All the News You Never Wanted


There it was, sitting smack-dab in the middle of the front porch.

My housemate cursed, shook her fist at the heavens, and vowed revenge.

It was... the daily newspaper. And this marked the first move in an epic struggle of right and wrong, free-will and oppression, technology and Ludditism, between my friend Scoobie and the very-determined people at the Post-Gazette.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when the P-G called for the housemate, apparently telling her how marvelous it was that she was getting the newspaper on Sundays, and now, because of her Sunday subscription, she would be lucky enough to receive even more newsaliciousness each day every day for FREE.

Scoobie, as I understand, relayed to them that she did not, in fact, want this paper every day, because she:

  1. Did not have time to read it
  2. Did not have the physical strength to carry pounds of newsprint to the curb for recycling every other week

The conversation, as Scoobie tells it, then shook out this way:

P-G: Oh, but it's free.

Scoobie: I don't care if it's free. It being free doesn't give me more time to read it, or make it lighter to carry 12 extra newspapers down for recycling.

P-G: Couldn't a friend or neighbor help you carry it to the curb?

Scoobie: Why should I have to have a friend or neighbor help me carry a paper to the curb that I don't want? Plus, as I said, I don't even have time to read it.

P-G: Well, you don't have to read it. Just take it.

Scoobie: Why would I have you deliver me a newspaper each day, with absolutely no intention of reading it?

P-G: Our drivers need the money.

Scoobie: So I should have you deliver papers I'm not going to read so your drivers get paid more?

P-G: They really could use the money.

Scoobie: So could I. Hey, maybe I should become a paper carrier! It looks like they've got a pretty good racket going here. I could buy a house, upgrade my car, finally finish paying off those student loans...

P-G: (Crickets)

Scoobie: I don't want the paper. Please do not send it to me.

So Monday morning of this week, that is when I heard the oaths cursed to the dawn sky. Because there the paper was, its folded faces to the floor as Floyd would say, serving as a testament to the fact that purveyors of news have no Listening Ears.

And every day since then, there has been a newspaper sitting on that front porch. I know it to be true because I can hear the cursing all the way up in my room.

Scoobie has called them before about this, of course. And they say she won't be receiving the newspaper seven-days-a-week anymore...

But then every single morning-- "THUMP!"

"G-AAGGGGGHH!"

So I think Scoobie is just going to have to look at this as, not an Inconvenience, but an Opportunity. I think it's a sign that she should start a shiny new business endeavor... hand-made papier mache pinatas.

It would solve her cash flow problems, PLUS give her a unique way of recycling all of those newspapers. In fact, I'll even clean out one of those third-floor attic rooms and let her have that for her Pinata Workshop. This could be an lucrative business, and I wish her a lot of luck with it.

Because we are both aware she will be receiving these newspapers for the rest of her life, or until she moves. And then I imagine I will inherit this problem.

Anyone local want to help me carry some papers to the curb? How do you feel about some hand-crafted pinatas?

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20 comments:

wordtapestry said...

Ah, yes. Having to explain to the newspapers when you move is always a joy. Especially when you move to a different state. It can take up to 3 months for them to get the message that you're unlikely to want delivery 200 miles away.

But the people who are like limpets -- opera companies and museums, once you're set up a membership and then have to move for work.

Tiggy said...

In ten years' time everyone will read the news on the interwebs, so newspapers will be defunct. Don't know how to to break the news to the delivery drivers though.

Your friend should start stockpiling papers - they could be a valuable historical curiosity one day!

Da Old Man said...

My situation is not quite as bad. My subscription to Vegetarian Times was about to run out. So, I got the final notice. I decided to let it lapse. Then I got one more issue, "just in case it slipped my mind."
Then I got, you were a subscriber for so long, we're sure you really didn't want to let it drop. Here's a copy to remind you. I continue to get the magazine for about the 5th month since I decided to not get it. Apparently, Big Delivery is behind all this.
They are like Big Oil and drug cartels, only newsier.

If Scoobie does take up the papier mache craft, rather than a pinata, she could make an art piece.
A newspapaper delivery guy with large papier mache axe stuck in his head would be quite the piece for the front yard.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

WordTapestry- Heh, I don't somehow think if Scoobie these folks she's moving to Tanzania or something, it will necessarily prevent this paper from continually arriving.

