October 28, 2007

Home newspaper delivery

Sometimes Chloe delivers to the studio window

Speaking of newspapers, we have home newspaper delivery where we live. The deliverers drive motorcycles and barely even slow down to toss the newspaper over the fence or under the gate. Daily delivery is very dependable; the time of delivery, not so much.

We generally don't miss the newspaper more than two or three days per year, about the same as when we were in Dallas. The company will even bring a missed newspaper out if we call. We rarely do that because the gas to bring it out costs more than the newspaper so it just doesn't seem right.

Normally the newspaper comes about 7 a.m. There are days when it doesn't come until 9:00, 10:00, or even noon, but that is rare. Sometimes it is a production problem in San Pedro (so they say) and sometimes it is a delivery problem. Some group may have "taken the streets" and won't let the trucks pass, or a bridge may be out or a truck may have broken down.

As long as you don't require your newspaper with your morning coffee, the service is pretty good. You have to be flexible or do what I used to do when the delivery was later in the day − save the newspaper for the following morning. Why not? It was still news to me.

Our current deliverer has a heck of an aim, hardly ever missing that exact spin that he needs to get the newspaper to slide and spin under the gate, stopping right in the middle of the sidewalk.

Some of the prior newspaper deliverers didn't have that accuracy and more often threw the paper over the fence. That was a little more troublesome as we had to search the plants and shrubs for the newspaper. Sometimes we even had to call in "the nose," Chloe the Rottweiler, to help us find it.

Then I got really lazy and taught Chloe to bring the newspaper and put it in my hand − for pay, of course. The reward used to be a homemade chicken-carrot-garlic cookie, but I'm behind on my baking so now it is just a saltine cracker. Some days she is really snotty and tosses it at my feet instead of putting it in my hand, but I refuse to pick it up or give her the "cookie" until she hands it to me to show her who is boss.

Oh, and Chloe has some sort of mental deadline for us to come out and pay her for the newspaper. When we miss the deadline, she chews up the newspaper. Luckily we don't sleep in that late most days.

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