I realize I’m complicit in helping the print news industry go the way of the dodo bird. I get all of my news electronically on the little screen of my BlackBerry or in moments of downtime at the office. Why pay for something when you can get it for free? Unsustainable business model, that.
This morning, I came face to face with guilt, of the selfish variety, about this as I searched for a copy of WaPo commemorating yesterday’s events. Not only was it nowhere to be found, but it seems more than a few of the newspaper box thingies that existed the last time I was on a hunt for an actual paper (the day after the election, maybe?) are no longer there. Of course I didn’t notice their absence until I went to buy a paper for the second time in the last year, which probably explains why those locations were done away with in the first place.
This sad fact, combined with my inexplicable love for WaPo, briefly made me consider subscribing to it. Only a fleeting thought as living in an apartment building means my neighbors would, more often than not, steal mistakenly expropriate my paper from the lobby in thinking it was an amenity provided by the building (oh, yes, I’ve heard stories).
Despite a fruitless search of every place worth looking between Adams Morgan and my office and the increasingly late hour, I was set on finding a copy in the morning so I wouldn’t have to stand in line all night at some CVS waiting for the second printing to arrive. On my fifth CVS, I struck gold. There were two of the special cardboard display shelves. In front of the display was a woman holding two copies of it and leafing through one. There, on one of the display shelves was The Last Copy. The woman didn’t appear to be moving, it was an awkward reach around for me to get it, and she actually looked like she might be contemplating picking that last one up too. All these calculations took approximately two seconds before I reached over and snapped it up. She gave me a little look and sighed as I turned to walk to the register but didn’t say anything. Obviously if she didn’t already have two (!!) copies of it, I would have waited and let her have that one. But, as she had two (!!) copies in her hand and it was just sitting there, fair game in my opinion under the circumstances, that sucker was going to be mine. And now, history is sitting right here next to me. As per usual, victory is mine!