Fear and Loathing on the Paper Route

A Good Book and a Quiet Evening...
A Good Book and a Quiet Evening...
Just another job...
Just another job...
If fish read newspapers...Aquaman would deliver them...
If fish read newspapers...Aquaman would deliver them...
Brownstones...
Brownstones...

A Night Like any Other...

The evening had started out inauspiciously enough. I had just started reading Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when my roommate, Erika, had come into the room.

“We were just outside Barstow when the drugs began to take hold...” –Hunter S. Thompson.

“Would you like to help me deliver newspapers tonight?” She had interrupted, biting her lower lip, in a voice bolstered by hope.

I consider her, along with the request, as I dog-ear my page.

Erika, her husband Jamie, and their two children, have been my roommates in a succession of homes throughout the Reno area, for the past five years.

Generally speaking, it works. Like any domestic situation, however, there are rough patches and issues.

One of my issues, (or was it a rough patch?), is that I’m not always fully engaged and tend to live in my own little world. Still, I like to think that I would have noticed my roommate (of five years) had a paper route...

“Wait. You have a paper route?” I ask confused.

“Yes.” Erika responds blandly. “Every night I disappear and deliver newspapers in the middle of the night.”

“Like Aquaman?” I inquire, eagerly, as I sit up straight.

Erika knows what it takes to get my interest: Drugs, sex, or opportunities to pretend I’m a Super Hero will usually garner some type of enthusiasm from me.

“If Aquaman delivers newspapers then...yes...exactly like Aquaman.” Erika assures me.

My mind harkens back in time, nearly forty years, as I nostalgically remembered my own paper route as a boy...

Living on Chicago’s north-west side, I was responsible for the safe delivery of forty-eight Chicago Tribunes each morning and, another twenty-four, each afternoon, after school.

I recalled peddling my trusty Schwinn on balmy spring and hot summer days as the important news of the early 1970s landed, unerringly, on the porches of brownstones throughout my middle-class neighborhood.

I remembered the responsibility on my shoulders as I made my collection rounds and envisioned the fruits of my labor transforming into the purchasing power to buy model warships and candy from the local Jewells Supermarket.

“Will there be model warships and candy involved?” I negotiate with Erika.

“If you bring them.” She counter offers hesitantly.

“Oh. I will.” I assure her, myself, and the reader.


Burning Man Counter-Cultural Festival...
Burning Man Counter-Cultural Festival...
Head-Lamp...
Head-Lamp...
Sparks Metropolitan Police Force on Patrol...
Sparks Metropolitan Police Force on Patrol...
Sparks...
Sparks...

“Sparks...”

We assembled in the living room. I had located a model submarine but was distraught to discover that I had no candy.

“We will need to stop for candy.” I inform Erika.

Jamie reaches into his pocket and pulls out a head-lamp that he uses at Burning Man. Inexplicably, he still has it in his pocket more than six-months following that counter-cultural festival’s conclusion. I look at him oddly.

He surveys the plastic submarine tucked under my arm and returns the look. His counter-look is well played and I’m forced to drop the matter as I put the head-lamp into a pocket.

“So, when did you get a paper route?” I ask Erika.

“I didn’t.”

“Did you lose a bet?”

She explains the situation. Apparently, the husband of another mother, from the school her son attends, has a paper route and we were stepping in to cover for him. Jamie was staying home with the children and would relay any (Aquaman related) messages to the field.

As I didn’t expect any actual messages...I didn’t tell him of these duties.

“Where’s the route.” I ask.

Erika’s grimace should have alerted me to the impending doom...

“Sparks.”

For those unaware of Sparks, Nevada...allow me to explain. Sparks sits, immediately adjacent, to the east of Reno. For some inexplicable reason, somebody drew a border and made Sparks. I’m not quite sure why. Sparks sucks. Mostly, this is because of the cops.

Understanding that the former rulers of the Third Reich needed to find work following The Second World War, the question always becomes, why did they all seek employment with the Sparks Metropolitan Police force?

More to the point, why did the Sparks Metropolitan Police force hire them all?

Any stoner, with an ounce of self-preservation (which I have), or an ounce of marijuana (which I didn’t have), avoids Sparks like the plague. Reno residents have a quaint phrase for the metropolitan area they call home...”So close to Hell, you can see Sparks.”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Because it is.”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah.”

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The events of the evening would soon prove that adage correct. Turns out, that thoroughfare is also littered with incorrectly delivered newspapers and the, mistakenly, candy-coated memories, of childhood paper routes...


The warehouse...
The warehouse...
I'm thinking...Charleston Chew...
I'm thinking...Charleston Chew...
Used Cars...
Used Cars...
Rubber Bands...
Rubber Bands...
Um...Which Direction was that...?
Um...Which Direction was that...?
Erika Trying to Find Truck 563...
Erika Trying to Find Truck 563...
Waiting in Line...
Waiting in Line...
Tick-tock, Tick-tock...
Tick-tock, Tick-tock...

The Candy Man Can...

We arrive at the offices of The Reno-Gazette Journal to collect the papers. The place’s a madhouse. Throughout the parking lot cars sit with engines idling as drivers wait their turn to load up the evening’s deliveries. Occasionally, a car jumps the line to the consternation of his neighbors.

Car horns and catcalls herald our arrival.

The nexus of this activity appears to be a warehouse. A folding table serves as a sentry in front of a large open bay door.

I pepper Erika with questions as we approach.

“So what did her husband say? How many papers do we have to deliver? Will they tell us where to deliver the papers...I mean...do they have a list of houses or a map? How long does it take? Where are we going to get candy? Do you think we should have already gotten the candy? What kind of candy are you getting?”

“What can I do for you?” Asks the man standing behind the folding table.

“I was thinking about getting a Charleston Chew.” I inform him...still caught up in the, one-sided, candy dialogue.

“I don’t have any candy.” He reports dismissively.

“But still, it sounds good, huh?” I attempt to draw him out on his, candy-related, thoughts...

Erika intercedes...

“We’re here for Frank Morrison’s route.”

The man looks us over. We return the favor. He’s about five foot five, bald, craggy face, washed-out blue eyes, and very, very fat. He looks...as if he would enjoy candy.

“Are you new?” He addresses this question to Erika.

She’s quick to put him at ease, “No, but I’ve only had one owner.”

It’s Erika’s turn to endure his hostile scrutiny...

I’m quick to stand up for my good friend and roommate, “But her miles are mostly easy ones.”

“I’ve only been used to flee churches on Sunday mornings.” Erika confirms, with a nod, as she warms to the car-selling-analogy thing we have going...

Through our merriment, however, we could tell that we were losing him...

“Yes. I’m new.” She says contritely.

I nod my agreement. “Yes. New.”

He loads us up with rubber-bands, plastic bags, and paperwork before vaguely pointing around the corner with the command to, “Pick your load up from Truck 563.”

I’m not very good with directions and Erika’s not very good with numbers. We remain, rooted, at the table, staring at him.

