What you’ll be reading here is an actual email that I sent to my local newspaper as a result of a soggy, single-bagged morning paper that I found in my driveway this morning.

Dear <name redacted by author to avoid legal issues>,

I am a long time subscriber/reader of your fine publication. I’m also an advocate who has converted numerous family and friends who live in Tampa to the <name redacted> over the years, saving them the frustration and disappointment of reading that fish-wrapping rag known as the <name redacted>.

Unfortunately, I am writing this email to you today for two reasons:

  • your automated customer service line is extremely annoying, time-wasting (for the caller), and aggravating… people want to speak to people when they call a “customer service” number; there’s no joy in screaming maniacally to a recording


  • my morning paper will be dry enough to read sometime later this weekend, unless I dry it with a blow dryer before then… yes, I could check out the website for the latest news, but if I liked doing that, I would never have subscribed to the <name redacted> home delivery in the first place.

OK, so to elaborate a bit…

Yes, I know that no one likes automated phone answering systems. Even friends and family who call my home hate my answering machine. It is what it is, I suppose. If this were 1965, you’d have a full time staff of folks getting a decent wage to answer phone calls and resolve issues like wet newspapers. Sadly, those days are gone forever. Enough melancholy reminiscing, though.

Now to the main issue of today’s venting…

Is it too much to ask that these normally hard-working and competent newspaper carriers take two minutes of their valuable time when they first get to their distribution spot to check the weather forecast IN THE ACTUAL PAPER that they’re preparing to deliver that morning? Maybe then, they would know that rain was expected and double bagging of the papers would be a fine thing to do.

Or has the exorbitant cost of that extra bag become such a drag on your bottom line that they’ve given specific instructions to their independent carriers to not use them under any circumstances. If this is the case, I would be willing to save all my bags (and the ones the inconsiderate neighbors toss in their yards that eventually blow into mine) and donate them back to the carrier early one morning so that he/she would then have the means to protect my paper from becoming a pile of disintegrating pulp before I awake and have a chance to retrieve it from the 3″ deep puddle in my driveway.

A highlight of my day is the ability to sit down in my comfortable chair, put on the ol’ specs, sit back and sip my coffee while reading my morning paper. How 1960s, huh? Well, maybe so. I don’t care for eBooks or online news sites either. I prefer my reading materials to be made using old fashioned materials. No, not papyrus. I’m not that damned old. Coffee in the morning at my desk staring at the <name redacted> website just isn’t the same as rustling that nice DRY paper in the comfort of my easy chair.

I love the <name redacted>. Please take this venting in the spirit it was intended; a slightly tongue-in-cheek rant that should have maybe given you a laugh or two, but still got the point across.



And there you have it, folks. I felt ever-so-much better after clicking that Send button. I have to go blow dry my paper now. 😦



Note: Any inferences you as a reader may make as to the actual identities of the publications whose names have been redacted by me in this article are yours alone to infer. My implications in the article are vanilla enough that I should be able to avoid any multi-million dollar defamation lawsuits, which is a good thing.

About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

8 responses »

  1. comhack says:

    Very nice!! I hope they take your letter into consideration. Nicely done

    • Oh, they will. They’re very good about taking care of crap like this. πŸ™‚

      • lilbambi says:

        Good deal! Regardless of the technology of the day, people should be able to get the news in whatever fashion they prefer … even papyrus. πŸ˜‰

        Reading the papyrus sitting on the glide on the front porch, or easy chair in the living room or den, doesn’t matter. πŸ˜‰

        People get used to things including the last buggy whip … See the movie “Other People’s Money” and Larry the Liquidator’s speech at New England Wire and Cable’s Board of Director’s meeting and election:


        Truthfully, you are absolutely right. You should get a dry paper. I think this is why the tablet and computer news has taken off so much. People are sick and tired of this type of crap.

        • The papyrus probably would be easier to read when it was wet. πŸ˜‰

          Seriously though, the publisher in question is very good about making good on complaints such as this, so I’m really not too worried. At the very least, they’ll credit my account for today’s soggy paper, which I did manage to read after leaving it spread out under a ceiling fan for most of the day. It didn’t rustle and crackle like a nice fresh and dry paper would, but it was readable.

          Thanks for stopping by and commenting. πŸ™‚


  2. ebrke says:

    Even if it was just a single bag and they could close it tightly in some way it would be acceptable. I don’t subscribe to a paper, but there is a local free rag which they’re going to leave in my driveway for me to pick up anyway, so my mother reads it and checks the coupons and ads. Advertising revenue is all that supports this paper, and sopping wet ads aren’t much use to anyone. I’d point that out to them, but as you observed, no one picks up the phone anymore.

    • Yeah, we get those free rags around here, too. They just sit in most people’s driveways till garbage day, then when they roll their cans out to the street, the might stop and pick the soggy old things up and toss them into the can.

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