vendredi, décembre 23, 2005

Perhaps the Passive-Aggressive Paper-person is Trying to Tell Us Something

One of my favorite rituals of the season usually happens sometime around the same time as the annual "parking lot flip off." Yes, happy holidays indeed.

Around this time each year we get a holiday card from our Paper-person. Paper-carrier? Paperboy? Whatever.

The card wishes us a happy holiday and usually contains the Paper-person's name and address.

What it says is: "Happy holidays from your Independent Carrier!"

What it means is: "Look, I've delivered your paper all year, so how about a little something, you know, for the effort."

One year the guy underlined "independent" about ten times. What's that all about? Is that why some days we get a free St. Paul Pioneer Press (great for kitty litter box lining - those morons endorsed Bush, not once, but twice) in addition to our Minneapolis Star Tribune? Is that why sometimes our paper comes liberated of its Metro section with the Soduku puzzle already worked and an (empty!) can of Coors Light somehow wedged in the USA Today Sunday magazine insert? Is that why if I ever remember to stop delivery for vacation, I come home to a nice pile of papers conveniently placed right by the door? Does independent mean "nobody's gonna tell me what to do?"

For years I thought this nice holiday card meant that they wanted me to bring a newspaper to their house for a change, but apparently that's not it (and they HATE the Christian Science Monitor - just an FYI).

What they want is money (dolla, dolla bill, y'all). And we reliably send in $10, 'cause we're flush like that (what can I say, we had a good year). Also, there was an article in the paper last year about tipping, and it recommended $10.

In most years, we don't spring into action upon receipt of the wonderful and sincere and completely pure holiday greeting which seeks only to send good wishes to us. We're so busy wrapping and shopping and getting flipped off in parking lots ("and a Merry Christmas to you sir!" - and I won't even tell you what I observed while shopping yesterday*), that it might take us a few days to get our completely wonderful, sincere and completely uncoerced greeting/reply mailed to our Paper-sapien.

And with each passing day (I kid you not)...

our newspaper gets further and further from the front door. See, they really are independent. Today, it is just about in the dang gutter!

And whilst I can use the exercise, I think it might be time to get our last holiday card shipped.

Our card will say-

"Happy holidays from your dependent household!"

Our card will mean-

"Here's the money you requested. Can we have our paper back on the stoop please - and just outside of the arc of the door so that it won't move behind the door as I open it? Oh, and on time would be huge; we're early risers. Thanks in advance and happy holidays or whatever."

Remember the reason for the season, friends!

*Okay, I'll tell you. It was a man, with his son and mother. He was yelling at his son who I'd guess to be about six years old (something about just sit there and don't say a damn thing - parenting tip from the Dufmaster - don't take your kids holiday shopping with you - but if you do, you might try this one...I was in line behind a woman who by appearance and accent is an immigrant from Africa. She explained to her kids (who were with her) that she gets the presents and Santa pays her back!), and when his mother gently intervened he had some choice words for her (at very high volume and which, if my understanding of our state's assault statute is current, could constitute a threat that is not only punishable criminally but also actionable civilly) that might see the man moved from one Santa list to another. While the son/dad stormed off, Mom/Grandma, for her part, said to her grandson - " I can't help - I can't say a word... Why do we go through this every year?" Duf, though seeing her question as rhetorical, had no answer.

"Joy to the world, the savior reigns, let men, their heart implore!"