“What’s the problem?” He spits out gruffly when he notices we’re not leaving.

“You said where...what direction?” I ask, as I wet my index finger to gauge prevailing wind stuff, while seven of my other fingers point in contradictory directions of the compass...

“That was Truck 983?” Erika asks as she attempts to do the math in her head. She’s pretty sure she needs to divide by three to find a truck with numbers. Or was that just because there were three numbers in the number? She starts over...

“If a truck (with numbers) leaves Cleveland...and another truck...doesn’t...then...uh...um...? The right side of an Isosceles Triangle is equal to the...um...uh...?”

His interrupting retort wasn’t polite and I won’t use these pages to propagate his verbal filth. Through the barrage of obscenities, however, we found out where we were supposed to go and as it turns out...it was Truck 563...

“Well he didn’t seem very happy.” I observe as we walk back to the car to join the queue. “I guess that whole jolly fat-man thing is just bullshit.”

“Maybe he lives in Sparks.” Erika posits absently, as she flips through the paperwork.

“That would explain it.” I agree.

We wait our turn in line and look over the lists. Again, I ask how long it takes to finish the route.

“Frank said he gets it done in about three hours,” Erika informs, “You can probably figure that it will take us longer.”

Timing would be a critical factor this evening.

Per instructions, we had arrived at the newspaper plant at midnight. We would need to collect the papers, roll them up, and have them delivered throughout Sparks in time to get back home for Jamie to go to work and Erika to watch the children. Finishing around four or five in the morning would allow all this to happen.

I remembered the six dozen Chicago Tribunes I had delivered each day, as a child, and agreed with her prognosis...

“It would help if we had some weed.” I casually mention as we inched forward in line, knowing that the likelihood of “scoring” this late in the evening, without any advanced planning, was negligible.

Admittedly, “scoring” wouldn’t help with the accurate delivery of newspapers, but it would help in staving off the monotony of driving around Sparks in the middle of the night...


Truck 563...
Truck 563...
These newspapers...Yesterday...
These newspapers...Yesterday...
Rolling Papers...
Rolling Papers...
See?  They Stretch...
See? They Stretch...

Rolling Papers and We’re Smoking...

The guy driving Truck 563 is more pleasant than the fat candy-denier behind the table. Still, he doesn't do us any favors. He keeps pulling out newspapers and handing them over...

“Just how many of those do you have for us?” I demand as the back seat of Erika’s 2006 Saturn begins overflowing with the news of the day...

He checks his paperwork. “Looks like you two will be delivering 422 papers tonight.”

I look around to see ‘which two’ he was talking to. Turns out...we were the two he was talking to... Erika seems surprised too...

“In one night?” Erika queries. “You mean like one of those Alaskan 24-hour nights?”

He seems ill-prepared for her question and I’m surprised. She could hardly be the first person to have posed it.

I was beginning to believe that everyone associated with the delivery end of the publishing industry, was either simple-minded and/or, quite possibly, candy hoarders...

We were behind schedule.

We had removed ourselves to a remote part of the parking lot to roll the equivalent of a once mighty Redwood tree, into tight paper tubes, and rubber-banding them, before placing them within their protective plastic sheaths. These end up in the Saturn’s cramped back-seat.

The primary problem? We had a shitload of newspapers. The secondary problem? We were running out of rubber bands. The tertiary problem? This job sucks.

“This job sucks.” I let Erika in on my deepest, heart-felt, feelings as she toils outside the cramped confines of the car.

“OH MY GOD, I KNOW!” She calls as another dozen wrapped papers land in the back seat and immediately begin sliding around. I’m reminded of fish-mongers hawking their wares.

“What’s worse?” She announces, “We are running out of rubber bands. We have enough bags but the rubber bands won’t stretch.”

“I’m pretty sure,” I suggest, “that rubber bands are actually made for stretching. Kind of in the name really...rubber...bands...”

The look on Erika’s face indicates that my observation was an accurate one as regards the stretchiness of rubber bands.

Eventually we finish and repair ourselves to Sparks, ready for deliveries...


Slums...
Slums...
Sparks...
Sparks...
The Directions We have to Work With...
The Directions We have to Work With...
What the Fuck's a Dually...?
What the Fuck's a Dually...?
I hope THIS is a Dually...
I hope THIS is a Dually...
A Shout-out to Lead-Based Paint...
A Shout-out to Lead-Based Paint...
The Nixon Era...When Candy was Softer...
The Nixon Era...When Candy was Softer...
Ferdinand Magellan's Route...
Ferdinand Magellan's Route...
This Should be Easier to Eat...
This Should be Easier to Eat...
A MILF...I hope her Curtains are Open...
A MILF...I hope her Curtains are Open...

These Directions Suck...Almost as Bad as Sparks...

For those unaware of the physical layout of Sparks, Nevada...allow me to explain. It’s a crisscrossing web of narrow one-way streets and, even narrower, dark and dirty back alleyways.

Street lighting remains, largely, a theory and homes, set far back from the street, give up the secrets of their address only coquettishly, if at all. Concrete embankments randomly dissect neighborhoods in an attempt to disrupt the illicit movements of the, roadside, drug and sex trade...

We are currently parked on one of those darkened streets as Erika peruses the directions. I get her attention and point to the two preceding paragraphs, “Would this be a good description for Sparks?”

After reading it she reports disdainfully, “Yeah, if you wanted to say it nicely.”

Well, I certainly didn’t want to say it nicely. I’m considering how to rewrite it when she gets my attention...

“These directions are a cluster fuck.”

“Worse than Sparks?” I ask while attempting to hew a bite-sized chunk off the Charleston Chew that I had purchased on the way over.

Apparently the LAST Charleston Chew had been manufactured in 1973 and this one...was older than that one.

We had also armed ourselves with copious quantities of coffee, energy drinks, and "nasal decongestants." We were running on high octane...

“Nothing is worse than Sparks.” She says philosophically before complaining, “No. It’s these directions and addresses. They’re all fucked up.”

“An example, please?” I request.

“OK. What the fuck’s a Dually?” She asks frustrated.

I have no idea, so I go ‘English teacher’ on her, “Use it in a sentence.”

“OK.” She says, still frustrated, “What the fuck’s a Dually?”

“I have no idea,” I admit, “but this Charleston Chew sucks balls...” I start banging it against her dashboard in an attempt to break off a bite-sized portion.

For my efforts, a single chip of outer chocolate flecks off like the lead-based paint of my childhood before getting lost amid the clutter of the floor.

“Are you kidding me?” From Erika. “Give that thing to me.”

Determined...I first dip the, Nixon-era, confectionery item into my coffee to see if this has any discernible effect upon its molecular structure. It doesn’t appear to. I bow to the inevitable and hand it over in exchange for the directions.

I squint against the non-existent street lighting before remembering Jamie’s head-lamp. Pulling it out I turn it on. Wow. Although it would be unlikely that I’d admit it to Jamie...I had to admit to myself that this was a much better idea than the plastic submarine at my feet.

