There is much to-do online about the death of the newspaper. Apparently “online” is the new “print” and any day now, newspapers as we know them, will disappear off the face of the earth.
Should we let the trees win? I say nay. Nay I say! I have compiled 8 salient points as to why we should fight tooth and nail against the demise of our beloved hand blackening, daily reading material.
1. Fires. No one who has taken two hours to cook bacon over a campfire will doubt the need of a good fire. When camping, the last thing you are looking for is kindling, dry wood or handfuls of not very damp leaves. No, for the most part you are searching for the last beer in the cooler or your car keys so you can go back into town to buy more beer. When evening rolls around and you can officially move your beer drinking from early afternoon imbibing to night time piss-tank-ery, you are going to need a fire. The bigger the better actually. You need to attract the neighbours who probably have more beer than you do. Newspaper is a lifesaver in this instance. Your pitiful attempts at firewood collecting will go unnoticed when you keep your flame going with artfully twisted newspaper. The Sunday Supplement will add some colourful bursts to an already cheery blaze.
2. Moving. Your precious objects are breakable and when you move you need to protect them from ham fisted moving men who delight in nothing more than dropping boxes and shattering object d’art. Newspapers fit lovingly around most things, be they round or square and they temper the jostling that occurs when being driven to and/or fro. Be warned though, there is a rumour that the Crockery Cartel is in cahoots with the trees to eliminate newspapers. You heard it here first.
3. Riots. As any good bandwagon jumper knows, sports playoffs bring that magical event known as a riot. Your team wins – it’s an excellent opportunity to flip over police cars and steal reasonably priced ink-jet printers. You can also jump atop your nearest newspaper box and wave the pennant of your team in the face of supporters of the losers. Or wave about a burning effigy of the opposing teams’ most famous player. Height = good during a riot and your trusty newspaper box is there to make you taller and thereby “better” than your fellow revelers. It is also an excellent position from which to have your photo snapped for the local paper as an example of “what’s wrong with this country”.
4. Wind Storms. You go to bed at night and have fitful dreams only to wake up in the morning to see that there has been a wind storm which explains why you dreamt about flying monkeys, flying cows and funnel shaped objects. Your indication of a windstorm? The newspaper is scattered on your front lawn, the sidewalk and stuck in your neighbours’ privet hedge where it will remain for 6 months as your neighbour Gary is a lazy S.O.B. What other signs of a windstorm could there be? Litter strewn about? Fallen branches? They appeared via childish pranks that happen to coincide with the windstorm.
5. Paper Mache. The art of gluing newspaper strips over a balloon to make it into a mask or a bunny rabbit is used universally by teachers to avoid actually teaching any real world skills to children 10 and under. It’s also cheap and covers up the fact that cash strapped schools no longer have music, chemistry and geography classes. Busy, gluey children have less time to analyze their matriculation options. Should newspapers disappear, it is unlikely that paper mache would continue as everyone knows the prices for quality tissue paper and gauze without holes have hit all time highs. God help us if the International Chicken Wire Consortium (ICWC) is successful in bringing down the balloon industry. Will no one think of the children???
6. New Store Opening. The restaurant on the corner has gone bust. But you know that something new is going in as its windows are covered by that most tantalizing of visual minxes – the newspaper. Why someone would open another new restaurant in that location is beyond you as this makes the 3rd, no 4th, restaurant in that space in as many years. This time it may be different, if that glimpse through the rip in the paper 3 feet left of the door is any indication. If they’d left the windows bare and you could see them retrofitting the bathrooms or fishing the rat out of the refurbished deep fryer, you might not be so keen. But their jauntily papered over windows tells you that this time, it’s a winner.
7. Dishwasher overflow. Your spouse is a lovely person and very smart if that PHD at the end of their name is any indication. You continue to be baffled why they cannot tell the difference between dish soap and dishwasher detergent. As the water pours out onto the floor yet again and the seemingly endless parade of bubbles begins to take over your kitchen, you consider divorce. Newspapers to the rescue. As they literally sop up the water, they figuratively absorb all the negative energy you were shooting at your life partner. Can towels do that? Don’t make me laugh.
8. The Bus. Too often on the bus you are sitting opposite someone else. As you look out the window you may inadvertently make eye contact with that person or look at their crotch. Or look at their crotch and then make eye contact. Whatever the scenario, it’s all bad. The newspaper is the balm that soothes an otherwise irritating bus ride that is fraught with inadvertent and advertent eye and crotch contact. You can hide behind the newspaper and immerse yourself in celebrity gossip, horoscopes and the adverts for Lasik eye surgery and arrive at the office refreshed and ready to tackle your day.
So there you have it. 8 good reasons to lobby all of your local and federal politicians to keep the newspaper alive.