Tuesday, February 9, 2021

I remember delivering papers at 3 in the morning and people's front doors were wide open

When I had a News-Herald paper route back in the Paleolithic Age (1981-83), the Saturday morning papers were sometimes delivered to my house obscenely early. Like, to the point that it was still basically Friday night when they were dropped off at the bottom of our driveway.

When that happened, I would occasionally just stay up late and deliver the papers in the middle of the night so that I could sleep until noon the next day.

This was always an adventure because, really, it's not often you're roaming the neighborhood in the dead of night at 12 years old. So it was kind of fun.

Anyway, when I did this in the summer, it was not at all uncommon for me to open someone's door and toss the paper into their wide-open, not-at-all-protected house. Only a screen door separated their living room from the outside, which was presumably to allow cooler air to circulate through their house during the night in the age before central air was common.

I could easily have walked in and taken whatever I wanted.

Not that I ever did that or even thought about doing that. The point was, many people felt just fine sleeping while leaving their house entirely unsecure.

This would not happen today. People like to say society was safer back then, but I'm not so sure. I think there was just a greater illusion of safety, and people for the most part got really lucky they didn't get robbed more often.

Nowadays, if I purposely left the front door open all night long in order to cool down our house, Terry would kill me.

Even if I did it accidentally, she also would likely kill me.

I would rather deal with a burglar than an enraged wife, if I'm being honest.

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