When my eyes adjust, I can see that she had correctly labeled the problem: Cluster fuck.

A typical entry reads...

Alley on left. Chain-link fence with hole. Behind trash can. (MWF)

Another...

Just passed (sic) beige Monte Carlo. (MF)

And still another...

House with ramp half-way down block. After blue Chevy. (WF)

“Well this guy ain’t any mother-fucking Ferdinand Magellan, is he?” I observe.

“Right?” Erika says exasperated.

“What the fuck’s a Dually?” I ask after seeing the reference.

“Use it in a sentence.”

“What’s MWF?” I ask instead.

Erika had already considered that question, “I think it’s a MILF.”

“What would the ‘W’ stand for?”

Erika also has opinions about this, “I guess we will find out when we deliver the paper and her curtains are open.”

“Finally,” I say, “something to look forward to tonight.”

Like Thelma and Louise, we begin our epic journey by locating the first promising dark alley and dive in...

I casually mention, not for the first time that evening, “It would help if we had some weed.”

The evening was a jumble of poorly lit and inadequately addressed homes, apartment complexes, and trailer parks. Witty banter suffers as we concentrate... Periodically, one or the other of us would point out the obvious...

“Don’t these assholes know they can read the news online?”

The hours pass...


Shoot me now...
Shoot me now...
Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock
Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock
This Job Sucks...
This Job Sucks...
I'm out...
I'm out...
I Should Have Tried Harder...
I Should Have Tried Harder...
A convenient Dumpster...
A convenient Dumpster...
I See the Problem...
I See the Problem...
Viscous Fluids...
Viscous Fluids...
We Carry On...
We Carry On...

Car and Clock Problems...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...)

That sound had been slowly rising to the top of my consciousness...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...)

The Saturn is not an ideal newspaper delivery platform...

In an attempt to be sporty, the car's equipped with low-slung windows and suicide doors. There were times during the evening that I was very envious of those doors. Heavily tinted windows made backing up hazardous and, at times, we prove a menace to navigation...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...)

Unwilling to use the energy to turn my head, I ask Erika, “Is that you moaning?”

“Maybe.” She allows. “Mostly though it’s the power steering fluid...there isn’t any!”

“Well that’s not good.” I point out needlessly while, simultaneously, expending my automotive knowledge on the subject. That had been ten minutes earlier...

It was 2:45 in the morning and we were pulled over in the parking lot of an all night gas station. Yes, we were having car problems. By the fact that it was 2:45 A.M. ...we were also having clock problems. We had delivered less than half of our papers.

Erika is dispirited.

“This is fucking bullshit!” She rails. “There is no fucking way these are getting delivered tonight! There’s too many!”

My mind harkens back in time, nearly forty years, as I nostalgically remembered the day I walked away from the newspaper delivery game...

The warmth of spring and joys of summer had been replaced by the gut- wrenching death of winter that only Chicago can, cheerfully, deliver each and every year. My trusty Schwinn had, long since, been placed in storage in the basement of our apartment house.

It was mid-February.

If memory serves...that year...the Groundhog had emerged...tested the winds...and then committed suicide.

I recall struggling down icy streets; my twelve-year old frame, stymied by snowdrifts, buffeted by wind, bowed by the weight of my deliveries...and bent by my responsibilities....

It was then that I had my epiphany. I could just dump these bastards into a convenient dumpster and go home. And that’s what I did.

It was about three weeks before my mom found out that her (only) son was a quitter. Her disappointment was manifest.

Over the years I have often regretted the hasty decision I made that morning.

What kind of man would I be today had I fought through the adversity that confronted me on that cold morning, so long ago?

Had I acted differently, would that icy sidewalk not have served as the treacherous, beginnings of the slippery slope of my sliding self-esteem?

I turn to Erika and with steely determination say, “I know of a convenient dumpster around the corner. We can dump them and...Boom...we’re home and sleeping in forty minutes.”

I can see she is swayed by my compelling argument...

First things first, however, we need to get some juice in the steering column. We go in and buy power steering fluid and more coffee before returning to the car.

We pop the hood...

“There it is.” I announce immediately.

Erika is excited by the speedy diagnosis, “What, what?”

“The engine.” I deadpan.

Erika retorts drily, “Remind me again, why you don’t work for Triple-A.”

“I think I just did.” I inform her as I start looking around.

Again, the headlamp proves far more helpful than the plastic submarine...

One of the things I’ve learned about automobiles, (and relationships), is that you don’t want to just start dumping viscous fluids into any available orifice, in the middle of the night, simply for the reason, that you have viscous fluids, and orifices, available.

Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Erika notices my hesitation. “What’s up?”

“Uh,” I temporize, “I don’t want to just start dumping viscous fluids into any available orifice.”

“That girl in Carson City?” She queries.

“That girl in Carson City.” I confirm.

“Right, right, right,” Erika remembers, “Some lessons are learned the hard way.”

“Slippery when wet.” I agree...also remembering.

Speaking of ‘slippery when wet’...what would Aquaman do?

“Maybe we should call Jamie.” I suggest.

Surprisingly, Jamie, from the comfort of his bed, is unable to communicate from memory the correct orifice for power steering fluid, after being woken up at three in the morning for that express purpose.

He does, however, warn us against the dangers of dumping viscous fluids into any available orifice while citing that girl in Carson City, as an example...

We forgo the dumping of viscous fluids...

I say, “So, about that convenient dumpster...?”

In an unexpected reversal, Erika says, “NO!! We must deliver these dirty bastards!! We MUST carry on!!”

I burst out in tears at this unexpected reversal...

The hours pass...


Betsy Ross...
Betsy Ross...
Doris Day...
Doris Day...
Aww Crap...I broke my Submarine...
Aww Crap...I broke my Submarine...

A Continuing Debate...

Concentration suffers as we engage in witty banter...

“Seriously,” I note. “Look at all these available and convenient dumpsters!”

Erika looks at all the available and convenient dumpsters.

“Rather than look at all the available and convenient dumpsters...lets look at how good we will feel when all these papers are delivered!”

In terms of ‘instant gratification’...this is not particularly helpful...

“That’s not particularly helpful.” I say.

“How about a stitch in time saves nine?” She offers, before adding, “I hear that seamstresses swear by that one.”

“Do you know any seamstresses?” I ask.

“No. You?”

“No.” I admit.

We fall quiet as we think about all the seamstresses that we didn’t know. I concentrate on Betsy Ross. Erika spends time mentally reprising the 1957 seamstress role, played by Doris Day, in The Pajama Games...

We enter another subdivision. Witty banter suffers as we concentrate...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) The car complains.

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) Erika complains.

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) I complain.

I reach back to grab more papers...

*~~CRACK~~*

“Was that your spine breaking?!?” Erika cries out aghast.

“I don’t think so.” I say, unwilling to declare definitively, as I’m not an actual doctor. I still seemed to have the ability of swiveling, however, so I swivel and look down at my feet...

