I love the scene in one of the Charlie Brown Christmas specials where Linus tries without much success to go sledding down a big hill in a cardboard box. I wonder if I saw this as a child and hoped to one day outdo Linus with my very own cardboard stunt. Well, whether I did or not, outdo him I did. At the age of 20, I – along with a good friend – became a boxing legend.
March 10, 2010
Two days ago, I was in Grand Rapids. Sarah and I decided that since we were going, we should swing by the bank I used to work at, so we could put Jakob’s savings bond in our safe deposit box. When we were there, one of my former co-workers, Mary Beth, told me that she thinks of me every time they get a shipment in a big box. If marketing is the same as it used to be, she has been reminded of me and my antics 4 times a year for the last 7 years. Why would a big cardboard box remind her of me? I will gladly tell you.
Ever heard the saying, “when the cat’s away, the mice will play?” Our cat boss seemed to be away a lot, leaving my friend and I – consummate mice – time to play. One day when he was away, we got a shipment with a lot of new forms. After we put away the new forms, we were left with a giant, empty cardboard box. Empty boxes went downstairs in one of our storage rooms, where it would be picked up and recycled by the box fairy. One of us thought it would be funny to ride down the tile stairs in the cardboard box like we were sledding. I took it upon myself to go first, and it was awesome. We both got to go down a few times before we broke through the box.
Every time a new giant box came in, we would ride it down the stairs until it was destroyed. Then one day, we had some promotional materials that had to go downstairs. They were about 2 feet x 2 feet x an inch. Being made of cardboard, they seemed like perfect new sleds, so we tried them out. That was scary. It was so scary that both of us stuck our hands and feet out as we flew down the stairs. Our black dress shoes left black scuff lines on the walls all the way down the stairs. Several years later, after we both had gone, a new manager came along and noticed the scuffs. No one could explain them. They had been there for several years, but the origin was a mystery to all. Regardless of where they came from, they were unacceptable, and had to be painted over. Five years after the incident, all evidence has been removed. The cardboard has probably been broken down and recycled into a new box, and the mystery lines are painted over. But the legend lives on.