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Letter from the Editor

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My daughter visited us for a week over the holidays. She wandered into the kitchen on her first morning in town and said, "Oh Dad, that's so cute. You're reading a newspaper."

"Cute?"

"I mean, it's so old-fashioned, just like I remember from when I was growing up — you sitting there drinking coffee and reading the paper."

So, apparently, I'm ancient because I read a dead-tree product instead of getting my news for free online. But I like reading The Commercial Appeal in its original form. Sure, I get tired of the incessant faith-based headlines and pictures of cute kids, but the CA also has some good columnists and does a lot of fine local reporting. Besides, I don't like to scroll for news. I want to turn the page and take a sip of coffee.

The next morning, my daughter walked in, and I was reading the paper on my laptop. "Where's the paper?" she asked.

"It didn't come today, for some reason," I said, "so I'm doing things the 'modern' way."

The paper didn't come the next day either, or the next. So I called the CA circulation department to lodge a complaint. The lady on the phone said I was $18 in arrears.

"No, ma'am, I'm not," I said. "I paid a guy on the phone over a month ago. He gave me a rate of $11 a month for three months, and I also paid off the $18 balance. It was done by credit card. I have his name and I.D. number if you want it."

"No, sir, that's not necessary. That was a legitimate salesperson. But sometimes it takes the company he works for a while to give us that information."

"It's not in your computer?"

"No, sir, not yet. But if you want to pay the $18 balance, I can restart your subscription today."

"But I've already paid it. I don't owe you anything. You owe me three months of papers."

"Sorry, sir, but until we get the notification, I can't restart your subscription unless you pay the back balance."

Impasse. So, the bad news is, I don't get a paper anymore. The good news is, I'm no longer old-fashioned.Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

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