A note on the news… and kudzu bugs.

18 Feb

A couple weeks ago I succumbed to a door-to-door salesman. Unfortunately it wasn’t a Girl Scout selling delicious cookies but was actually a kid trying to earn some scholarship money for college. Commendable. He had sold 300+ newspaper subscriptions so far and his goal was 500. I’m not sure I’d like to even go up to 300 houses and knock on the door let alone try to sell that many people something. I hope he was figuring out some good sales techniques. I imagine he had his work cut out for him selling newspapers. They can barely give those away these days. The AJC really should be offering more money to the poor guy. At least I already wanted what he was offering.

He was selling 3 months worth of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and an accompanying coupon booklet for stuff around Atlanta. The coupon book had several Braves tickets buy one get one free (up to $35 each) so I figured that alone was worth it. And I had been thinking how it would be nice to have a paper delivered to our house. It would only be the Thursday and Sunday paper, which is better because a daily paper would mean lots and lots of trash and not much reading.

There are two differences between reading the news in the paper and scrolling through my phone’s news apps.

One: my phone doesn’t make my fingers dirty with ink. I need a Downton Abbey footman to iron the paper for me before I put my delicate hands on it. But it does give me a sense of nostalgia for my childhood when I would spend summers filling out the crossword puzzles every day and looking at the headlines in bold to see what was going on in the world. You could leave the news on the kitchen counter and go about your day, rather than have the world’s news send instant pings to your phone so you’re never ignorant of any catastrophe for long.

Second: the AJC is clearly not as well funded as the other news sources (even though I’m sure it costs more to make and distribute). One section’s front page said “Payphones on the decline” as if we, as a society, forgot to notice that it’s actually hard to find a payphone anymore. And that maybe this change happened ten years ago and not this week.

But I did really like the article I read on Kudzu bugs. Kudzu bugs are the bane of my existence. They are ugly little bugs that make you think you’re looking at a lady bug until you look closer and see no spots just brown. They’re easily squished (on accident or not) and emit this sickly sweet smell that stains your fingers and whatever else touched the bug. I will accidentally vacuum them up in the house and pop that smell is in the air. They are attracted to white, so don’t go outside in a white t-shirt during mating season or god forbid have white washed porch railings — oops. They eat kudzu and other ivies like soy (currently they’re destroying the state’s crops, yay). The little monsters showed up here unknown four years ago and apparently had hopped an international flight from Japan to Hartsfield Jackson. Wanted to take in a bit of new scenery?

They look so harmless, don’t they? Apparently they procreate like crazy.

Look at that epidemic distribution (this was just 2009-2011). Next think you know the AJC’s last article will be about the kudzu bug apocalypse. Except no one will be around to read it. Was that my phone chiming in the other room? I’ll go check.


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