When I was a kid I had a newspaper route, like a lot of kids did in my neighborhood. It wasn’t for a large newspaper; it was only for our local town newspaper. I think it was free, and they made money off the advertisements only, which were only for local businesses. It wasn’t a very large operation. They had an office downtown, with about five people working.
I’m not sure where they printed it, because the office was pretty small. Maybe they outsourced it somehow, and used some other printer, much like a lot of micro brewed beers use the facilities of larger breweries.
The route I had wasn’t that large; it only encompassed my own neighborhood. There were maybe fifty houses I would have to go to every week. It was only a weekly newspaper, so it wasn’t like I had to get up at four in the morning every day so I could have stories to tell my grandkids about how I used to have to get up in the morning to trudge through the snow eight hundred miles to school every day.
Every once in a while we would have a subscription drive. I’m not sure how that worked, being as how the newspaper was free, but I think they had two different levels of service, or something like that. People that paid to subscribe, rather than get the free version got some kind of benefit. Our boss explained it to us, but I wasn’t really sure I understood then, which means I’m almost certain I don’t understand now.
Something that is foggy and vague when it happens can only get foggier and more vague with the passage of time. Except for those that are capable of re-writing history, in which case the past can get clearer and clearer despite the events and the eye witness accounts getting further and further away.
I think that happens with some aspects of history. There is no way they really know what all those old times Greek scholars were really up to. There are all kinds of stories about what Socrates said before his death, and what his intentions were and all that. But they didn’t have any video cameras back then, so I doubt anything that is attributed to him is any way remotely accurate.
When you think about how events from the distant past have been squeezed and distorted through the lens’ of various cultures throughout history, it’s amazing that we even remember their names, let alone their intentions and the social pressures of the day that influenced them and there decisions.
Kind of like that telephone game. Where you get a bunch of kids in a large circle. And you whisper something in the ear of one, and he or she whispers it to the kid next to them, and so on. You may start with something like “I like red fire engines,” and end up with something like “Let’s go to Nigeria.” Which of course is always good for a laugh (playing the game, not going to Nigeria, but then again, I’ve never been to Nigeria, so I wouldn’t know. I imagine it’s pretty hot.)
So what we would do is we would knock on peoples doors, and say:
“You really need to subscribe to this,”
To which people would usually say something like,
“Why do I need to subscribe, I get it for free already,”
To which we would say,
“Yea, I know but when you subscribe, you get all kinds of extra stuff,”
And then they would say something like,
“What kind of extra stuff?”
And we would explain, and they would quickly realize that by subscribing you get all kinds of wonderful benefits, such as extra stuff, and secret stuff, and other go straight to the front of the line kind of stuff. Which is pretty cool, if you ask me.