General Sherman was right...’War is Hell’. The enemy foot had struck just aft of the conning tower...all hands were lost...

“Awww...” I complain. “I broke my submarine.”

“Yes.” Erika does a poor job of commiserating, “Why did you bring that again?”

“To break it, apparently.” I report dispiritedly.

The hours pass...


Burn, Baby, Burn...
Burn, Baby, Burn...
Tick-tock, Tick-tock...
Tick-tock, Tick-tock...
Trailer #22...
Trailer #22...
WTF?
WTF?
Q?
Q?
Just Who the Hell is in Charge here...?
Just Who the Hell is in Charge here...?
The Natives Awaken...
The Natives Awaken...

An Ugly Incident...

The delays, frustrations, crappy candy, senseless breakage of toys, and the late hour all took their toll. As a result, when we arrived at the Spark’s Municipal Trailer Park...we were in an ugly mood.

Like a combat platoon, who’d lost friends in a brutal ambush, we entered that run-down establishment, an hour before dawn, filled with a dark rage and the desire for retribution.

We were a terrible sight to behold...

The park was set up in two overlapping loops of dilapidated trailers. Like the molars in a tweaker’s head, a number of the ramshackle domiciles were crumbling towards the back.

Neither of us could blame these sad, sorry, bastards, for not using the internet to get their news. You have to have electricity to get the internet...

When we entered the driveway the occupants, of this quiescent section of town, were still ensconced in their beds as they slept behind their thin, tin, prefabricated walls. This wouldn’t last...

Someone had thoughtfully written the lot number on the side of each trailer with a big splash of black spray paint. Unfortunately, that person was no better than Erika when it came to numbers. Oh, it started out sequentially enough, but that lucky happenstance ends at Trailer #8...

I have the next Reno-Gazette Journal, designated for Trailer #9, in my hand...

“...#7 ...#8...,” I call out as I get ready to toss it towards what, might pass, for a porch, on trailer #9... “...#22...#22? Wait?” The next in line after that is labeled #17...

We come to a screeching halt.

As we were only moving at four-miles an hour...this screech comes from Erika.

“WHAT THE FUCK!?!” Screeches Erika, out the open window, as we come to a halt.

“DAMNED TRAILER TRASH!” I reply, by screeching, out the passenger window.

A prosecuting attorney would have had difficulty assigning the standards of premeditation to our subsequent actions. Indeed, we just snapped.

“This is crazy!” Erika announces. “We will just start at the beginning and go through each trailer. They may not be in order but they have to be here!”

They weren’t...

An outhouse was clearly numbered #26 and looked in decidedly better condition than either of its immediate neighbors, the trailer labeled #42 (on the left) and #Q (on the right).

“Q?” Notes Erika with a sigh.

“I wonder who lives in the outhouse.” I muse aloud.

Erika provides the answer, “Probably the mayor of this place!”

“I hope its Mayor McCheese. I’m hungry.” I say, advancing my electoral preference.

Erika agrees, “I like his positions on breakfast.”

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) The car complains.

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) Erika complains.

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) I complain.

On those rare occasions when we find a trailer that matches a number on our list; the newspaper is, not so much delivered as hurled, with all the force I can muster against the rusty and corrugated façades.

The goal was to awaken everyone within. The goal WOULD have been to break a window but these were mostly covered in protective plywood.

If I had to be awake...they should be awake. It’s their fucking newspapers after all...

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” An awakened, and cranky, trailer-dweller complains.

“I’M AQUAMAN MUTHER FUCKER!” I scream back, slightly unhinged, from the lack of drugs and too much coffee...

“Well, first off,” Erika points out, “You're not actually Aquaman and you can’t even swim. Secondly, although I doubt they would have a working telephone in this place, they might call the cops.”

Erika sticks her head out of the car window and screams back, “YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

We can see Coleman lanterns being lit behind those windows not protected by plywood...

“But if we get arrested, we won’t have to deliver any more newspapers!” I plead.

“You know,” Erika points out saliently, “there’s never a cop around when you need one.”

“A sad state of affairs, indeed.” I agree as I shake my head like any good citizen would.

We leave the Spark’s Municipal Trailer Park and drive into the approaching dawn...

“Let’s never speak of this again.” Erika suggests solemnly as she stares straight ahead. She’s ashamed to look me in the eye.

Equally shamed and unable to understand how those dark furies were unleashed, I stare ahead and quietly agree. “OK.”

The feelings of rage pass...


A missing Blue Van...
A missing Blue Van...
Hunter S. Thompson...He's fucking awesome.
Hunter S. Thompson...He's fucking awesome.
Just a Way to Pass the Time...
Just a Way to Pass the Time...
Just a Bad Idea...at ANY time...
Just a Bad Idea...at ANY time...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Oh Shit...
Home Sweet Home...
Home Sweet Home...

Dawn Cracks...

Any benefits, in visibility, accrued through the coming of dawn are erased by the fact that many of our landmarks had been driven off to work by their respective owners.

“There’s supposed to be a blue van somewhere...” Erika notes.

“There’s a blue trash can.” I indicate helpfully.

“Close enough.” She declares before hurling it in that general direction.

We move down the list...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) The car complains.

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) Erika complains.

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) I complain.

We were parked outside the Buena Vista Apartments when Erika says, “Look on the bright side...maybe you can write a story about this.”

I dismiss this notion out of hand. “I don’t do horror stories.”

“You could do it like a Hunter S. Thompson novel.” Erika warms to her theme. “You should call it ‘Fear and Loathing on the Paper Route’ or something like that.”

I consider it...

We were just outside the Buena Vista Apartments when our need for drugs began to take hold. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any. It was proving to be a long night. –ThoughtSandwiches.

I casually mention, not for the first time that evening, “It would help if we had some weed.”

Erika disagrees. “If we had smoked weed we would already be passed out on the side of the road somewhere. We needed to smoke crack.”

She was right. Smoking crack, at the crack of dawn, is not a decision to be taken lightly, however. I survey the number of papers remaining...about fifty or so.

“Eh, that’s a bit of a commitment at this stage. Let’s just push on.”

We just push on...

The worse part of this phase of the mission was that the customers were coming out to find us.

Like slow moving news-zombies, looking for word-brains, they were stumbling about in their yards, clad in bathrobes, pajamas, and slippers...awaiting our belated arrival...

We’re forced to talk to several of them...

Out of the corner of my eye I can see Erika, across the street, explaining our tardiness, to a fully suited gentleman who appeared to be acting as if Northern Nevada was on the verge of collapse because he didn’t know the score of some basketball game.

Erika attempts to be helpful...

“You do know that you can read all this on the internet, right?”

My own search for the next elusive address is forestalled by the wobbly approach of an elderly woman.

The forward swoop of her shoulders begins about mid-back and crescendos just prior to pitching forward from the weight of her head. If I were to describe her posture as a grammatical symbol...she would best be described as a human question mark.

A very annoyed and questioning question mark...

