Distractions, Disasters, Dangerous Encounters

Plop a paper on a porch. Nothing to it. Just do it every day making the daily routine monotonous. Until the routine ruptured.

Dodge pot holes, swerve around raised man-hole covers, clear the curb, duck for low tree limbs and sagging clotheslines, a paperboy bicycling fast, no hands on the handle bar grips, a swaying lop-sided load of papers ran an obstacle course on the streets, the lawns, across railroad tracks. He also needed to miss cars, buses, trucks and pedestrians. Numerous hazards existed all around his route challenging him to become adept at avoidance.

Then severe weather increased his troubles when mother nature slapped him with hail stones, sleet, torrential downpours and he’s challenged to keep thin news sheets dry. Thick ice broke power lines causing brilliant fiery flashes, which captured his curiosity but dangerously threatened his life.

As a paper carrier were accidents, animals or adults your greatest challenge? Or did all three cause trouble plus other critical encounters?

Certainly unleashed dogs ranged from annoying to aggravating. If a quick spray with ammonia or bleach didn’t turn the critter away, the resulting vicious attack stopped a paper boy’s timely delivery. If only the dog’s owner stopped being irresponsible, he’d reduce risks for a young boy, because his uniform, a canvas newspaper bag, provided little protection.

As a paper carrier, children in their first job quickly learned to cope with erratic weather, control dogs that chased them, but stumbled against unpredictable adult behavior. The cranks complainers, curmudgeons challenged his manners and particularly his patience when they avoided paying their bill. Deadbeats were a pain.

Frequently involved with challenges, perils, hazards, the unexpected circumstances taught him common sense and increased his self confidence.


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