I'm a newspaper subscriber. I know, they say no one's buying papers anymore, or I suppose what's really said is that no one is reading papers anymore. And, in spite of the fact that I get regular home delivery, I do sort of fall into that category. I've admitted that I don't get the paper to stay up on events – current or otherwise – although, I do scan the headlines. No, I get the paper for the puzzles. Translation = big dork. There, I've said it (once again). Hey, I'm not the only one who does puzzles, you know. It's people like me who make big business for others. Think about it, where would Will Shortz be without all of us puzzlers?
There are others, too, whose entire careers lie in creating brain-teasers for people like me – addicts, who are hooked on solving these mental conundrums. I know I'm digressing but what non-puzzlers don't realize is that these things really do stimulate the brain, and if you do them like I do, over lunch, it helps to pace one's ingestion and, therefore, digestion. If not for the puzzles, I'd eat my lunch in four minutes flat. But anyway, as I said, I've digressed.
So, I've been getting home delivery for over seven years. Every morning, no matter what time I'm up (as early as 4:30 in the summer) my paper is always there, in my driveway, waiting for me. I have a very dependable carrier. I've never met him, but we exchange Christmas cards every year. Without fail, some time during the middle of December, folded within the newsprint, I find a greeting card wishing me all the best for the holiday season. This enables me to reciprocate with yuletide wishes of my own along with a gesture of appreciation for his steadfast commitment.
I assume my carrier is an elderly gentleman – possibly a retired veteran. I say elderly because his name is
Now this is where I have an issue. (You knew I had to have one.) Lately, someone – a likely dog-walker, indeed – is taking the plastic bags off my paper (read: stealing). I'm sure the perpetrator (correct word for alleged crime committer) doesn't think there's anything wrong with this. In fact, I'd bet they just assume I discard the bags once I bring the paper inside. And guess what? They're right. But that's not really the point, is it?
As I said, I don't think the thief sees the crime, and I certainly don't mean to be petty, but it is my property. I mean, how cheap can you be? If you're a dog walker and you know you need to pick up poop, buy a box of bags already.
Well, I did just that. I bought a box of quart-sized Ziploc bags and placed them in my driveway with a note taped to the top of the box that read: To whoever is taking my newspaper bags, please take this box of bags instead. The box was never taken – it sat out there for over a week (risking an HOA violation). But here's the thing, my newspaper bags have remained untouched ever since, and that is a good thing.
Ode to Dogwalkers
I don't mean to whine
But the paper is mine
And I don't like to squawk
But if you've a dog to walk
Who poops as he goes,
Then heaven knows
Prepared you must be –
Bring a bag or two, or even three
Because petty theft, I cannot condone
So, please, leave my paper alone!
Reporting it as it is…