Of late I find myself worrying a lot. It starts when I go out and pick my paper up off of the steps, leading up to my apartment. It (the paper) is smaller than it was a few years ago—smaller than it was a few days ago—It seems to be shrinking at an alarming rate.
Right about here, you are wondering if “old” Wally has finally gone around the bend. Let me reassure you that I am aware of all the news stations on TV, and that I can access news on the Internet. I know that we now have news literally at our fingertips 24-7. But, you see, I’m a newspaper guy. That’s how I start my day—a cup of coffee and my newspaper. I don’t feel whole until I’ve had my coffee and read my newspaper. I guess you could say I am addicted. Oddly, my newspaper fix isn’t just about news. Fact is, it’s hardly about news at all. Most of the time, I’ve already had a dose of all the news in the paper from TV and the internet, the night before. About the only “news” in my newspaper I’m interested in is the Headlines and the sports page. It’s more about the auxiliary parts of the paper that interest me, the most important being the comics, the horoscope, the Super Quiz, the Sudoku, and the obits, at my age you start reading the obits—I guess to see if I’m listed. I can tell you, it’s always a relief when you or friends aren’t listed.
This shrinking newspaper thing, though, is causing me a lot of angst. If the paper goes away, how will I keep up with my favorite comic characters? I need to know if Luann’s brother Brad is ever going to marry Tony Daytona, or what the kid’s and Frazz come up with at Bryson Elementary school each day.
I’ve been following the escapades of some of these comic strip characters for years, Peanuts, For Better Or For Worse (I am now on my second time through these gems.)… and Doonesbury! The world just wouldn’t seem the same with out my morning allocation of Doonesbury.
I know, I know… I can read them on line. And I know I can read the newspaper on line! But Damn it! It’s not the same! I don’t like it and I don’t want to do it. When they dropped my favorite comic strip, “9 Chickweed Lane,” from the Seattle Times, I was forced to search it out on line. I now follow, what I consider, one of the great comic strips of all time on line. I still love the storylines and the characters but it’s not the same. I find myself falling behind and having to catch up, reading several days at a time—not the same. I liked it better when I had to wait until tomorrow to find out what Edda and company were up to.
And what about my Horoscope—I need to know what I’m facing each day, first thing in the morning, and the Sudoku, The Super Quiz and the Crossword puzzle?? How will I keep my mind sharp, hone my memory? The bathroom will be a boring lonely place. And what will I do without the Obituary Page??? How will I know who died and who didn’t? Search the web?
Well, I don’t want to search the web. I want the newspaper delivered to my front steps! I want to sit in my chair, sip my coffee, and read my paper! I don’t want it to shrink out of sight, out of existence!