Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Red Dawn

So, I got the newspapers shown above in my newspaper tube yesterday. Two papers, both drenched in blood. I was thrilled. Let me explain . . .

I tried to subscribe to our local paper, the News-Miner, three or four weeks ago. I wanted the Friday-Saturday-Sunday delivery, so when I subscribed on a Wednesday, I thought that there might be a chance that the paper wouldn't show up for Friday. For those of you who don't know what a paper is, it's a handy, compact, portable version of the news on the Internet, printed on actual paper, hence the name.

The paper didn't arrive at all that weekend. This condition persisted the next weekend, so I called and left explicit instructions for delivery the following week (turn left at the Ford truck up on blocks, right at the creek, go straight past the moose antlers nailed to the tree . . . ). One reason I don't blame the carrier is that this is Alaska. Alaska has a couple of fundamental problems with a service like this:
  • It can't be easy for the paper delivery guy, since addresses are, at best, sketchy. The Mrs. and The Two Boys and I went to various garage sales (more on that in a later missive) and some places, I kid you not, you can only get to by winding around other people's yards dozens of times on dirt trails that wouldn't be fit for a goat. Imagine a group of houses put in a heavily treed area by a group of people who for the most part don't want to see or hear any neighbors. Those would be social butterflies compared to some of the places we've seen up here.
  • A sense of urgency to help a customer appears to be mainly non-existent. This applies to most services. It's not rudeness, just most folks don't appear to be in anything approaching a hurry. ("Fire? Yeah, umm, could you call us back in just a bit . . . ?)
I waited another week. Finally, a Saturday paper showed up. Victory at last! No delivery tube, so I had to hunt for the paper in the tall grass by the road (the carrier had tipped me off by phone that he had actually delivered the paper, but the Easter-egg hunt for it by the roadside made it so very much better, kinda like an Indiana Wilder and the Hunt for the Lost News, but without poisoned arrows), but there was a paper there for me. I felt giddy, drunk on the moment.

So, the following Sunday morning afternoon (yeah, it takes me a while to get going) The Boy and I plodded down the road to get the paper. I even whistled the theme from The Andy Griffith Show. So wholesome, so nice, a boy and his dad getting the paper. But, the paper wasn't there. Then not there again the following Friday. The only thing we collected was mosquito bites.

I called the News-Miner and they told me they'd call the carrier and have him deliver both papers, just so he'd remember to put our tube in.

He remembered.

When I saw the tube by the roadside I smiled. I pulled the papers out then, and noticed the blood smeared over them.

I processed it. Poor carrier had smashed a finger or thumb while putting in my tube. Given the amounts of blood (it was a lot - big smears), I'm guessing the poor guy may have needed stitches, though in Alaska duct tape is also a preferred medical alternative. Either way - ouch.

But, I have my paper. Now, if the Sunday paper shows up today, my victory is complete.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

Ewwww, blood on the newspaper. I hope you burned it, 400 degrees for 2 hours. Down here, since they invented toilet paper, we get our news by TV and by blogs only.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

Wow your up there in the real wilderness. My wife and I drove to Anchorage from Houston about ten years back. Its a spectacular drive but it took us 6 weeks to make the round trip. Watch those volcanoes!

10:45 AM  

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