Slimming, One Day at a Time

Many today are fascinated by, if not doing a single thing enacting, dieting. Even those with no more than one ounce of body fat claim to be on a diet. As well they should. Oinkers. (Sorry for the name-calling.)

And, of course, the frequency with which new diets are introduced is equal to the number of days in the year. Which is 365, for those who no longer possess their mottled black and white composition notebooks.

Helpfully, and presumably as a way to put the reins on this egregious affront to mindless, artificial and quite literal inflation, the daily newspaper has come to the rescue.

As previously reported in this space, my career in journalism began as a delivery boy for the Courier News, a Gannett paper published in Plainfield, NJ. I’m not counting my one-year stint in 6th grade as a staffer for Mrs. Wogamuth on the WogaNews.

I’ll also skip the hardships suffered by this outrageous act of capitalism and shocking exploitation of child labor and move directly to today’s point: As a newspaper carrier, I was also tasked with delivering the paper’s annual calendar to my route’s customers. And, as an entrepreneurial capitalist myself, I recognized that this chore could be accomplished strategically and for my own pecuniary benefit.

Specifically, handing the calendar to customers seemed to prompt end-of-year tips. As opposed to simply dropping the thing off to them or giving it to them on the same day I was collecting what the customer owed for newspaper delivery. (The latter was then common practice, and with payment in cash – coins, to be exact, believe it or not.)

Tips were nice. Because they came in the form of money. As opposed to verbal tips masquerading as advice such as: “Lift weights,” “Stay in school,” or “Drink milk.”

And, as I recall, I did pretty darn well every holiday season, then called “Christmas.” At least by a13-year-old’s financial standards.

At the end of 2015, my current newspaper delivery man dropped off the paper’s calendar (with a self-addressed envelope stapled to it) along with Sunday’s paper.

This is called a hint.

And then the world came to an end.

Other customers, with much too much time on their hands, were quick to note on social media that they had been shorted.

Following careful inspection of the 2016 calendar, an error was found.

On social media, we just looooove these gotcha moments. I think we live for them.

The month of March was presented as having 30 days.

Go ahead, do the rhyme: “Thirty days hath September . . . “

There really is no end to it, is there? Another malicious conspiracy uncovered by the diligent overseers of standards.

While it’s true that the error advanced the date on which our income taxes are due (Sob), Pollyanna that I am, I prefer to think of it as hastening my receipt of an end-of-month paycheck.

And yet another Fad Diet.

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