Bowed over as she was...she was having a spirited conversation with my ankles as I explained to the back of her head and neck that we were new and didn’t know what we were doing.

“But I take my Metamucil before I go to sleep,” she continues, (to my horror), “and when I wake up I like to have my crosswords and Jumble Puzzles ready to go for when...”

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) Erika pulls up...

“GO! GO!! GO!!!” She screams. I dive into the passenger side as we peal off down the road.

In the side-view mirror, I can see the elderly woman searching for the ankles that she had just been talking to...

“Thanks.”

“It looked bad.”

“She was discussing her Metamucil schedule.”

“It WAS bad.”

“It don’t get more bad than that.”

Several streets later and then suddenly...we’re done.

I begin to worry about all the contradictory promises I had given to (several different) deities during the course of the night. Was it possible to become a Born-Again, Buddhist-Satanist, (in good standing), from the Church of England?

We pull into the drive-way at home...

I’m able to exchange a few polite words with Jamie before exhaustion pushes me towards my bedroom.

“How did it go?” Jamie asks. “Did the head-lamp help at all?”

“It helped...a little...” I admit as I hand it back.

I clear the dog, his toys, and my laundry off the bed as Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas falls open. A passage catches my eye...

“The possibility of complete mental and physical collapse is now very real...” --Hunter S. Thompson

“Pfft...You got that right, Hunter S. Thompson.” I concur as I push under the covers. A shiver of warmth begins in my mind and moves to my extremities...

On the other side of the house I hear...faintly...the youngest child begins to stir...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) The baby complains...

(Weh-weh- Weh-weh...) Erika complains...

I think about how much it would TOTALLY suck NOT to go to sleep right now. I fall asleep...


More by this Author

  • Mrs. Leonard was a Bitch
    91

    I’m attempting to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe and I sit here befuddled and perplexed. Like the obscure rise and fall of Hub scores...occasionally...perplexed would surge and the rankings...

  • The Wonderful Wizard Of Reno
    80

    I have a confession...You have been lured here under false pretenses. Undoubtedly...you expected a long story. Oh...don’t worry...it is. It is also unfinished with an, as yet, un-formulated ending. (No...I mean...

  • Train, Rain, and Pain
    105

    Recent business reverses force me to reappraise my writing career. My ill-advised attempts to ‘corner’ the Internet has led to the ownership of twenty-three copies of The Game of Monopoly, near insolvency,...


Comments 95 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

What a Night! Glad it was you and not me :)

My twins had a paper route for a few years. At first they were right into it, delivering the papers everyday. Then one Spring day I was out doing some yard work and under our big pine tree I discovered a huge pile of undelivered newspapers. I had them call and apologize for stashing the newspapers. They'd only deliver half of their route and then stash the other half of the papers in various locations being our yard and in spots in the park across the street. They were fired.

I really liked your story.


selecthub profile image

selecthub 4 years ago from UK

as i myself used to deliver papers i can relate


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Susan,

Your sons were far more dedicated than I...they at least delivered HALF of their papers. That said...they need to "UP" their disposal game...I know of a convenient dumpster if they need it...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving an awesome comment!

Thomas


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Absolutely hilarious, made more so by the fact that in January I quit a route I worked for a year. You meet the most fascinating people while on a route in the middle of the night. I'll have to write a hub about those experiences someday, but for now I'll just say I loved your hub!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

selecthub...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting! As someone who was, formally, in the newspaper delivery game...I certainly hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks,

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

billy,

I don't know what to say...you worked a paper route for an ENTIRE year?? Yikes...lol..yes...you DO meet the most fascinating people in the middle of the night and I can't wait to see your take on the occupation! Once you have it written I will link to this one!

Thanks for stopping by and I'm very glad that you liked it!

Thomas


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Its late, I'm tired, and the new cat just peed on the bed. Be back on the morrow for the full TS experience lol.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar...

I am embarrassed to say that a cat peeing on the bed IS the full TS experience!

Take care my friend!

Thomas


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

TY - you crack my crack up! Lol.

Then post called me and asked me if I'd like to have my paper delivery reinstated for a discount - I was like uh uh no way - it's free online. No deal kimosabe.

I want some candy! I wanted to have a paper route so bad when I was a kid...but you had to be a boy. That was b.s.

Hilarious!!


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Oh, Thomas. I wish I had this article when I suffering from insomnia these past few nights because I could have laughed myself to sleep. I never had a paper route because that job was only given to boys who were willing to place the newspaper on the doorstep. And, they were rewarded after five or six years of savings with a used car or motorcycle. I have a friend who has two routes so he can spend his days with his kids. I would be tempted to take the sales flyers and stuff it in the first newspaper. Who would know? Abba-Zabbas are more my style, but the hours totally suck. I would have to break my teeth on that taffy just to stay awake! I also would not do very well in the Reno snow. Absolutely worthless!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Kelly,

That WAS b.s.! I like to think that a girl could have just as easily dumped those papers in a convenient dumpster as I did!

Understand, that if you did reinstate your paper...your paperboy would be thinking horrible things about you at 3 in the morning!

Candy is good but i have to say...on the Charleston Chew...what the hell was I thinking about as a kid??

Thanks for stopping by and giving my route a look see!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Arlene...

To begin with (As I have said in the past) yeah...I don't do snow either! Happily, on the night in question (I'm thinking this went down last December) there was no snow...but it was butt cold! No worries...next time you can join us...we will make Erika do the driving!

I'm seeing a trend here, whereby, they didn't let girls deliver papers??!? That's crazy but now that I'm thinking back...yeah...there were no girls.

The thought of delivering papers for 5 or 6 years fills me with horror.

I am sorry...I was unaware of your insomnia. I would have cranked this out a day or two sooner had I known...mind...it wouldn't have been finished...but it would have been cranked out...and shorter!!

Thank you for your visit my good friend and as Spring is coming...I can assume you will be coming over the hill for visits! We won't go to Sparks...

Thomas


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Aw, come on now, Thomas! Don't you just LOVE that little 50s casino over in Sparks? The one with all the lights all over the place? Even the ceilings, I believe. That was a very special place for one of my relatives before he passed. Me and hubby stopped there one night on the way home. Late. But the waitress actually sat down with the boss, so she forgot all about her diners.

Hmmmmph!

I love your story. I now have a craving for AbbaZabba. I am out of Fig Newtons and have quit stealing my husband's pudding cups. My mother stayed with us for Easter, but she took her Fig Newtons home with her.

The nerve.

Do you do a lot of driveway clearing when it snows in Reno? What a perfect excuse to stay inside and hole up with your writing if you fail to do it! My neighbors are sick of me in my bathrobe as it is. Disgusted faces to remind me.

Looking forward to your next piece!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Arlene...

I have actually been in that little casino...my Brother-in-law brought me in there once...he liked how his cocktail glass was never empty. Obviously...he had a different waitress than you did!

