During the 60s there were several newspapers in most cities. It seems today in the majority of areas around the country they have disappeared or merged into one. I like competition. It makes things cheaper and requires a thirst for perfection in order to stay in business. Free is cheap. But the onslaught of free papers is getting out of control.
Walking through my neighborhood I am noticing more and more signs attached to mail and newspaper boxes that read, “No Free Papers.” Apparently it is getting to the neighborhood sign makers, too. It would be OK if the free papers were newsworthy, but they are simply advertising vehicles, which makes them free and encourages litter. Yeah, politicians need to get the message out so we can choose between empty promises of the best looking, family person, who loves Jesus, and a better school system. I guess we do need to vote. We are Americans and voting is part of our heritage. But, do we need 471 competing rags, littered with coupons offering us 20 – 40 cents off just about everything? Are there any gas coupons in them? I don’t recall ever getting a paper offering petroleum discounts.
If you are away from your home for a day or two, and it rains, you have a driveway filled with some sort of clear, pink, yellow, or orange-colored, spongy mass that once was a free paper. If you are away for a longer time, the sunlight turns it into some sort of disintegrating, clear, pink, yellow, or orange-colored, spongy mass that once was a free paper, that is now embedded in the crevices of the driveway. Of course, being polite, and not wanting the wrath of your Homeowners Association, you are neighborly and clean up the disintegrating, clear, pink, yellow, or orange-colored, spongy mass that once was a free paper, that is now embedded in the crevices of the driveway. The point is, you didn’t ask for this.
I always hated the “opt out” option. Is their really an “opt in” option? Usually you have to make an ass out of yourself complaining, then the distributor of the free publication directs your attention to the fine print. Otherwise, the papers keep coming, and coming, and coming. Electronic Spam always has the link that you have to click in order to stop the messages from arriving in your email box. It really doesn’t work for several months, but the “opt out” option is there, nonetheless.
Unless you can catch the sneaky bastard delivering the free papers, you don’t get a chance to stop the flow. Try setting a trap of nails or glass particles in front of your driveway, and maybe it will discontinue, but you face the possibility that the trap you set becomes your own problem, once you have forgotten about it. Or the neighbors’ kid flattens the tire on his/her bike and you are faced with explaining yourself to someone you thought was a friend.
If you are a walker, you’ll notice the papers in driveways and if they have been there for some time, it’s a disgusting mess. You don’t want to pick them up and throw them away, because there is a slight possibility the person who has received them may actually want them. I doubt it, but who wants to be the neighbor stealing the other neighbors’ paper? Even though there is no possibility the papers can be read in the condition they exist, to throw them away is an invasion of privacy. And, who wants to be the neighbor invading privacy?
I guess it’s hopeless, so I will go now. I need to make a sign.
Bake My Fish