kindles and e-papers

By emmet

I’ve tried. Heaven knows I’ve tried.
I don’t think I can do it.
In an effort to step into the new century (and save $700) I canceled my Daily Globe at Fowlie’s Overpriced Emporium and signed up for the e-paper. Like any good merchant (or drug dealer) they give you the first two weeks free.
I don’t think I will make it.
I find reading a newspaper, any newspaper an absolute pleasure. I can’t stop in any gas station in the Carolinas or Georgia without buying the local paper. There is always, always, always something interesting and/or hilarious. By the time I reach Fort Myers, the Honda Accord is strewn with newspapers and is as flammable as your month-old Christmas tree.
No smoking, please.
My idea of a good time is reading USA Today in a Waffle House, catching up on March Madness with Gonzaga, Butler, UMass (a few years ago) and the other upstarts. Naturally there is maple syrup all over the pages by the time I am done.
Can I sit in the Waffle House in Rocky Mount with a Kindle Fire? Will it be the same thing? Can I spread it out over the whole table? You get maple syrup in that miracle machine and it’s all over.
I am a low-rent newspaper reader. The most important item is the funnies, then the sports page, then the crossword, then the news. Doonesbury is the most important of these, of course. When you finally find the funnies in the e-paper, they are tiny. My eyes are bad enough without trying to read shrunken funnies. I’m sure there is some way to blow them up, but I surely don’t know it.
The sports section is o.k. because nothing is going on right now, except the Patriots getting ready for another Super Bowl loss.
But the crossword? First it is too small. When you blow it up it is much too big. When you try to print it out, it comes out in five enlarged pages with no black spaces separating the words. You have to put the wall-sized puzzle together, like a jigsaw puzzle. Again, I’m sure there is a trick to it all, one I have missed.
I must do the New York Times, the Bangor News, and then the Globe puzzle each day. I have no idea why. I just have to. This is a serious problem, the most serious problem so far.
But there is the hermit problem as well. When Cobb Manor is in its annual deep freeze, with uncovered walkway and stairs, I like to go out as seldom as possible. I can sit on my well-worn Simmons Sleeper all day watching World War II updates and vintage movies. If I have coffee and ABC toast, I am good for the day. A little Yellowtail chardonnay will help, of course.
Going to Fowlie’s for the paper every day at least got me off the couch, into the fresh air (however briefly) and to the Post Office. In good weather the routine was to pick up the Globe and read it at the YMCA on the stationery bicycle machine.
Now that has gone to hell. (I love any excuse to skip the Y workout.)
Plus, you can’t light the Vermont Castings stove with a Kindle. I tried, but the smell was overwhelming.
It’s only been a couple of days, but I don’t like it. I will ride out the two weeks free period, and then decide. Then it will cost me $4 a week to continue, far less than the $16 each week I used to donate to Gary Fowlie, the richest Democrat in Knox County.
But so far, the online newspaper is right down there with the highly recommended frozen apple pie, (Marie Callender’s) I tried last week.
They are both for the birds.
In the case of the pie, literally.