Buy a Newspaper, Save a Pinata

Photo courtesy of NS NewsFlash / Flickr

I hate it when I am secretly listening in to another person’s conversation and I hear them say something stupid like, “Newspapers are dead.” They are? That’s news to me. When did that happen? Why wasn’t I informed? I figured I would have learned of this development sooner.

Suggesting newspapers are dead would be like suggesting music is dead because cassette tapes are no longer used, or records or compact discs for that matter. Newspapers aren’t dying, they’re evolving. It doesn’t matter if the printed word is on paper or on an electronic screen, most people in society enjoy reading late-breaking, informational news items, especially ones involving Justin Bieber.

Newspapers aren’t dying, they are just shifting to a different medium. So for that I am thankful. It means a guy like me won’t be standing in the unemployment line. However, I believe that society has not fully recognized the ramifications of newspapers actually dying.

I can’t think of a better way to spy on someone else (or secretly listen in to their private conversation) than using a newspaper. Holding an out-stretched newspaper in front of your face is the best way to conceal yourself inconspicuously in public. Need to hide in a crowded lobby or restaurant? Except no substitute. Without newspapers people would be trying to hide behind their tiny cell phones, which would be ridiculous — not to mention awkward.

“Are you listening in to our private conversation?” they would say.

“Uhh, maybe,” I would reply, attempting to shrink myself behind a cell phone.

So I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “I don’t listen in to other people’s conversations. I am a decent person. Newspapers dying won’t really affect me.”

Hogwash! Do you, your children or your grandchildren like Silly Putty? Well guess what, grandpa; the Silly Putty industry would go belly-up overnight without newspapers. Children would be smashing Silly Putty against expensive electronic devices in bouts of confusion.

“Why isn’t it working?” children would wonder.

“What’s wrong with my child?” parents would wonder.

We need to think of the children. We can’t deprive them of their youth in a world where Silly Putty doesn’t get stuck in their hair on at least one occasion.

Sometimes I get phone calls from irate and irrational individuals who shout mean things at me like, “I use your newspaper to line my litter box.” It doesn’t bother me because I do the same exact thing.

But without newspapers pet owners would be at a loss, wouldn’t they? Devices such as iPhones, laptop computers and tablets are strictly too expensive to let a dog or cat urinate on. It’s as simple as that, Jack.

Though I do like to imagine the comedic possibilities, I won’t lie.

“Honey, have you seen my cell phone,” a husband running late to work one morning would yell through the house after the newspaper apocalypse.

“Uhh, maybe,” the wife would reply.

Oh, you can forget about paper-mache entirely. But you love paper-mache? You can’t get enough of paper-mache? Well too bad! You should have thought about that before you stopped supporting newspapers.

As a matter of fact it won’t just be paper-mache, either. The true death of newspapers would single-handedly decimate the arts and crafts community overnight, from pinatas to scrapbooking. The human causalities would number in the thousands, perhaps even millions.

Without newspapers grade school projects just became a lot harder. Have you ever tried making a paper-mache model of the Earth out of old computer monitors? Well, do you want to? I know I don’t.

Or if that’s not terrible enough just envision little Bobby telling his parents he has a school project due tomorrow and he hasn’t even started on it yet. What kind of project? A collage!

A world without newspapers is a sad state of affairs indeed. With a little luck they might not go the way of the dodo. But despite whatever fate awaits newspapers you have to admit one thing.

They look really good on paper.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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