Saturday, February 15, 2014

The "Lost" Newspaper

On Friday, February 21, as the crowds enter the auditorium of Shawnee High School in Southern NJ, they will be taken back in time to mid-19th century France as a group of talented young thespians perform the hit Broadway classic Les Miserable!

What this has meant to the Weinstein family is endless treks to and from the school to transport my 16-year old daughter Melissa to rehearsals. (She does a great job as part of the awesome ensemble, as "Onlooker #3" in the first act and as a"Girlfriend of student" in the second act!)

During the week, she can usually charm her way into finding a ride home from a compassionate mom of one of her friends, or my husband Bob or I will leave work early to pick her up.

However, rehearsals are also scheduled on Saturday.

Early on Saturday.

Really early on Saturday!

The day when I do not have to pound on the alarm clock at 6:15 am.

The day with no deadlines. No obligations.

The day when I can curl deep under my warm covers for as long as humanly possible.

But alas, the show must go on.

For the past few weeks, Bob and I have taken turns arising from our weekend slumber to ensure Melissa made it to the stage on time.  This week, after graciously accepting Bob's offer to drive her, I said my goodbyes as they walked out the door then happily climbed back to bed.

A half an hour later I awakened to the sound of chaos as Bob's angry voice reverberated throughout the house.  Bewildered, I walked downstairs, only to find Melissa, who should have been at rehearsal, sitting in the living room on her computer, indifferent to her father, who paced the kitchen floor, phone in hang, in the midst of a full blown tantrum.

"We got all the way to school and they told us rehearsal has been rescheduled for 10," she said, without taking her eyes off of Facebook.


That explained why my daughter had mysteriously reappeared in my living room, however, I had yet to learn the reason for my husband's rage.

My curiosity led me into the kitchen, where I witnessed the following interaction between my spouse and an automated female computer voice.

Automated voice: "If you did not receive your paper this morning, say yes"

Bob: "YES!"

Automated voice: "What was that? I didn't get that. Please repeat your response. If you did not receive your paper this morning, say yes."

Bob: (as he forcefully punched random buttons on the phone): "YES!"

Automated voice: "What was that? I didn't get that. Please repeat your response. If you did not receive your paper this morning, say yes."

Bob: (as he continued to pulverize random phone buttons) "YES!"

Automated voice: "What was that? I didn't get that. Please repeat your response. If you did not receive your paper this morning, say yes."

Bob: "YES!"     "YES!"   "YES!"

At this point I tried to ask him what was going on, however, the maniacal expression he shot in my direction told me, loud and clear, to wait until the phone call  had ended.

Automated voice: "Ok.  Thank you.  We will replace that for you.  Please say "daily" or "Saturday" to indicate what paper you need to have replaced.

Bob: "Saturday."

Automated voice: "What was that?  I didn't get that. Please repeat your response."

Bob: "Saturday!   "Saturday!"   "Saturday!"

And so on it went for another frustrating ten minutes until Bob, satisfied that he would get a new newspaper, finally slammed down the phone.



I found the whole scenario rather odd.  We have certainly had instances where our newspaper has been delivered late, or not at all.  But for them to actually deliver last week's just didn't make sense.

For the past month, our area has been blanketed with storm after winter storm.  Perhaps last week's  newspaper had been buried deep under layer upon layer of snow.  In light of a minimal thaw that occurred during yesterday's rare sunshine, maybe last Saturday's paper had suddenly become visible, and Melissa picked up it, thinking it was the current edition.

No sooner had I presented this hypothesis did I realize it could not be right.  For you see, last Saturday, Bob, Melissa, and I had climbed into the car very early for a drive to New York City to attend a Beatles festival.  I remember taking the newspaper and throwing it into the car, thinking that we'd read it in our hotel room.  Well, we never did read the newspaper. In fact, now that I thought about it, last Saturday's newspaper still sat on the floor of the passenger seat of my car.

"Wait," came a voice from the living room, as my daughter suddenly became interested in this turn of events.  "Did you say that last Saturday's paper was on the floor of the car?"

Seems that this morning as Bob and Melissa headed out for her rehearsal, Bob asked Melissa to grab the newspaper from our driveway and bring it into the car.  So, as instructed, she put the newspaper on the floor of the passenger seat....not realizing that last week's newspaper was there also.

Unbeknownst to Bob, he inadvertently grabbed the old edition from the floor of the passenger seat, came inside, took off his coat, made his coffee, and sat down for what he thought would be an enjoyable, relaxing breakfast reading the paper.  That is  - until he saw sports scores from seven days prior!  That's when the proverbial "you know what" hit the fan.

Upon the realization that the current edition of the newspaper sat a mere few feet away in the passenger seat of my car, I looked at my husband with a grin.  Seems his tireless tirade against an automated voice had been for naught.

Melissa walked out to the car, retrieved the current edition, and handed it to Bob, who wasted no time sheepishly burying his nose in the sports scores.

Later that day as we walked to the car we noticed, sitting there peacefully on our driveway on top of the snow, lay our "no longer needed" replacement newspaper.  I guess those "morons" at the newspaper managed to get it right....this time!

Our no longer necessary replacement newspaper!

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  1. Lisa I think Bob is having an Alzheimer moment!!! We all get them>>> LOL I am so sick of automated messages too, and I scream at them also!!!! Funny story..... Bevy

  2. I hate those automated customer service attendants for the very reason that your husband was yelling at the phone. I understand that businesses use them to try to get customer's to the right department without being transferred 1000 times but when they can't understand the common user it is frustrating.

    1. I'm with you Christy. Nothing takes the place of a real, live person!