EASY AS A, B, C . . . from BB
In this day and age, with newspapers closing one after another all over the country, you’d think everyone who works for a newspaper agency would be trying to keep them alive. Yes, even the “paper delivery person” (to be Politically Correct) who so faithfully delivers it to your doorway.
Yes, I still subscribe to a newspaper. No, I don’t get it every day. I subscribe for the “week-end,” which includes Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (when did Friday constitute “week-end”?). And Mondays, when there are big sales on, like for Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc. So you’d think, as a matter of job security, my “paperperson” would be sure that I not only get my paper every day, but that it would be readable when it arrives.
We used to have a wonderful “paperperson.” Actually, “he” was a whole family. It looked like this to me: the oldest brother, 19 or so, drove the family vehicle. Three to four kids would jump out both sides of said vehicle, papers in hand, run up to the doors and place the papers on the sidewalk immediately in front of each one. They’d run back to jump in, grab more papers and jump out again, while Big Brother kept toodling very slowly down the street. In good weather, the carefully folded paper was held together with a rubber band. Inclement conditions? The ubiquitous orange plastic bag cradled the contents.
I want my old “paperperson” back! Our new “paperperson” throws the paper, willy-nilly into the bushes, the snow bank, the wet grass (with or without the plastic bag), and—occasionally—with what must be Killer Aim, to rest softly in the small cement trough which lies in front of the house just below the water spout from the roof.
Now, both the sun-room and living room doors are on the east side of the house —and are seldom used by family members, as we invariably come in from the garage on the west side of the house. It’s not like we can see a newspaper lying out there in front of the house. Nevertheless, when we’re expecting a paper and don’t see it outside by the doors, we generally do think to look for it: traipsing through snow, ice, heavy-duty salt crystals (in bare feet) to retrieve the lost soul. There are times I truly consider refusing to sign up again. I’ll even put off paying up when the subscription runs out. But they keep delivering. When I’m sufficiently “in arrears,” I finally pay up out of guilt. I actually get plenty of news from the internet and TV.
But I like my paper on week-ends!
A while back, we hit a new low: we had a moment’s reprieve from winter. It was COLD out (in mid-April!), but the sun broke through for a few moments, and I stepped out through the sun-room door, barefoot, and stepped the three or four steps to the corner of the house and another two or three steps along the front of the house. There, adjacent to the rain “trough” at the front was a sodden, dark newspaper.
Oh, dear! I thought. They must have—finally—realized they’d missed the right side of the house and, lazily, just tossed another copy out!
I knew this had to be so, because I’d already been out earlier and retrieved the day’s paper. Not wanting to leave a mess, I picked up the sodden lump, which ran water in a stream from outside and inside the orange bag. I couldn’t even put this in with the other papers for recycling. They’re funny about not taking wet paper in for retrieval.
Without really noticing what I had in my hand, I carefully unfolded the various sections and hung them out to dry. Imagine my surprise, a few days later, when I looked at the date on the front, crinkled, darkened, but finally dry, page: Dec. 24! A Monday, when I had not expected a newspaper!
I want my old paperperson back!
See you day-after-tomorrow for Wednesday’s WIPs!