Paper Boy Blues

It goes without saying that delivering papers is not normally entered into without significant financial duress. We started because our day jobs were not supplying the income necessary to break even, and selling seed required too long and arduous a process (and, really, how can anyone feel okay about foisting their genetic deficiencies onto a total stranger and their progeny?). Our goal is for this blog to bring paper carriers out of the shadows and into the light of a broad, sunlit day.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Back To The Future

“I feel like a kid again.”
What a great thing to be able to say. Having two young children, and being quite immature, I am lucky to be able to say those words quite often. These days, however, they have taken on a darker, more sinister meaning.
We went from a 2 income / 1 kid family to a 1 income / 2 kid family in the span of about 3 months. I was making decent money at the time, so the decision for my wife to stay home with the little ones made a lot of sense. This lasted for about 2 years, until we slowly realized I was no longer making enough to support a family of 4. We were at a cookout with some friends, and I overheard a couple of guys talking about their paper routes. So I asked a question that would seal my fate for years to come: “You guys do paper routes?”
Lo and behold, paper routes were not for kids any more. When I was 12, I had a paper route. Hell, everyone I knew had a paper route. Now, grown men and women and the ones tasked with leaving your soaking wet paper in the bushes, under the car, or in the neighbors yard. So after a few minutes speaking with the guys about their night jobs, I was convinced this was for me. Only a couple hours a day? The schedule won’t interfere with my “real job”? It pays $150/week plus tips? Sounds too good to be true!!
A few days later, after one of the guys put in a good word for me, a route opened up. I was pumped! With my paper route money, my wife could continue to be a full time mom, and I would still be the man of the house bringing home the bacon. This would strictly be a temporary situation until the economy improved and I was making more money at work. Little did I know at the time how desperately wrong I was…
Driving in at 2:15am for training on day one, I wasn’t feeling much like a kid. I would have been bubbling with anticipation and excitement if it wasn’t for the fact I had slept a grand total of 35 minutes the night before. So with a splitting headache and a mild case of the dry-heaves, I hauled myself up the road. Memories of why I hated doing a paper route as a kid came rushing back at an alarming rate.

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