Monday, 16 June 2008

The Morning Report

Here in the bosom of suburbia, (credit to Dean Friedman for that particular phrase!!) we receive so much junk arriving at our door, it is often difficult to keep track of it all. Flyers of all sorts, advertising everything from laser hair removal (I realize that my Ashkenazi heritage predisposes me to a hirsute appearance, but I didn't realize it was so bad that I needed to be pitched by every aesthetician hanging out a shingle!!) to the latest in Mandarin take-out, litter our front porch and mailbox on a daily basis. We are also the recipients of several free local weeklies and one or two free monthlies. I actually don't mind most of these local papers. They provide a service that the major dailies cannot attain in that they impart local news. These are the newspapers that I turn to when I need to ascertain the latest scandal in local politics or why the storm drain at the corner of my street is not being repaired in a timely fashion. (Yesterday's wicked storms once again turned our street into the Thornhill version of the Mississippi River!!) These papers give young students a forum and they give local businesses a chance to hawk their services to the neighbourhoods. I want to read them and given half a chance, I would read them on a regular basis. Unfortunately, most of these papers never make it close enough to my front door. Allow me to explain.

The local paper in this area (I won't name it, but it's name rhymes with The FIberal!!!) comes on average of 3 times a week. It is usually delivered by a host of pre-pubescents trying to earn video game money. In the not so distant past, these kids would diligently wrap up the papers in elastics so that the myriad of flyers that are included, would not be blown all over the lawns and streets. They were also smart enough (at least their managers were smart enough) to place the papers in plastic bags to protect them from the Canadian elements. Lately, the delivery of The Fiberal has become a tremendous bone of contention in this area. The pimply-faced kids have been replaced by out of work adults looking to make ends meet and believe me, they couldn't give two shits about how the paper is delivered. It has not made it to our door in 6 months, but we have found it in the flower beds, the driveway, at the side of the house, under the bench on the walk, in the bushes, under the oak trees and, for the first time this past weekend, it was on the road in front of the house. Yup! It didn't actually make it onto the property. The husband, always the tolerant rate-payer, is pulling out whatever hair he has left. He has called the circulation department for The Fiberal and spoken with some very lovely and understanding individuals. They were actually horrified to discover the fate of their newspaper. Remember, this is a free local paper. Their costs are covered wholly by advertisers. The idea that the advertisers are getting tossed into the bushes is not the ideal business plan. On several occasions, the circulation managers swore up and down to the husband that the situation would be dealt with. They even called back to inquire as to the state of the delivery. For a while it improved. We didn't receive The Fiberal at all for several months!! It was much better than getting it wet, dirty and unreadable. Last month, the deliveries resumed. I suppose that they found new delivery people and we were back on The Fiberal's paper route. Saturday was the final straw. After retrieving the paper from the middle of the street, the husband remained outside to see if he could stalk the deliverers. He saw them in a white cube van, tossing untied Fiberals from the driver's and passenger's windows. The van made it's way up one side of the street and down the other. If he could have caught them on foot, I believe that he would have chased them down much like a junkyard dog after a thief!! Instead, he has a new plan. He has looked up local bylaws and discovered that The Fiberal's lack of diligence to their delivery constitutes littering, and the husband is now bound and determined to report them and see them charged. I am not certain that this strategy has teeth, but believe it or not, I am fully supportive of his mad methods. I want this paper. I like this paper, but I obviously cannot have this paper. Constant complaints to the office don't help, maybe this will. If anyone has a better idea, we are all ears.

An update on the uber-robin that was determined to build his family home on the lighting on our front porch. The husband, on advice from twin son's better half, placed an old cottage cheese carton on top of the light and watch in bemusement as papa robin circled sadly looking for his nesting spot. He hasn't returned in two days, so hopefully he has pulled up stakes and relocated.

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