Monday, July 26, 2010

A life without newsprint

I have never lived for very long without newspapers. I just cannot imagine not having a paper every day even if I don't get to it that day. Some 12 years ago, I canceled the Chicago Tribune because I had very, very limited funds, no income and they couldn't seem to get their billing straight.

I lasted a month before taking advantage of the Daily Herald's new subscriber offer in the grocery store.

I know I blogged about this before. I'm missing papers, again. Last week, it was Tuesday and Saturday. Now Saturday could be chalked up to flooded streets so the delivery person couldn't get to my house. (That's another post, I promise.) But Tuesday? By my estimation, I'm getting roughly 90% of my papers in any one subscription segment. They have been good about extending my subscription based on missed days, but I'm really getting tired of emailing and calling about yet another paper I don't have.

So, yesterday, after discovering the flat and realizing I didn't have Saturday's paper, I emailed them again. This time I said that I have a bill for continued service and I am seriously wondering if it's worth it when, about every 3-4 weeks, I have to alert them to a missing paper. I have to consider if the money I spend couldn't be put somewhere else. Of course it could. I am thisclose to paying off one of my credit cards, thus fulfilling one of my New Year's resolutions. Send them the money I would have spent on the newspaper.

Yet, there are things I get from the newspaper that I do not get from online news. The Daily Herald has a very competent staff and they have covered some interesting issues. I learned how much of my tax dollars goes to fund vehicles given to city and school officials. I learned how much of my tax money has gone to buy out contracts of school officials. I learned about unsanitary conditions in outpatient surgical centers. There is a front page article about drug disposal and how drug abusers are going through people's garbage to find expired drugs which can either be consumed or sold on the street.

I wouldn't read this kind of material online. I'm old and prefer to have my news in front of me, in my lap where Pilchard can protest that I'm not scratching her ears, I'm reading. Penney used to do that too, jump up in your lap and smash the newspaper as you were reading it. Then she would settle down on your chest in an attempt to prevent reading. At 17 pounds, Pilchard gets your attention better than 9 pound Penney did.

Therefore, I am very much on the fence about this. Without a newspaper, I wouldn't have the access to information that I currently have. I wouldn't know about local events. I use newspapers to wash windows, to put under litter boxes and as packing material. Admittedly, those aren't reasons to keep the paper when the delivery isn't up to standards.

Without a paper, Pam only has to bring in the mail when I'm out of town. I also wouldn't have a week's worth of papers to read stacked in a pile on the floor in the living room. Without a paper, I don't have that expense. It's one thing I have been very reluctant to cut out of my life. But if I am looking at everything critically, maybe it's one thing I need to let go of until I get back on my feet.

Beverage: Dr Pepper


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