The Dispatch takes a dive

I just opened my Monday paper and found this weird card tucked inside. Like the entire rest of the paper (thank you very much, carrier), the card was all curled up beyond smoothing. It was blank, but it included a strange, grainy note, printed in a mysterious font. The note reads, “I would like … to welcome you to my world.”

Shaken, and checking for white powder, I continued reading. Looks like my building is blessed with its third carrier in three months. Oh, God, I thought. I’ve become used to finding my paper right outside my door in the hallway… or on a table… or under a bench… or right on High Street. Once it was in High Street. Now, you would think, having been a subscriber to the Dispatch for seven years, and having longstanding family ties besides, that they would take note and put a good carrier on my route. But I guess they’re too busy shrinking the pages. I’m distressed to learn I’ll have to train a new one all over again.

“Please look for your Sunday aids to now come Saturday night.” Yeah, that’s when I was expecting to get aids.

This was discouraging: “Please keep in mind that there will be mornings that I’m running late. To inquire about your paper on those days, please call me 1st. Calls to the Dispatch will count against me, as well ass my manager.” When I read this, I was sneakily pleased to see that maybe all those calls to the Dispatch got the last carrier fired, which is why we have this new one. Then I was peeved: already, my carrier is planning to be late? And then it went on to say, “By doing so, you should even receive your paper more promptly.” Is that a threat? Don’t tell on me or you’ll never get your paper? For this I pay $41.60 a quarter?!

What are things coming to? Time was, the local paper boy or girl was an enterprising youngster with an undiagnosed sleeping disorder. This person lives nine miles away, as the pre-addressed tip envelope indicates. How will we ever build the bond that ensures I get the paper and that might persuade me to grudgingly part with a decent tip? I’ll keep my readers informed. But keep in mind there will be mornings when this column is late.

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