On the snow front it hasn't been that bad this year...I think it snowed twice and only once did it stick. I got excited and started shoveling the drive...halfway through...the other half melted on its own accord. Clearly...I need to learn to shovel faster.

At the moment, however, I woke up and it is GORGEOUS!! Warm, no wind...I will be looking for a place to place my beach chair!

I'm so glad you liked this little pointless piece of rambling!

Thomas


Shihab Mahmud profile image

Shihab Mahmud 4 years ago from Dhaka

beautiful hub........


Jason Marovich profile image

Jason Marovich 4 years ago from United States

Quite an adventure. I must say, I'm glad I took the time to read this, it's very good. You have a wonderful writing style and a dry wit.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Thomas,

you sure a funny guy :) So much fiction in it...loved it :)


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Thoughtsandwiches,

WOW! I felt like I was present in the car with you as you stumbled, collected newspapers, rolled and rubber banded them. Then departed for Sparks.

I must say I am tired from just reading about your adventure---so I had to take a vitamin to finish reading your story.

This was funny and it has inspired me to never have a paper route. LOL

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Shihab...

Thank you for stopping by and having a read! I'm glad you liked it!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jason...

I would like to thank you for taking the time to take the read and then arriving in the comment encapsule, armed with such kind words.

Please feel free to come back!

Thomas

PS...by come back I don't necessarily mean this one...that would become monotonous for you...just feel free to browse I guess is what I'm saying.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Somewhat better than cat pee Thomas lol. As a matter of fact a whole lot better. So, your a Chi-town boy; its good to know where your friends come from. Now, back to the story.

Well Thomas, I hope you've got Google Analytics so you can see how long I stayed on this hub(only a two or three minute interruption as someone informed me the cat had now peed under the bed) annnd it was worth every minute of it; enjoyed it so much in fact, that it will receive APs ultimate accolade, always reserved for the very best of the best, and that is the elusive five buttons and the green. Well done Thomas. Btw, think I recognized that MILF girl, could it be...nah....Only in the dreams.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Ruchira...

There was a disturbing amount of non-fiction involved as well. I won't elaborate for legal reasons. Well...with that unpleasantness behind us...Thank you for stopping by and giving this one a read!!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Bobbi...

I'm gratified that I was able to fully convey the horrors of that night. I should say though...with you in the car...you COULD have helped with the newspaper rolling!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thomas

PS...yeah...the delivery game has changed from my youth. I didn't see one 9-year old out there.


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

When I was 13, my brothers and I actually got arrested one morning when we headed out at 4am to help a friend on his paper route. We saw a cop car and we scattered. I don't know why, we weren't guilty of anything. But running from the cops will get you arrested.

When my brother had his own paper route for a couple of months I don't think he ever made it home before the people began calling about their missing newspapers.

Anyway funny story, brought back some memories.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar...

lol...pets and their pee politics! Somewhat liberating though I should imagine...not comfortable in a situation? Pee. I feel bad for the next guy who interviews me!

I'm glad you liked Erika's and my midnight adventure. No joke...that job sucks...props to those who can do it well!

The elusive 5 buttons and a green, eh? I am indeed, honored my friend!

Yes indeed...I did my Midwest stint in Michigan and than (post-parental) divorce lived in Chicago prior to heading out west.

Thanks for doing the stop and comment!

Thomas

PS...even if just a dream...you can do worse on the MILF girl.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Sherry,

That is an AWESOME story! lol...yup...running will get you arrested. Odd your instinctual reaction was to flee...I like you!

I feel for your brother...the good citizens of Sparks were in for a treasure hunt finding those papers the next morning!

Thank you for stopping by! I'm very glad you liked this!

Thomas


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

Thanks ThoughtSanwiches, I like you too. The cop asked us why we ran, we said "We were scared."


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Sherry...

I recall a similar night (mind...we weren't children and we were drunk) ...but a cop drove by--hit his break lights-- (one drunk yelled "run" and the rest of us ran). I don't remember getting arrested but then...I don't remember too much from that evening. I woke up under a tree later with the left side of my body battered and bruised. Yeah...wtf?

Thomas


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

Maybe we're both luck we weren't shot.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

Well, where to begin...wait is that ME you are talking about....wait, that is me...I am in this story...well at least you admit to the headlamp...we will discuss grammar once this Nazi is off my shoulder...Jamie


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ Sherry

lol...back than I tended to consider any day I didn't get shot a lucky day!

@ Jamie...

Yes...That was you and you really need to get up on your 'available orifice' location info. I believe that power steering fluid is still sitting in the garage...buried under our other shit. Grammar discussion has been tabled.

Yes...(again)...the head lamp deserves props, however, (and for obvious reasons) I wished you also had had a mag-light in your pocket.

Thank you both for commenting!

Thomas


Emer420 4 years ago

I absolutely loved this. Read every word of it. I'm a huge fan of Hunter S. Thompson and think that he would have enjoyed this very much. Good work.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Emer420,

It's very nice to meet you. My roommate, who you met in this story, Erika, is an HST freak. My exposure is limited, but growing, with The Rum Diaries, Hell's Angels, and now Fear/Loath Vegas. I have quickly become a fan.

Thank you for your kind words and endorsement! Stylistically, he is a hard act to follow.

Thomas


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm linking this to my hub tomorrow about my year on the paper route....this is still funny the second time I read it.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

billybuc,

Awesome!! I can't wait to read your take on the delivery-end of the publishing industry! I shall keep my eyes peeled for it coming tomorrow! Thanks for the heads-up!

Thomas


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I was shocked to learn you can't swim!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Kelly,

Ahhhh...you caught that, huh? No. No, I can not swim and I can tell you...I get quite a bit of grief from Erika (et al) on a fairly regular basis.

The plan this summer? A veeeeeery shallow sloping beach (King's Beach in Tahoe) and a life preserver...from there we will be learning something called, "floating". I have heard of "floating" ...it's what dead people do after they have drowned. I shall keep you informed of my progress.

Thomas

AKA...not-Aquaman.


coolenconnections profile image

coolenconnections 4 years ago from Toronto

What a great read!! Took me back to those "paper route years" I am so glad those years are over and that my kids had no interest in delivering papers lol


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

coolenconnections,

I'm very glad I was able to take you where you needed to go for those memories to come surging back. It occurred to me that it is important that we "Never Forget" lest we inadvertently volunteer for another night of hell!

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a great comment...It is truly appreciated!

Thomas


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

Holy Crap! Talk about the paper route from hell....This makes me so happy that I never took a job throwing papers! A very funny read :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jamie,

The dirty little secret I took away from this experience is that my suspicion is..."ALL paper routes are from hell."

Yes, you dodged a bullet on that career choice my friend...I have a new appreciation for their efforts!

I'm very glad you liked this! Thanks for stopping by!