Tiggy- If my housemate plans to go that route with it, she might just have to wait to create the Scoobie Archive of Ye Olde News Emphemera until she gets her own digs. I don't have that kind of storage space. :)

DaOldMan- If this continues another week or so, I think she'll be pretty jazzed about that idea!

peglegstarfish.com said...

I wish my neighbor would cancel her subscription. And it's one I'm sure she's actually paying money for. So many papers pile up outside her doorstep and it really irks me. Sometimes I want to kick them down the hall way and other times i want to stack them really close to the door so she'll trip and break her face when she walks out. :)

Maybe you could make it profitable and start making paper jewelry, and baskets, and all that other crap they are making out of newspaper. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Peg- Heh- it might very well come to that.

Or she could create hundreds and hundreds of paper hornets nests and leave them in random places around the country, giving deserving homeless hornets a place to go... Sorta like Habitat for Humanity, but not. :)

Claire said...

Hmmm I now have the urge to sign your house mate up for every free magazine, newspaper and catalogue there is in your area.

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire- Ah, you won't want to do that-- she was helping me find things to put in the package I'm sending you. Better rethink, there, Missy. :)

Jay said...

Can she report them for leaving litter on her front porch? LOL!

I hate it when the free papers get delivered, same reason - I don't read them, but they clutter up the house and I don't want to have to dispose of them. *Sigh* Why won't they listen?

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- See the tricky bit is she still wants the Sunday paper for the coupons (oh, ahem, as well as enjoying reading the very important news...)

So there's a certain balance she has to strike between Not Getting The Paper Everyday and Not Getting The One Paper She Paid For.

Services are tricky that way. :)

Greg said...

About nine years ago we moved into a house we thought we were going to buy and were advised we'd get a couple weeks free delivery of the local paper. We lived there just under a year and the paper came every day...we were sort of relieved when we finally had to move, since we had been wondering when the invoice was going to show up for all the papers delivered after those first two weeks.

Fortunately, we had a fireplace, so the newspaper was welcome...plus, news on the internet was still a nascent concern.

Sounds to me like Claire wants a free subscription sent to HER...

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- A YEAR? Oh good gravy, a year...

Heh, and yes, good point Greg-- Claire, aren't you interested in receiving the London Times, and 200 copies of Hello Magazine and the Manchester Municipal Mumbles and, well, whatever else might appeal on whim? :)

chyna said...

Maybe you use them for weed control in your garden. We got a free paper once out of nowhere which we enjoyed until it up and disappeared. No invoice, no explanantion. Oh well it was good while it lasted.

And you're right. I for one read the paper online. Wonder when they'll catch on to that!

Alice said...

I say you save up some papers and then camp out.

When you see the delivery driver come by, throw them into his/her car!

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- I COULD use some weed control. Though I was thinking more black meshy stuff and woodchips than the "Opinion" section of the P-G. :)


Alice- I will have to brush up on my lobbing arm, but perhaps if I can get a few friends to help lob, too, it would be interesting.

Drowsey Monkey said...

My sis hates those too, they leave them on the step and the hub throws them directly into the recycle bin.

Living in an apt I don't have that prob anymore, they are a bit annoying.

unfinishedrambling said...

I've worked at newspapers, mostly small weeklies, and it's the same everywhere. Luckily, I didn't work in circulation, though, just in editorial, where you never hear complaints. ;)

As if you haven't heard from enough today, here is something else for you.

Jenn Thorson said...

Drowsey- Yep, whole rainforests are going instantly from tree to newspaper to recycling. It just doesn't seem right.

Unfinished- Editorial I understand. Forced paper consumption is just frustrating. :) She got another paper today, in fact. We just laughed.

Jonny's Mommy said...

I work at a paper. They do need the money.

Get over yourself, Scoobie and support the economy. :-)

just kidding.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jonny's Mommy- As it's a free paper, not much economy supporting going on anyway.

Hey, maybe we could convince the drivers to bring pizza along, as well. My treat!