Sunday, December 5, 2010

Death By WSJ 华尔街之死

 Having traveled extensively for work and usually too busy for vacation, I collected a lot of airline mileages that can't always be used.  So the friendly sky sent me a note saying "Your mileage is about to expire! Don't let it!  Here is how you can use it!"  A long list of publications was there for me to buy with miles.

I don't know about you but the friendly people around me use a lot of explanation points in their sentences. Anyway I chose the Wall Street Journal as it used the most of my remaining miles and promptly forgot about it.

Weeks later, while I was driving to work, I discovered a rolled up newspaper by my garage doors, protected by a red plastic bag.  It had been a long time since I'd gotten any paper deliveries and I didn't remember subscribing to anything, so I figured it was one of those clever adverts safe to be ignored.  A few days later though,  several more had piled up, a little puddle of red on my drive way. I decided to take a look just to be sure.

It turned out to be the WSJ for me, though I hadn't realized until then that it was a daily publication. Loving the idea of reading the paper again during breakfast, I was quickly absorbed into articles with eye popping headlines:

"Google giving 10% raise to retain work force!" or
"Ailing Ireland Accepts Bailout", or
"US Korea Press for Trade Pack"..., 

Trouble is, breakfast is short and work, life, classes, and other holiday related activities soon took over. Yet just because I couldn't finish the paper on Monday, it didn't stop them from coming on Tuesday, Wed, Thursday and Friday. The world of business, finance and general order of things seem to be constantly going wrong, in report worthy magnitude.   I resolved to tell myself that just because they were there, it didn't mean that I had to read them.  I was not being wasteful and all the other things I had to do really were more important.  Yet I could not bring myself to throw perfectly pristine unread words away.

The effect, however, is showing in my house, everywhere I turn, the paper is there, as if following me, on the bed, coffee table, dinner table, kitchen counter, passenger seat of my car, desks at work, and even bunny's once snowy paws were getting stained with inky spots.  One day I tried sitting down and reading several days of news, but much as I intended to scan and move on from reach story, they captured me, and soaked me into their tiny twisted plot lines, of international intrigue, politics, high finance, business struggles and so much more.  To think I used to believe I'd just get some stock quotes from this!   I gobbled and ogled like a street kid taken to a candy store, hesitating to let one juicy delight go unread - "what does that next story say?" I always wondered aloud and promptly became drawn in.

I began to bring them with me everywhere, in case I got a moment waiting in the Doctors, by the cafe for a friend, or sometimes, in front of a traffic light.  Secretly I reveled at the distinction this brought me, as no one seem to read the actual papers anymore.  I was quickly known as the "WSJ lady" by a circle of friends, who chuckled as they see me saunter in with  a roll stashed under my arms, and a slightly dazed look.

I soon realized that there is no finish in sight. That if I didn't cut them loose they'd drive me crazy, if they hadn't already.  So Thanksgiving break, just before my flight to Colorado, I collected all the unread papers and dumped them into my recycling bin.  Leaving the keys to the bunny caregiver, I took off feeling light and relieved.

Despite of some friendly warning of the potentially interesting screen process, I got off without too much delay even after a full search on the baggage, triggered by a roll of quarters and a forgotten cell phone left in through the X-ray.  Dreaming of fun and belly fulfilling times with friends just around the corner,  I closed my eyes to get some rest at cruising altitude, when a gentle bell sounded and I was greeted by a soft friendly voice:

"Ma'am, would you like a copy of the Wall Street Journal for your flight?"


  1. This is one of my favorite posts you've written. Really nicely done. And I was doubly amused as I had a very similar experience when I subscribed to The Economist...

    Now I just read it online. ;)

  2. Very well written. I really like the way you shaped your story - it tells the reader everything but it's still not too long. I can't wait for your next post.

  3. Awww... I LOVE this post! Nicely done :)

  4. Ms. Ryterski - sure! Actually I tried a couple of times, but did not see a "follow" button on your page? Maybe I am not looking at the right place, popping over now.

    Starlight - thank you so much for returning, I do try to keep this blog short, for my busy friends. But I am glad you liked this one.

    Nikki - I find similar experiences from your posts too. I am so glad you liked it. What an encouragement!

  5. I didn't want to say that I'm too busy for reading longer blogs. I would read your blog even if it was long, because it's interesting!

    Keep writing :)

  6. I can't believe you told me to "Keep writing..." - thanks! I almost wanted throw in the towels this week - well, you too! :)

  7. Oh my gosh - this, on top of all the surging holiday catalogs... It's just too much!
    Very funny post - thanks for sharing that. :)

  8. Jayne - thanks for your visit, glad you had a laugh, always music to a blogger's ears.

  9. Really enjoyed reading this post. It flows so nicely and I love the ending. :)

  10. Michelle - so glad to have you stop by and leave a comment. I did not have this ending when I started writing this piece which makes it all the morning rewarding to have it work out well. Thanks for the encouraging comment.




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