people who say stupid things to me. Have you noticed that whenever you get food from a drive-in window, the employee hands you your change and says "there you go!"

This evening I replied with, "No, I'm still here!"

The clerk had this glazed over expression and said, "What?" I said, "You said to me 'There you go!' and I pointed out to you that I'm still here."

She had no idea what my point was. It amused me.

Not long ago I was in an office supply store and asked one of the employees where to find something. He pointed it out to me and I said, "Thank you." His response was "No problem!" I replied, "The correct response to Thank You is 'You're Welcome." He got it, started laughing and said, "You're right! You're welcome."

My friends always get on edge if a restaurant server approaches us toward the end of a meal and asks, "Are you still workin' on  it?" My friends know what is coming next. Since I do not consider eating a meal to be work, my response is, "No, we're still eating dinner." Why do they not know that the correct phrase should be, "May I take your plate?" or "Have you finished with your meal?"

Honest, I don't know where or how these phrases have entered our language, but I am determined to point it out to America, even if it's just one person at a time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Did Ricky Gervais go too far at the Golden Globes?

It's no secret that I never miss watching the Golden Globes, Academy Awards and the Tony awards shows. Any other awards shows are hit-and-miss. My personal favorite hosts of these award shows are Billy Crystal and Hugh Jackman. With these men at the helm, it makes these self congratulatory, less than humble awards shows palatable.

Certainly, the organizers of the Golden Globes show knew to expect the unexpected from this year's host, Ricky Gervais. He did the hosting duties last year and they invited him back. Last night, he made fun of the Hollywood Foreign Press, celebrities like Robert Downey, Jr., Bruce Willis, and countless others. Gervais is totally irreverent, but isn't he always? He's doing what Don Rickles has been doing for 60 years, only with a British accent.

Oh my goodness - the Hollywood community and the online press is abuzz this morning, saying that Gervais went too far. It's interesting about the slant of the comments - very different points of view depending upon if they are in the U.S. or the U.K. People commenting on Twitter are very much pro-Gervais.

From the Telegraph in the UK: Ricky Gervais is unlikely to be invited back as Golden Globes host after he mocked the organisers and insulted Hollywood celebrities.

Fox News: Ricky Gervais Draws More Gasps than Grins

Los Angeles Times: Ricky Gervais snarkfest

Reuters: Ricky Gervais too funny for Hollywood

Well, well, well. The big egos of the Hollywood film industry have become so accustomed to people fawning all over them that they apparently believe their own publicity. Gervais said nothing that has not already been said by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel or any of the other late night talk show hosts. Gervais just told the jokes in prime time - and directly in front of the people who the jokes were about.

There's just one thing to say to the Hollywood folks whose egos were fractured last night. It's the classic Jack Nicholson line from A Few Good Men: "You can't handle the truth."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Events in Tucson

Today's violence in Tucson is, indeed, a tragedy.

I would hope that the news media would at least attempt to 'get it right' rather than 'get it first.'

The false reports that the Congresswoman died took me back to the Reagan shooting when the media reported, in error, the death of press secretary Jim Brady.

Thursday, December 30, 2010