Posted in Lore

Newspaper Subscription Offers Lack Fine Print

The newspaper subscription was dirt cheap.  We’re talking $2 for two years, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  When the offer came in the mail, I must have checked it a dozen times, using my cheaters to look for fine print.  There was none.  So why wouldn’t I subscribe?  The Sunday coupons alone would more than make up for the cost.  Heck, they’d be paying me to take the paper!

There was something nostalgic about having the paper delivered before the sun peeked its lazy eye over the horizon.  Reminiscent of the days when young boys rang the bell, steam rolling from their nostrils, collecting coins in an envelope in exchange for a stub that proved you had paid.  In the morning, the smell of coffee and rustling newsprint would bring me from my bed, knuckles rubbing sleep from my eyes.  I bounced on my father’s knee while he silently read the headlines, Mother’s bangs taped neatly to her forehead.


But reality hit like a poorly aimed Thanksgiving issue against the front window.  My paper is delivered not by a paper boy, but a paper man, clad eerily in all black, driving a clunker in need of new brakes and a muffler.  He lacks aim and has, on several occasions, lopped off the tops of carefully planted flowers.  The issues, when retrieved, sit in the entry until the pup brings them into the living room, shredding the protective plastic and scattering the pages over the floor.  Sometimes I save him time and just hand the newspaper over when I bring it in.  It’s a cheap toy at $1 per year.

The coupons, which were the real selling point, take about an hour to sort, cut, update and file.  If I save $5 in coupons on our shopping trip for Bubba, the dogs and myself, I’m getting paid about $5 an hour.  When there were six of us living off one income, it was justifiable, but now my time is worth more.  In addition, what do coupons really help you buy?  The newest fad processed food, that’s what.  When was the last time you saw a coupon for fruit, vegetables, or meat in the Sunday ads?

UntitledSo the life of our paper looked like this:

Day 1:  Thrown in the general direction of the front door.

Day 2:  Found in the flowers and tossed inside.

Day 3:  Shredded by the dog.

Day 4:  Picked up piece by shredded piece.

Day 5:  Recycled.

In the summer it was used in the garden as mulch.  Or if I was feeling very efficient, I’d pick it up on my way out and put it in the recycle bin on the way to my car.  It was like chopping down a forest and sending it to the recycling center every day.

It wasn’t making any sense.  And it wasn’t bringing back the paper boys on bicycles or keeping me any more informed.  It had to stop.  And so I went online, where I get all my news, and I cancelled my $2-for-two-years subscription.  I admit it felt a little like I was canceling a tradition; giving up on the way life used to be.  But everything evolves if it is to exist at all.  The newspaper will need to find a way to change and survive or go the way of the dinosaurs.  The man in black will need to find another way to fund his car repairs.  I can’t be single-handedly responsible for the decline of society.  And this should have been the end of my story.

Except little did I know that canceling a subscription to the newspaper automatically enrolls you into a subscription to a daily phone call.  At first, I didn’t answer.  I didn’t recognize the number, and they didn’t leave a message.  But curiosity eventually got the better of me, and I answered the call.  They want me back.  They want to know why I cancelled.  They want to know if I would be interested in a subscription for just Sunday, or maybe Sunday and Thursday.  Whatever I want I can get . . . for the bargain price of  . . . . wait for it . . .

 . . . just one dollar a week!

No thanks, I said.  I’ll let Twitter tell me when I need to know something.  Then I’ll Google it and decide if I should post it on Facebook.

Peace . . .



Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it.

10 thoughts on “Newspaper Subscription Offers Lack Fine Print

  1. You are right about the coupons. I now only clip shampoo, feminine hygiene products, paper products, and the occasional condiment. Couponing isn’t what it used to be. It’s always nice to see on of your posts. 🙂

  2. I share some of the same love/hate feelings that you do, Jean. My memories of my father reading the paper every morning and evening inspired me to do the same thing. I rationalize my passion for the wasted trees by pointing out all the jobs that would be lost if there were no more print newspapers! One of the guilty pleasures I would have when I retired would be to drink my coffee and read the paper at my leisure in the morning – and most mornings I do exactly that. Yes, I get papers online too, but it’s just not the same. I would probably weigh 10 lbs less if I didn’t spend so much time reading the newspaper in the mornings! You are absolutely right about the coupons – they only make you aware of discounts on stuff you don’t need and are generally unhealthy. They get tossed first thing on Sunday mornings. Thank you for provoking so much thought with your delightful musings!

      1. Good idea, Jean. Did book club just sort of dissolve or did I stop getting notices for some reason?

  3. A lot of seniors still subscribe to the three day paper here. I’m not one of them. I have many of the same thoughts as you. I’m sad to see so many jobs go away but cutting down trees so I can recycle them just doesn’t make sense. I don’t use coupons. Most of them are for stuff I would never use. You can get coupons online and print those that you want. I don’t want to know the news because all they do is feed you the bad stuff. So I tape it and watch in fast forward. I know if I need to pack and get the heck out of dodge or stay put a little longer. If I see a sweet dog or cat story, I’ll slow the speed and watch. I get so much from the internet and like on 9-11, my sister will call and tell me the world as we know it has ended. I didn’t watch the mass feed of that either. Just give me that real facts or don’t bother me. Not sure we ever get the real facts. Depends on who is telling them. Don’t have a sweet dog like yours to eat the paper either so no need for one. My last husband was allergic to the print so couldn’t have them in the house though he was a news junky. Loved your video. No paper boys here either. My son used to do that. We had so many hills and he had to get up so early it was awful. Have a wonderfilled week.

    1. Allergic to the paper! I learn something every day! I use coupon apps and the ads for discounts are always at the door.

      You made me laugh with “I know if I need to pack and get the heck out of dodge or stay put”. Those paperboy jobs were the best. Good training for the real world.

      1. No, he was allergic to the ink in certain papers. It made him sneeze so bad that I just stopped the paper. They may have used cheap ink. Yes, they were good training for the real world. He’s still a hard worker. Hope you are getting today off to enjoy. 🙂

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