Thomas


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Debated abit between a Thought classic and Fear and Loathing and decided there wasn't much difference between them - LOL- just kidding creatively brilliant one! The followers will enjoy! Oh, and lets introduce you to some FB folk while we're at it.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

I was with you all the way there! this is the sort of thing I get roped into doing! what a nightmare! remind me never to go delivering papers at night, especially not there! all you need was those guys from Deliverance to appear and that would have been the icing on the cake, or should I say candy! lol!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar,

My good friend..had I known you were returning...I would have cleaned the place up! Right? A classic...this...all part and parcel my friend.

What is not part and parcel is your kindness my friend...I greatly appreciate it!

Thanks,

Thomas


Jason Marovich profile image

Jason Marovich 4 years ago from United States

@Alastar - I've never experienced the FB questions I received when I posted this story - "Did you write this?!" and "OMG I didn't know you could write like this." It took a few mails to tell them I wasn't ThoughtSandwiches, but it's a fair indicator of the power of good writing. Now, if only I can get my own stuff to generate such inquiries :P


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Nell...

Very interesting that you should mention that...several 'Deliverance' references were made that evening. That said, we usually make 'Deliverance' references when we go to Sparks.

Thank you so very much for visiting and stopping to say hi!

Thomas


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Jason my FB peeps are a funny lot. Once in a while they'll pull themselves away from the minutia and endless posted videos to read something of mine, especially if its about the paranormal. Hoping Thomas here has better luck. Oh and by the way, to tempt with bait the stories prefaced by- Funny Funny- rumor has it this guy writes for David Letterman! Which is a true rumor.:)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@ Jason...Thank you for a return visit and apparent FB share! Those are always appreciated. I don't suppose any of those responses came from agents or publishers did they? Anyway...when I place my stuff on FB it withers and dies covered in dust, I am glad to see you have people who are enjoying it!

Thanks,

Thomas


Jason Marovich profile image

Jason Marovich 4 years ago from United States

My FB account is, almost exclusively, real-life friends and family. I don't post stuff I don't believe in. And believe me when I tell you, that nearly all my FB friends can relate to drug-induced romps through Nevada (JK).


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Alastar,

(laughing) ...yes...it it a true rumor in that it is truly a rumor! If not though...Dave owes me some flow!

Thanks for sharing this far and wide!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jason,

It sounds like your FB friends and my FB friends have a lot in common as regards drug-induced romps through Nevada...we just call it getting pizza though.

Thanks!

Thomas


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I have often times contemplated what it would be like to have a paper route... you see, it seemed like an easy job for some easy cash... but, after reading this. There is absolutley no way in hell anybody could pay me enough to do this. Glad you survived (weh weh weh) and next time get a Mountain Dew and a Twix! :)

Oh yeah - and you sorta of reminded me... I wonder who subbed on my paper route since the third week into my subscription my paper didn't show up... wonder if it ended up in some dumpster somewhere!


AEvans profile image

AEvans 4 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Goodness what a night! I never knew that Sparks, Nevada was like that and papers are something. My mom delivered for The Arizona Republic for years; but that's another story. I tuned everyone out to read this hub! You were so nice to help your roommate, if you didn't we wouldn't have had this story.:)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Stacy...

I feel as if I have performed a public service! Nobody should have to do this work. Also...rumor has it...you can read this stuff on the internet.

I will get a Mountain Dew and a Twix...but there will be no more 'next time'!

I am here to say that dumping the shit in a dumpster...is a viable delivery option. That MAY well be...what happened to your third week. (tho...I'm pretty sure it wasn't me and Erika because we were Fear and Loathing Sparks...not Hemet).

Thanks for stopping!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

AEvans,

I suppose, all things being relative, and I've lived in inner-Oakland, it could have been a lot worse! That said...delivering papers is a brutal business and props to your mom for doing it for years! (hmmm...I look forward to reading a hub on it...)

Thank you for the tune out, read, and awesome comment!! I deeply appreciate all three!

Thomas

PS...oh yeah...gotta help the roomies!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for the pleasure of reading this very witty story. I love the digressions. Well done!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

James,

Thank YOU for stopping by and giving this one a read and a comment! Your comment got me thinking...in reality (such as it is) this tale was really nothing more than a series of digressions with a story wrapped around it. I'm very glad you liked it!

Thomas


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

I laughed so hard while reading this. I was hanging on every word. I especially like the part about "landmarks had been driven off to work by their respective owners." I think I snorted I laughed so hard at that... yes... snorted!!! I am so happy for you that you lived through this experience. And I am especially proud of you that you guys did not opt to throw the newspapers in the dumpster. :-) Voted up and awesome!!!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

What a memorable night! Wow!!! I love your descriptive words and your humor and your wit! Your paper route was nothing like mine, actually mine was the Pennysaver which was a small magazine and the area was safe UNLIKE Billybuc who had Ted Bundy as his paperboy! Oh my!!! Thank you for the entertainment. MILF! LOL You rock!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jeannie,

(passes over tissues for any 'post-snort' related issues).

Thank you for your sweet words and nice comments! We did make it out alive and after four months...the scars had healed enough to write about it! Thanks for the Up and awesome...that's totally Up and awesome!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Linda,

I'm familiar with the Pennysaver...my aunt used to deliver them in Southern California. She also stuffed envelopes and illegally babysat like 40 kids each day. lol...you do what ya gotta!

Thank you more than kindly for the great comment and I will have to repay you with the entertainment...as opposed to money.

Thomas


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

What an adventure. I must say it is truly refreshing to read a piece of fiction and not have any indication where the story is going. You are completley unpredictable. I have never read a story with head lamps, fat candy deniers, MILFS, rubber bands, and Betsy Ross all in one story. Very, very entertaining. Voting up and sharing.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Your title caught my eye (I'm a huge Hunter S. Thompson fan and nerdily wore a black wrist band when he died), but your story is what kept me on the page. Man, what an epic tale! Voted up and funny.


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

This had it all ! And it was all simply Awesome. So many references I can relate to personally as a formerly reformed "Dead Head" who is still waiting in line to purchase tickets to their next show... References to the Candyman, The Burning Man, Starks NV, Carson City Fluids, I was born on the Northwest side of Chicago and my 1st job was delivering Tribunes, and yes, I do bleed cubbie blue... And Hunter S. the joy when I see Hunter S. Thompsom referred to and all I can think about is a 6'6" Somoan Lawrer sitting in a bathtub with a wad of chewed up blotter acid on the edge of the tub listening to White Rabbit begging for the radio to be thrown in. Amen ! and Thank You ! *giggles*


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Tammy,

Thank you very much my friend for giving this one a look, read, comment, and a share! They are all greatly appreciated!

Ah yes...headlamps, MILFS, and rubber bands...the making of an unpredictable party! Oh...and some papers got delivered...

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Natashalh,

Although I doubt my title will result in one successful Google search (because they never really do) it did get your attention so I feel happy and justified in ripping off Hunter!

NO worries on the nerdily worn black wrist band...Erika was wearing one her own-self for months following his passing!

Still, I am glad my little tale kept you on the page and that you enjoyed it! Thank you for the votes and it is a pleasure to meet you!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

CriticalMessage,

Wow...this one did have a number of cultural reference points that should appeal to you.

