Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boxed in

Monday afternoon, as we literally waited for hours at the doctor's offcie, my husband scavanged various pages of the day's newspaper.

Being San Diegans, that paper was the San Diego Union Tribune. Sadly, this paper, like many around the nation, is dying. The black and white newsprint is being replaced by electronic new sources and the 24/7 news available on the television, radio, and elsewhere. Fewer and fewer people are reading print papers, and only the very biggest and best of them seem to be hanging on (think The New York and LA Times).

I myself hate newsprint, finding it is almost as unpleasant as those rough, brown "paper towels" available in some public bathrooms, or the irritating fuzzy skin that surronds a lovely peach. But enough about me. The decline of the paper still does give one, even me, pause, it being the beginning of the end, so to speak.

The pages we read together on Monday are testament to this change, this decline. I could not believe the mini-headlines we were reading. They read more like the National Enquirer than like the newspaper of a major metropolitan area. "Elderly woman attacked by raccoon," "Woman's pet bear kills her," but the story that really got my attention was one titled, "Woman arrested for child endangerment."

Did any of you see this story elsewhere?

Here's the gist of it, if not. A woman in Alabama had her thirteen-year-old daughter ride inside a box on the roof of her minivan, ON THE HIGHWAY, because the box would not fit inside the car. The box was secured to the car with a coat hanger. Singular.

What the???? Where do we begin on how crazy this is? Okay, I'll start; if the girl is inside the box, it must be empty, or near empty, right? Who needs an empty box so bad that you're going to put your daughter inside it on the highway? And why?

And who thinks a coat hanger is going to help secure anything, let alone a giant box with a girl inside, to the top of a minivan?

I don't like to discriminate, but what kind-of crazy do they have in Alabama?

It makes you think this joke really isn't:

An Alabama State trooper pulls over a pickup truck on I-20. He says to the driver, "Got any ID?" The driver says, "Bout what?"


no FUN on the highways of PA said...

that same story made the woeful Centre Daily Times last week.
I had the same thought and read it out loud. My dismay was met by my 14 yr old's reply, "You'd never let us do something fun like that!"
So THAT is how something like riding on the highway, in a box, on top of the minivan...
just a much cooler mom letting her 13 yr old have some "FUN"

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ach. That reminds me of that Jeanette Walls book The Glass Castle -- the kids rode in the back of a U-Haul truck, and the doors even opened, I think.

Crazy, nuts is what that is, and I don't even know what else to say about it.

I do know this, though. I love newspapers. And reading them. And the Tavern may be single-handedly keeping newspapers alive, at least around here. Every day, for your reading pleasure, the Tavern provides: the New London Day, New York Times, Hartford Courant, Boston Globe, New York Post and Wall Street Journal.

Newspaper ink does make me sneeze, though.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I heard that story, truly messed up. But I'm thankful for events like this making the news, because I can show my kids: "See? See how good you have it?!"