Saturday, July 9, 2011


Rick asked me to ride to the gas station with him last night to keep him company while he filled a gas can and topped off his truck for the job on today's schedule. He uses the Mirabito at the end of our road for 3 reasons, 1- it's close, 2- they have a rewards card and he uses a LOT of gas, and 3- there is another one near the off ramp of the highway which is easy for him to pull in and out of when he's hauling the trailer, hence he can still use his rewards card in a second convenient location. It also happens to be the same gas station where I used to pick up the circular ads to stuff in my Sunday papers when I was still delivering papers.

We pulled into the gas station and I was suddenly gripped with panic. Out of nowhere I thought that I had forgotten to pick up my ads. My eyes did a quick sweep of the sidewalk where the driver always dropped them off, I didn't see them and I thought "Uh-oh, what the hell am I going to do?" Rick was jabbering on about something so he didn't notice my temporary insanity until I remembered with a relieved chuckle that I don't deliver the paper anymore. Rick asked what was funny, I just told him he was pretty. He answered that by getting out to pump his gas paying no more attention than he does my normal insanity.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Night Vision

One of the weapons in my super hero arsenal is night vision. I don't need any special accessories, oh no. I've developed this sense through years of stalking the streets at night. Unaided by artificial lighting or gimicky goggle-like technology, I have trained my eyes to see like a cat. Sure, I had to trip over my fair share of flower pots and electrical chords in the beginning, but that seldom happens any more. My pupils dilate to the diameter of a family sized can of pork & beans on command. Green Berets ain't got nothin' on me.

By the time you leave for work at 6am, my highly sensitive pupils have been in the zone for about 3 hours. So unless you want to see my eye balls burst into flames like Ghost Rider, please refrain from pointing your high beams at me to see what I'm doing. I've had the same car for years. You know I'm delivering your paper. Give me and my corneas a break.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meteor Showers

The Leonids meteor shower was supposed to be visible yesterday morning in the pre-dawn hours. promised that when the moon set after 4am that I would be rewarded with quite a show. did not, however, promise that there would be no clouds. There were thick clouds and torrential rain and I could not see the meteors. assures me that there will be another meteor event named Geminids on December 13th and that I should expect the show any time after the moon sets at midnight. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Out With the Old

When my daughter's friends find out that I deliver papers in the neighborhood where they know people they always ask "Do you deliver to so-and-so?" My answer is always that I'll have to check my list. I only know my customers by their address, not by name, and 16 year old girls never know their friends' addresses. I have no relationship with any of my customers. I've only ever spoken a word or two in passing to a handful of them.

Why on earth did I give a sad sigh when I saw a realtor's for sale sign in one of their yards this morning? I don't even know their name. Weird that I would be sad to see the family at 26 Maplewood moving when I've never even said hello to them.

Perhaps its an automatic response to change. Maybe subconsciously I assume the worst scenarios. You know: foreclosure, death, unpaid taxes. Quite possibly I'm just hoping they'll remember to tip me before they go.

I think the "Awww" response is based upon my nature. Even though I don't know them, delivering their paper EVERY SINGLE MORNING gives me the right to mourn the change. I'm more than just their paper girl. I'm a writer who absorbs the details and creates imaginary worlds around anything I see.

I know them in a creepy stalker kind of way that non-paper-delivering/non-writing folks can't appreciate. I know that they have an exercycle in the basement that they use as a clothes hanger. I know that 3 weeks ago somebody left the sliding door to their minivan opened all night. I know that somebody often sleeps on the couch and that they never turn their television off. And now the repairs they made to the front entry (I tripped over the baracade) make sense.

