Monday, October 11, 2010
I was a paper boy when I was a kid, and I dreaded Sundays. My route covered five streets with about fifty or more subscribers. Many of those subscribers had special instructions.
'Put the paper between the storm door and the main door.'
'Have my paper on my porch before seven in the morning.'
'Don't walk on my grass.'
'Don't read the comics before I do'
(Wait... that last one might have been one of my sister's rules.)
The only problem with fulfilling all those requests is that the Sunday paper usually weighed about five pounds, and I had to lug them all around on my bicycle. I'd first stuff my front basket with papers, then the rear saddle bag baskets, and then on days that there was a particularly heavy amount of news and advertising, I'd drag a small wagon full of papers behind the bike. Through snow storms, rain storms, and in the heat of summer, I'd do my duty and deliver the news, all for the pay of a penny per paper. The biggest problem with delivering Sunday papers was that I could never get off my bike until I was almost done or the shear weight of the news would slam my bicycle to the ground, and I'd need a crane just to upright the thing.
Now in the age of internet news and dwindling circulation, the Sunday news has shrunk to the size of a large pamphlet. It isn't even delivered by little rosy cheeked boys on their bicycles anymore. Instead, a fat assed guy in a beat up Mercury flings the thing out the window as he zips by at fifty miles per hour. Yet with all the benefits of being an adult in a car, with a heater, air-conditioning, and a good throwing arm, he still can‘t get the paper to my mom on Sunday morning. Of course chances are she actually has her paper, it’s just that she hasn’t looked behind her neighbor’s bushes.