Thursday, June 16, 2011

#36 Reading the Sunday Paper

**Editor’s Note: We are making up with the extended break between posts by doing an extra post or two this week. Thank you to all three of our loyal readers.**

It’s Sunday. As you roll out of bed at 11 in the morning, you do not hear the distinctive sizzle of Dad frying six pounds of bacon for his massive Sunday breakfast. You do not hear Dad puttering around in the backyard spreading mulch. In fact, you do not hear a thing as you walk down to the kitchen. “Good Morning Sleepyhead” says a disembodied voice from the breakfast nook. You turn around to see Dad, in his bathrobe he won’t take off all day, calmly reading the six inch thick stack of paper known as the Sunday newspaper.

Dads are very busy people. Of course they have work all day and then when they get home they are usually too tired to read the newspaper since they have been reading income statements or some other boring work related thing all day. But Sunday is a special day. Dad gets to sit at his table of choice, put on a pot of coffee, and delve into the 300 plus page Sunday paper. He will read everything: front page, sports, travel, home and garden (Oooo Honey! They have a sale on power washers at Sears!). Dad will also go through the classifieds and tell you about job postings for a kid your age, a calm reminder that he wants to get you off the payroll ASAP.

The Sunday paper reading can go on for hours, especially if it is a rainy Sunday and Dad’s favorite football team to yell at is not playing on TV. Dad will stoically read the paper and periodically say stuff like: Ugh, the market is tanking! or That is a heck of a deal on razors. These statements are addressed to no one in particular as he is just trying to maintain contact with the non-newspaper world. So be a good son and just mumble something back; he isn’t really listening to you anyways because he just moved onto the comics.

The most time consuming part of the Sunday newspaper ritual is the Sunday crossword. That labyrinth of puzzle is Dad’s kryptonite. He will spend hours on it but will barely get half of the clues because on Sunday all the clues deal with 1700s Prussian literature or something else Dad has no idea about. WHAT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD FOR MP3 PLAYER?? WHAT THE HECK IS AN MP3?? As you calmly answer with “ipod” Dad grumbles because he has an uphill battle to fight. It is all in a day’s work for Dad so just let him be. Maybe next week he will actually put a dent in the crossword…probably not.

The Sunday ritual is important for everyone. Your ritual might be to watch TV and put off your math homework until as late as possible, your mom’s may be to work out in the garden. But the Dad ritual is of the utmost importance and should not be disturbed. It is what gets him through the week. So sit back and enjoy Dad not telling you to mow the lawn or wash the windows because he is too occupied with the ultimate archive of information, the Sunday newspaper.

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