Good luck dear home owner. May the selling process be kind to you. Where ever you end up may you find quality home delivery for your daily news. For me, please sell to someone with interesting quirks so I may weave a tale around the life of the new family living at 26 Maplewood.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Notice Me

We recieved a deluge of rain recently in the northeast. Cold, heavy rain. The kind of rain that soaks you in a minute. Delivering papers in that crap is miserable. I can't wear a raincoat. The water drips from the coat drenching the papers and my car seats. An umbrella is unrealistic because my routes are spread out enough that I really need to use my car. It takes considerably longer to deliver in the rain because I have to put every paper in a bag. It's a pain in the butt.

Sure I'm wet and cold, but it could be a lot worse. My car is heated. I have a nice shower with hot water back home to help chase the chill away. My warm puppy waits in my bed for me to curl around. My car dries out before I have to leave for my other job. The extra 30 minutes it takes to bag the papers will not kill me.

What bothers me is the customers. I'm certain that the majority go out to get their paper in the rain and say a silent "oh, that poor carrier" but the customers I actually hear from are the complainers. I had one customer complain so fervently that it prompted a phone call from my manager. She was ticked that I didn't get the paper closer to the front door. She got damp retrieving her paper from 2 steps away. Boo hoo, asshole.

Another customer saw me deliver the paper, rain streaming off the bill of my cap, then sent their dog to get it never saying a word to me. Just an "aw, you poor thing!" would have made my week. Nope, just sent Sparky to grab the paper then slammed the door tightly shut behind her.

Take a minute out of your life to appreciate the things you don't normally notice. Thank your husband for setting the coffee pot even though he's been doing it every night for a hundred years. Notice the brightly lit entrance to your driveway the next time you are coming home in the dark, those street lamps don't change their own light bulbs. Smile at the cleaning lady taking out the trash in the doctor's office, she's the reason you don't catch cooties from the person who used the exam room before you. And for the love of Pete, if you see me delivering your paper in the pouring rain, thank me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The letter I would love to leave...

Dear Customer,

Please let me begin by thanking you for your loyal patronage. It is truly my pleasure to bring your paper to you each day. The purpose of my letter is to confirm that my service is all that you expect and to open the lines of communication should there be any problems.

To begin our dialogue, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask a few questions:

Is your paper there when you wake up? Have you ever seen me delivering to your house? If answers to both questions are no, then I can only assume that you are aware that I deliver your paper in the dark. As that is the case, I would like to remind you that when you snake your garden hose across the walkway which is normally unobstructed, when you forget and leave a stool under the porch light you replaced, and when you have mulch delivered to the center of your driveway and then fail to leave a light on for me to see it, I trip and fall and get hurt. If your paper has ever been received covered with blood, you now know why. Two words: motion light.

Do you know how many homes I deliver to? Are you aware that I have to keep track of 5 separate delivery schedules? Sometimes I forget that you, one customer out of 220, prefer that your paper be bagged each day. Sometimes I accidentally deliver to you on a Saturday when you are a Sunday only customer. Sometimes there are several advertisements in your paper and sometimes there are none. Often I forget that you want your paper in the cute little box hiding in the dark corner of your porch. You are one of 220 customers… please stop calling the press with these complaints. They are petty and just make me want to step in dog shit then wipe it on your welcome mat.

Do you tip your hairdresser? How about waitresses? Do you leave a few bucks for the maid when you travel? I provide a service of convenience similar to the aforementioned. It’s not just OK to tip me, the press pays me very little with the assumption that you will tip me. When I don’t get tips, I make about $5.00 a day (that’s 2.50/hr) after expenses. Yes, expenses. I have to buy the rubber bands that keep your paper from blowing away & the bags that keep your paper dry. I have to put gas in my car, batteries in my flashlight and replace my reflective vest every so often so your third shift neighbor doesn’t run over me. With 220 customers I don’t need a lot from everyone. Just a few bucks will do.

Once again, thanks for being a loyal customer. I hope this letter finds you healthy!

Yours truly,

PS: I’ve attached a box of Breathright strips for the snorer at 42 Elm St. Your spouse can thank me at Christmas time. I accept cash, checks and Starbucks gift cards.