Letter to the Teenager Who Drove Into My Mailbox

Dear teenager who drove into my mailbox yesterday,

I’m writing this letter to tell you, whoever you are, that I hold no ill will against you. Though I admit I felt waves of anger and thoughts of retaliation and torture after hearing the loud crunch and seeing the damage to my mailbox and my lawn, those emotions have subsided. I simply needed to remember you’re just a stupid kid.

We all do stupid things when we are young, sometimes extremely stupid things like vehicular property damage. Yes, I was once young and stupid and did stupid things like chew three full packs of gum at once, ride my bike no-handed, and skateboard. However, I cannot say I ever drove a car into a stationary object. Perhaps the difference occurs in levels – I may have been stupid, but not as stupid as you.

I know it is difficult to fess up to a stupid act when you don’t know the consequences. After all, you may have thought, “Holy crap, that guy is going to kill me if he finds out,” and you may have known remaining anonymous and uncaught would keep you out of trouble. No, I would not have killed you. The mailbox you mowed down was a cheap piece of plastic extrusion, and though it required a not-so-insignificant cost and time to replace, doing so at my own expense is far more desirable than serving a life sentence in jail for homicide. Perhaps, as a teenager, you are simply too stupid to figure that out.

I do not know if you destroyed my property intentionally – which would be monumentally stupid – or did so accidentally. Perhaps while driving, you were shuffling through copies of girly underwear catalogs on your front seat, texting the friend sitting next to you, or vaping with your eyes closed to maximize the head rush, and lost track of objects in front of you. One minor miscalculation during any of these stupid acts and wham! goodbye mailbox. My better nature leads me to believe the incident was a stupidity-driven accident, and not intentional idiocy. I assume, though you are probably the idiot who drives sixty miles an hour down my residential street and races his muffler-booming engine directly in front of my house, vandalism is not part of your stupidity driven intentions. I assume you are not criminally minded, just very, very stupid.

So, if you would like to come forward and claim responsibility for your deed, admit it was a stupid accident, and perhaps recompense me for the cost and effort of the mailbox replacement, I assure you I will harbor no anger or resentment towards you.

But what I do to your car is another matter.