Thursday, June 12, 2008

The National Pest

so while i was busy wallowing in the misery of being me, injured, the phone rang. it was the edmonton journal, with a special offer: we can get the national post for just $5.99.

"but i hate the national post," i said.

"may i ask why?," asked the silky-sounding voice from manitoba.

"sure," i said. remember, i'm feeling miserable. not that it's her fault. i'm a grown-up and a well-tutored liberal. i know it's inappropriate to take out your personal misery on other people, particularly telemarketers, who no doubt deserve better jobs, and who are not only disinterested in your personal opinions but also, and more to the point, working for a commission that means the most reasonable course of action is to politely decline and let her get on with her quota of calls. but i am feeling sorry for myself and it turns out misery does love company. also: the national post? give me a fucking break. i subscribed at first -- it had, regrettably, some of the best writers bailing out of the consolidating media monopoly of the 1990s -- but i canceled my subscription with an angry letter to the editor over some particularly misogynist coverage. then i laminated the front page and posted it on my office door, with invitations to passersby who might like to augment my annotations of the newspaper's shortcomings.

i give the voice the short version. "i find the national post a mouthpiece of conservative ideology so nauseating that it makes me actively want to throw up when i read it with my breakfast."

i thought that would be the end of it. but the voice didn't miss a beat. "surely you'd agree, heather, that the national post covers international events that are soon to be national and local news. think of the collapse of the government in pakistan, and the recent cases of pediatric avian flu."

is she for real? "the newspaper might cover these events, but that doesn't mean it isn't conservative."

"we believe the national post has the best international coverage of any canadian newspaper."

"and do you think of that as a competitive category?" i'm reminding even myself of a dissertating friend who invited jehovah's witnesses into her apartment -- repeatedly.

"best of all, heather, it's only $5.99."

"look, here's the thing. if i don't want what you're offering, it's not a bargain. unless, of course, i've misunderstood. perhaps you can clarify. are you going to pay me $5.99 to take your crappy newspaper?"

so now there are two of us hoping i'm not a permanent shut-in.

1 comment:

Roberta said...

You are sooo funny. I love it, I love it, I love it.