That Telltale Squeak

Our mail delivery truck has a brake squeak.  Sort of a drawn out whine with just a touch of nail-on-chalkboard action.  We live on a fairly busy city street, so you would think that such an innocuous sound wouldn’t cause much stir.  And on most days, it doesn’t.  The dogs will usually protest the invasion of their 0.8 acre domain, but other than that, we hardly look up from our screen when we hear the squeaky signal.

But then, there are other days….like today…when that high-pitched squawk signals far more to Uber and H-T than doggie disgruntlement.  It signals the possibility of a Gamefly arrival.  Gamefly, for those of you who are blessedly unaware, is an online video game delivery service that sends out games of the renters choice via mail.  Whey have played the game till their thumbs are dislocated, they stuff it back in the original mailer and send it off to the magical game distribution center while they wait with bated breath till their next online choice arrives.

During that agonizing 3-4 day wait, the boys must pacify themselves with the 746 “old” games they already have.  This rarely helps, however.  Each day becomes an eternity-long lesson in patience…and motherly torture.

“Guess what came in the mail today?” I will ask with a sweet smile as I walk in the door.  As they jump from their chairs so fast their mouse keeps spinning, I will gleefully hold up the cover of my latest issue of Birds and Blooms.  “Have you ever seen a chartreuse green hummingbird before?!  Magnificent, isn’t it?”  

On day #2 of Gamefly watch, I tend to spice things up a bit.  Ruffling through the stack of mail fresh from the box, I will put on my game face.  “Darn it!  It happened again.  They confused our mail with the Stevenson’s again.  Don’t worry though, I’m sure the Stevenson boys will bring your games back when they finish with them.”  Seeing their horror at the thought of the two grammar school terrors down the street playing with their precious cargo, I will usually come clean. “Oh, my mistake.  That actually is my BBC Catalog.  Never mind.” 

mailbox Day three is a long one.  They start watching the dogs for twitching twenty minutes before the mail is due.  I’ve been known to open the rusty pantry door slowly just to get their hearts racing.  Poor things.  They have banned me from actually retrieving the mail myself on day three, so I have to get my jollies somehow, you know.  Today was no exception.  Super Smash Bros. Brawl was on its way, and you could get a shock just from standing too close to the static excitement emanating  from the boys’ direction. 

Finally, the time had arrived.  I don’t know who heard it first – – the dogs or the boys – – but there was no denying that familiar scratching of brake against worn-out pad.  The boys were out the door and down the sidewalk before I could even remind them to put their shoes on.  I’m not sure just what our mail carrier must think of us.  Two geeky kids running outside in 40 degree weather in bare feet?  I’m hoping she has better things to worry about.  Like getting those brakes fixed, for one.  But I hope she doesn’t hurry about it.  


2 Responses

  1. My son has been *begging* us for Gamefly. I’ve said no up to this point, but the thought of a little mental torture for my son may make me change my mind. Hmm, wonder what that says about me 😉

  2. Could you somehow turn BIRD AND BLOOM into some kind of game that would teach them the names and distinctions of at least 10 birds?? Do they even know the sound of at least two bird calls, or even the sound of their Grandmother’s sobs as she witnesses their swooning over some screaching brake pads?

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