Merry Christmas, Michelle
ON MOST MORNINGS MY DAY BEGINS as I, moving like a slug, navigate the steps from the second floor. When I safely reach the ground floor I say a short prayer of “Thanks for getting me down the steps without falling,” and “Give me the strength to get the morning newspaper.”
I know that sounds a bit odd, but it is not as simple as you might think for me.
In an Ideal World I would open our front door, bend over and pick up the morning paper, and then go back inside and shuffle to the kitchen table for tea and a crossword puzzle. But I sure don’t live in a Ideal World.
Every morning, in the middle of the night actually, our “Tribune-Star” carrier comes down our street. She pulls into our driveway and throws the paper our way. The problem is that, once she launches the newspaper, no one can easily pinpoint where it goes. Every morning starts with a game of Hide and Seek. She hides our newspaper and it is up to me to do the seeking.
Yesterday’s paper was stuck in the hedges. The day before that it was up the driveway, next to the house. Last Sunday it was underneath the hedges. Some days I never do find it. This morning it was on our front porch, neatly placed right outside the front door. I almost stumbled over it. I wasn’t looking for it there.
Surprised, but pleased, I took the paper to the kitchen and took it out of its very neat plastic bag. When I did that a separate piece of paper fell out. It was a Christmas card from “Michelle, your Trib-Star Carrier.”
Gimme a Poorly Proofread Journalistic Fishwrap Break.
I know what that’s all about.
“Michelle, your Trib-Star Carrier” is trolling for a Christmas payoff, a bonus, a gift.
I have no problem with that. After all, she does deliver the paper – sometimes even when we have requested that she stop for a week when we are out of town. The real question is: What should we give her (watch your tongue!), how and where.
The first part of that is easy – she wants cash. A gift card to the Hallmark Store would not be appreciated. The more difficult aspects of her “gift” are how and where.
“Michelle, your Trib-Star Carrier,” brings the paper at about 3 AM. I know this because I heard her one morning when I was on my way to the Euphemism for the second time. Ideally, any “gift” delivery should be done in person, but I am not going to park myself on the front steps at 3AM in Mid-December. With my luck she wouldn’t show up until dawn and she would be greeted by a frozen Geezer clutching an envelope in his rigid paw. And even if I was still alive, her hearing my voice calling out, “Michelle, come here. I have something for you.” Would probably get me Maced or even shot.
The “Where” part of this presents another problem. Given that I will not be handing it to her in the dark, where should I put it so she would find it? After much discussion with Dawn and several focus groups conducted at St. Arbucks, we have decided.
We will put her “gift” where she puts the newspaper. So, in a few days I will be placing a small envelope on the ground, behind our hedges, in the dark, nibbled on by raccoons and squirrels, with a spider or two thrown in.
Merry Christmas, Michelle!