The inauguration’s paper of record

January 21 filed in blog

I got up at 5am this morning to get a New York Times to commemorate the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama. I filled my pockets with quarters, threw on my coat, and stumbled into my car.

First, I went to my local newspaper machines about 2 blocks away outside Fat Apples restaurant.  There is a row of about 8 newspaper machines there.  Empty!  Only the SF Chronicle and USA Today machines were full (I got one of each).  I knew that couldn’t be right, though.  Why would all of the New York Times machines be empty?

I flew to the BART train station about 3 more blocks away feeling confused and a little nervous.  The newspaper stand at the station wasn’t even open yet.  His windows were shuttered and quiet.  No papers bound in twine were waiting for the clerk’s arrival.  And, all of the rows of newspaper machines around the corner were empty again, too (except for the Chronicle, which I already had).  Incredulous, I started to curse the guy who came before me and stole my right to history!

Next, Starbucks across the street.  Thankfully, I found puffy faced and bleary eyed human beings there where I learned that the New York Times had NEVER been delivered that morning.  “When do they usually get here?”  “About an hour ago,” the barista said. “They never showed up.”


There must have been an issue with the entire south El Cerrito delivery, I thought.  I bought a cup of coffee to help sharpen my focus.  After pacing around the parking lot, I got in my car.  After making sure the Lucky’s grocery store across the parking lot was also bare, I drove a couple of miles to nearby Berkeley and spotted a 7-Eleven.   The store emitted a warm, comforting glow.

There, in stacks as high as you might imagine stacks of money in a bank vault, sat fresh copies of the NY Times in all of their glory.

I took a deep breath, and picked up a single copy.   Even though I now knew that there hadn’t been some Ebay jerk vacuuming up all of the papers in my neighborhood, I didn’t want to deny someone else the same feeling I had at that moment.

I restrained myself to one, and went home.

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