Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A good deal

This morning around 6:30. I'm on my way to buy the paper at the 7/11, which, despite its name, is opened 24 hours. I'm not usually up this early but I have a work appointment at a place 4 hour away. A colleague is supposed to pick me up in half an hour. I have all the time to get the paper before he arrives.

The store is surprisingly packed. A long line of tired faces getting coffee and donuts. I grab the Washington Post and the New York Times when an offer catches my eyes: "Get the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal for only 75 cents". A good deal indeed. So here I am, waiting in line with 4 papers.

The woman behind me cannot resist asking: "Are you really going to read all these? I too read the Times and the Post, but that's more than enough!" I cannot resist explaining. Well. The Post, it's because I live around here and I want local news. The New York Times, it's because on Tuesdays they have a science section that I want to read.
I pause here to think about what to say next. Admit that I thought 75 cents was a pretty good deal for two extra newspapers? I look at the woman. One of them Bo-Bos. Without a doubt. She probably despises the Washington Times and dismisses the Wall Street Journal as too conservative.
Suddenly the desire to annoy her, to break this connection that she was making to a fellow "newspaper reader". I keep going: "The Wall Street Journal because it's a great newspaper. To the point and objective". I wait a moment before adding "and the Washington Times because it's not as bad as people think and certainly not worse than the Post".

She is taken aback but is not going to start a discussion at 6:30 AM. She watches as I grab the papers. "Enjoy your reading!" she says, "Enjoy them all".


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