Things I Love About America #10

Free Papers

Thus beginneth a new feature of Headlife, “Things I Love About America.” I have, on occasion, been guilty of a little America-bashing, or better put, America-snarking. So, it’s time to right that wrong. Here we go…

Free papers. When I was a kid I had a job delivering the local free newspaper. It was called the “Berrow’s Worcester Journal.” It was rubbish–full of ads and not much else–even though it claims to be the “world’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication” (since 1753). You didn’t get to choose whether you received this paper or not. Come Friday (or Saturday if I was lazy) the good residents of North Malvern received a copy of the Journal with which to line their cat’s litter tray. I was always embarrassed to deliver the Journal, as I knew no-one wanted it.

But America has great free papers. Yes, they are full of ads too (how else are they paid for?), but they are also staffed by good writers who, it seems, are not ashamed to write for them. In Baltimore, some of the best local stuff (better sometimes than the Baltimore Sun) comes via the City Paper. I just picked up a copy of Blue Ridge Outdoors, which is also good. And FREE!

I know this is a bonafide thing-to-love-about-America because even my dad, who is a certified America-phobe, enjoys the free papers when he’s here.

(Next time: Drive-Thru Banking.)