Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Some life lessons grow out of experience. You really only need one public shower incident to really finally understand the simple genius of Soap-On-A-Rope.

Others, luckily, we can glean from reading about the experiences of others. They say the newspaper is a dying media, being slowly but surely overtaken by the internet and its instant-gratification, constantly-updated informational now-ness, something the staid ole ink-and-paper set can never hope to compete with.

Until I can take my internet with me into the bathroom with me (which I guess I could with a laptop and a wireless hookup) or I can do the New York Times crossword puzzle online (which I'm sure someone out there will tell me I probably can) or I can use it as an emergency mop when my kids spills Sunny D all over my kitchen floor (...what?... nothing?... that's what I thought, internet beotch), the newspaper stays. Sure, I can't porn-surf on it when the stories bore me, but there are other compensations. Like bra ads, I guess.

The good news is that the newspaper is a static media, which is good for the ADD-addled, like myself. With all the wealth of information on the internet, I actually--and I guess sort of ironically--tend to miss a lot of actual news stories because I'm busy trying to find episodes of Thundercats to download IN A SAFE AND LEGAL MANNER between or even during news-story-reading.

With a newspaper, the stories just kind of... sit there. Patiently waiting. No administrators are lurking behind them, waiting at any second to whisk them down the list of importance when something else of the second breaks, mess with the language or wording within or delete it altogether. Newspapers are fully realized thoughts and as such hold a lot more weight. I mean when you hold it in your hands. Very bulky and mass-y, especially when compared to a collection of phoneline digital signals. It's almost no comparison.

The import I assign to what I read really depends somewhat on the media in which it is conveyed. Fish with two heads, Marcia Cross has naked pictures of herself in the trash, who won the World Series, totally inconsequential stuff like that I associate with the internet.

The real stuff, the life-lesson stuff I almost always get from the newspaper.

For instance, I already knew that duct tape was a wonder of modern science. Yes, I know, it's an old joke that men claim they can fix anything with duct tape, haha, but did you know it is scientifically proven to remove warts? It's true. It's in a weblink, but it's a NEWSPAPER web link, so it's extra-true. Duct tape is also known to be an excellent plant fertilizer, makes a great chew toy for your favorite dog or toddler, has been known to stop smoking and gum-chewing habits, cures baldness, seven types of cancer, mononucleosis, herpes, scurvy and--with a little help from a firm wooden ruler, some bailing twine and Viagra--erectile dysfunction.

What I learned today, though--a valuable life lesson for everyone--is that duct tape will not--will not--watch your children for you. Legally I mean. It just isn't allowed to do it. Sure, it might rival some of you parents out there in the love and support department, but as far as the law is concerned, you cannot under any circumstances tape your kids together with duct tape and then leave them alone in the house for almost any length of time.

It isn't clear yet what the rule is about duct taping your children together when you ARE in the house, but that is not the point. The point is that I have been spared a great deal of potential embarrassment simply by sticking it out with my old pal, the newspaper.

I learned something today. More than one thing, actually. The first was the duct tape thing. The second is that the woman who did this was in the Navy at the time. So I also learned that the lowered entrance standards for military service are really starting to show tangible results. Hey, maybe someone should apologize to John Kerry.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.1



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