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Enjoy Your Local Newspaper
Sure, we’ve all heard about how our digital world is facing the end of print. The fact that you’re reading this online proves local rags have had it, right? Wrong! There are still lots of great ways to enjoy your local screed, and I’m here to tell you all about them. You just need your latest local paper, and the proper attitude, my friend.
To make sure you are getting the most enjoyment out of your morning read, turn first to the obituaries. If your name’s not there, you’re off to a great start! Now you can really begin taking pleasure in the rest of your day!
Once you’re done with the obits (and have made note of all the high school classmates you’ll have to send condolence cards for), flip over to the police blotter. There you can enjoy all the tales of woe, mendacity, larceny and knuckle-headedness of all your near and not-so-near neighbors. You’ll soon understand that the grass ain’t always greener on the other side of the fence; sometimes it’s browner, crab-grassier, and torched-by-an-exploding-meth-lab-ier.
Scan the society and gardening and other such ‘human interest’ pages and check out all the photos. Be thankful that’s not you sporting that dippy golf beret and a drunken grin while you grope a cheerleader, or showing off your prize-winning crown vetch while wearing cartoon-character work gloves, or holding that Labradoodle up by its ears! See — aren’t exhibitionism and those 15 minutes of fame overrated?
Next, go to the comics pages for your only glimpses of truth, sanity, reality and perspective. (Who knows? You might not even weep over those comics dealing with politics, the economy, taxes, marital discord, social rancor, world affairs or war.)
Go to the travel section and peruse the glowing descriptions of foreign intineraries carefully. Remember: gondola rides = chance of drowning; cruise = chance of overeating, THEN drowning; unique cuisine = ptomaine; rustic splendor = peeing down a hole in the ground; vibrant music = annoying bouzouki. (No, that’s ‘bouzouki’, a Greek stringed instrument, NOT ‘bazooka’; bazookas are ALWAYS annoying.) Now, aren’t you glad you’re not one of those suckers blowing all their money overseas on so-called ‘fun’?
Move on to the business section, and scan those columns of stock data. See if you can be the one to find ‘666’, the mark of the beast, hidden among the daily figures for Wall Street money management firms. Trust me — the mark is there, and at last we’ll know who to blame!
Once you’ve gotten to the breaking news and editorial pages, it’s time to leave YOUR mark. As your brain starts to overheat reading about this politician or that government program, scribble all your oh-so-apt comments all over the paper’s margins and headlines with a bold hand! (Don’t forget the four-letter words and all their variations.) It’s therapeutic to give vent to all your opinions, no matter how questionable others may find them. (After all, why do you think I write so many articles?)
Now it’s time to cut up all the different headlines and bold ad slogans and store away the various words and letters. You’ll need them to make up those threatening messages to send to the boss who fired you last week. (Didn’t get fired last week? Oh, excuse me. I had you confused with one of those other 15 million people out there.)
Finally, to cap off your enjoyment, cut the remaining pages into roughly square or rectangular blocks somewhat smaller than notebook paper, and set them aside for later use. You’ll find that they come in handy for lots of household purposes, like a) lining the parakeet cage, b) stuffing inside that drafty section of family room wall as extra insulation, c) blotting up the garage floor after you tried saving money by changing your own oil, d) filling envelopes for charities you’re not particularly fond of, e) wrapping fish scraps when dinner’s done, and, of course, f) for when the Charmin runs out.
Now get out your mobile device and head to rickzworld.