A fellow Chicago-Tribune hurler, eh? Well then you know...that job sucked! I was hurling in the Jefferson Park neighborhood if you are aware of the area.

Thank you for taking the time to reading this and leaving such an awesome comment. It's very nice to meet you!

Thomas

PS...We were Sox fans...needless to say...SOX RULES...lol


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Across the board Sandwiches.. Your 'loathing' hub felt like you were wearing my shoes. with the been there done that got the t-shirt need a new one feeling of experiences. I hurled papers in Wrigleyville area (Addison & Racine) before it became yuppifide. Thus the cubbie blue blood. And Jefferson Park was a stop along the Chicago Northwestern commuter train tracks that told me I needed to start waking up and get ready after commuting to that point from Crystal Lake where I lived when I growed up... lol... Edison Park, Jefferson Park, Irving Park the conductor called, and then wake up time to get ready for work amongst the cement jungle called The Loop. Again, Thanks for the chuckles Sandwiches. As Iook forward to consuming more of your HUBS in the future.


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

By the way, the paper hurler job wasn't so bad when it allowed me to purchase my new Purple Schwinn Fastback. It was sparkly purple, and I surely was the envy of every 8-13 year in the hood... Until it was stolen.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

CriticalMessage,

Wow...I left and headed out west in 1978 and your listing of neighborhoods just brought back that whole area! Awesome! As I recall...me and my 8-13 year old posse OWNED Portage Park.

Oh...so that was YOUR sparkly purple Schwinn Fastback, huh? Um...no...no...I never saw it...

The chuckles are my pleasure my friend!

Thanks,

Thomas


Dr Funom Makama profile image

Dr Funom Makama 4 years ago from Europe

Thanks for the fantastic share... Awesome.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

This has my vote for Funniest Hub in the year's Hubbie Awards. I am sharing this and hoping others will vote, too. :-)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jeannie,

Thank you so much! You actually have my vote as 'Funniest Hubber' and I'm fairly sure you will win! Thank you again for advancing this meager offering!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Dr. Funom Makama,

I was recently made aware of a spam file that sometimes collects legitimate comments (I honestly didn't know I had ANY kind of comments in there!) ...needless to say..I was chagrined to find your kind words in there and I apologize for not responding seven weeks earlier.

Thank you very much and I'm very glad you liked it!

Thomas


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Thomas, congrats on surviving the hell of a paper route. I had one one summer between junior high and high school. It seemed like it was all up hills in both directions. I have to say, that was the best shape I was ever in! Most of the places were inaccessible by motor vehicle so I rode my bike. Sundays were a bitch, and if I didn't have the paper at Old Grumpy's by 5:30am, he was calling and waking up my parents. I hated that old bastard! Thanks for the great entertainment! :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Terrye,

I have to admit that I am glad I accepted Erika's invitation to slopping around Sparks because it gave me the idea/fodder for this little tale...beyond that I am certainly glad I didn't have to go out again the next night! If I had had to...I'm sure I would have run into PLENTY Of Mr. Grumpys who were wondering what the hell happened to their paper the night before.

I'm glad you survived your route!

Thomas


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Sounds like a night from hell. Did you recover yet?


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

aviannovice...

Hi there! It was a night from hell and I have managed to recover...somewhat. Whenever I see a newspaper now, my left eye twitches slightly. That's normal, right?

Thank you so much for taking a look and saying hi!

Thomas


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I lost it completely at the old lady question mark....took a good 3 minutes to compose myself and straighten up, put dry pants on and resume reading........Following you is going to be the death of me. When I laugh this hard, I choke & lose my braeth. You may be responsible for my demise. How does that make you feel?...............OMG. breathe, Paula......


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Paula,

The old lady question mark was the death of me too!! I would feel absolutely horrible if you were to expire in one of my stories! Still, it HAS given me an idea for a new character with a slight incontinence problem and a wheeze... that would be insensitive though, huh? That wouldn't be right...

Thomas


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

LOL....I'm not the least bit sensitive...if you're actually creating a character based on my issues and pain and AGE, of course....no, go ahead....I can handle it. I'm sure my shrink will help me through it.....and I've always got my psyche meds to rely on. I only care about you and your success, Thomas.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Paula,

Ohhhh...you have psyche meds? (Throws his arm around her shoulders) Why is this the first I'm hearing of this?

Thomas


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Probably because we really just met, Thomas......and I hadn't yet taken the ad out in the New York Times to announce my list of meds........which, trust me, are nothing that would interest you, honey.....they are not controlled substances. However, if you'd like to come visit.....there are an awful lot of strange-looking fungi, growing throughout the woods behind my home...............


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Paula,

lol...well there you go than! I'm intrigued by the notions of strange looking fungi, however. For botanical purposes only of course!

Thomas


GetitScene profile image

GetitScene 4 years ago from The High Seas

The automatic leap from paper-route to Aquaman is going to keep me thinking all night. Many of my landlubber friends are comic book artists and I'm going to be forced to have them explain why i never knew about this before.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Getitscene,

I certainly wouldn't wish to be responsible for any lost sleep based on my whimsical literary ramblings so allow me to put you at ease. The automatic leap from paper-route to Aquaman was, both, random AND capricious. It popped into my head and I just ran (uh...sailed) with it. I tend to do that.

I went to your website and am currently climbing all around your site and I am very impressed. It's more than my pleasure to make your acquaintance!

Thomas


GetitScene profile image

GetitScene 4 years ago from The High Seas

It's too late. Aquaman will now forever be associated with my own experiences delivering papers, I can't get it out of my head. I'll try scotch, that usually empties just about everything out of my head. Glad to meet you too.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

GetitScene,

Interesting choice...Scotch I mean. It's a little known fact that 4 out of 5 dentist recommend Scotch after reading my hubs. The fifth dentist is a vodka man I believe.

Thomas


GetitScene profile image

GetitScene 4 years ago from The High Seas

I like all those dentists!


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

This hub was awesome the experiences you had that night brightened my day. HAHAHAHA. Sometimes I need to ehar that other people have crazy ehhh..."adventures" too. Makes me feel not so alone in the madness.

Thanks for sharing.

~Becky


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Re-reading this since it always makes me happy. My favorite line ever will always be "the fact that many of our landmarks had been driven off to work by their respective owners"... hehehe. What a terrible night, but what a great hub!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 3 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Becky,

Thank YOU for sharing my madness with me! You most certainly are not alone...the world is crazed and I'm happy to be on the same ward as ya! Thank you for stopping by and saying hi!

Thomas


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 3 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Jeannie,

I ain't gonna lie...I love that you like this one so much! I think it is true...the best writing comes from the worst experiences! Next time I foolish agree to a paper route...you must come with me!

Thomas


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

This is a delightful tale. Up, Funny, and Interesting.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 3 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

B. Leekley,

Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed the madness that was that evening.

Thomas

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working