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Year in Review: Paperboy

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hello everyone

You may have been wondering where my blogs have been. Some of you have been very disappointed lately. Well you weren’t the only one

Let’s see. Holiday sales were modest. I guess people remembered that December heating bills will arrive in the mail around the same time that credit card bills are due. Then again I am sure some people realized that the gas company will not really shut off your gas during the winter and went on spending. I would expect to hear about it

I tire of the shopping season. I started using Yahoo! Shopping as soon as I found it on the Net years ago. Later, I switched to Overstock.com and Amazon.com and now I use Ebay more than any other site.

I have been noticing a lot of Year in Reviews. I thought that I would offer my own. I don’t know how long my list will be but here it goes.

1. The Paperboy

Last September I wrote about my annoying paperboy that kept throwing my papers into the lawn. Well what a difference a year makes. I no longer have to put on my garden shoes in order to retrieve my paper. Why garden shoes you ask? Well, we had a flea infestation this year because of the weather and I didn’t bother to buy any chemicals for the yard this year which is why my lawn is patchy now.

The lawn maintenance program in which I enrolled was a really good idea. I just signed up for the basic plan. I didn’t buy the extras that killed the grub worms, slugs or the voracious insects all of which ate my flowers and my lawn. I just can’t win. I was not meant to have a lawn.

Oh. So - back to my story. I wear garden shoes because I have a definite fear of tracking fleas into the house from my houseshoes. I adore my houseshoes. Wait. Some of you people refer to houseshoes as slippers. Well I think that is just silly. They are shoes for the house. Just like the housecoat that I wear when I rise from having lain in the bed all night.

That was tricky. I didn’t think “lying” was the right word and didn’t think “laying” was something that humans did in their beds. Finally I consulted www.onelook.com and found this ….

Lie and its principal parts (lay, lain, lying) are correctly used in the following examples: She often lies (not lays) down after lunch. When I lay (not laid) down, I fell asleep. The rubbish had lain (not laid) there a week. I was lying (not laying) in bed when he called. •

So the correct answer is actually quite confusing but the general rule is that one lays an object. But what the heck is rubbish? Therefore if I had written “I rise from having laid in my bed” one might wonder what was under my covers. Oh dear, I did it again. I became sidetracked.

I can’t stand the idea of some bug hitching a ride on my houseshoes. Now, I do not have to worry. Ever since the Teamsters strike, the paperboy walks his chubby self and lays my paper (see an object) on my stoop. At first, I was really surprised to see it lying there. I had assumed that I had a new paperboy that didn’t know the nature of my relationship with the previous paperboy. I had assumed the original Paperboy must have hated me or enjoyed the thought of me in my purple housecoat and Winnie the Pooh garden shoes looking for my newspaper with my hair all-a-mess. I don’t care on the weekends.

On the other hand, the strike has created quite a bit of anxiety of another kind. I no longer worry about wet or muddy papers in my lawn or possibly hidden lying under the snow. Instead, I worry about people thinking that I am not at home. The local newspaper is trying to break the strike with these “Customer Appreciation Days.” On these random days weekend subscribers receive the paper for free. I guess it would be okay to receive free papers as long as the Company does not raise my rates.

“What is the harm in that?” you are thinking - let me tell you. When I leave for work at 8:00 I am pulling out of my driveway quickly (that is, since I have stopped hitting the house) and I do not stop to pick up papers to take to work. When I arrive home at dusk or more recently at dark I don’t know that I have a pile up of free newspapers because the Company decided to appreciate me all week. At first, I just let them lie there thinking the paperboy would realize I don’t pick them up and stop laying them on my stoop.

I really have to stop assuming that the Company permits its employees to think for themselves. Perhaps, that is the basis of the strike. Rather than receive less “appreciative” papers, I get pile ups on my stoops. Yes, I called and complained and the pleasant customer service lady apologized and explained the great appreciation program that they have started for customers like me who only receive the paper on the weekend. It sounded like she was reading from the script. The next day about 8 pm the Paperboy rang my doorbell and asked me if I wanted a paper. NO... just lay it on the stoop and stop ringing my doorbell.

Okay, I really feel sorry for the Paperboy. So sorry for him I am considering giving to him a big tip this year. I stopped tipping the Paperboy last year. This year, that poor kid not only must rise early to deliver unnecessary papers –for free- but he must work at night as well.

Now you are thinking, “Geez girl, just read the papers or pitch them.” You don’t understand ----things have started to occur. For example, the neighborhood entrepreneur AKA the Lawnmower Kid never came by my house this summer. I had thought we had an agreement. He would see the lawn was high and come over to mow it. I would pay him later. I was williing to raise the amount that I paid him if he only came to my house. I was crushed when he disappeared. Reluctantly, I finally hired a man with a truck and a lawnmower (at 3X the cost) to do the work. I ran into the Lawnmower Kid late in the summer and asked “What Happened to you?” He told me that there were so many newspapers on my stoop and my grass was so long that he thought I had moved.

This month both of my adjacent neighbors had thought I was out of town at conferences because of the newspaper pile up. And I really hate it when people stop by my house and move the newspapers from the front door stoop to the side door stoop. Really, cut that out – I don’t know who you are but cut that out.

Hmm, I guess it could be the Paperboy doing it.

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