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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Newspaper Route

It was just a few months after we were married that my husband Tony decided we could get a newspaper route to work together making a little more money. I thought that since we had just bought a new car it would be able to keep up with the miles of the route. Now Tony worked a swing shift as a Travel agent getting off work around 1am and I drove the half hour freeway drive to pick him up. As Tony explained how the newspaper route will work both Dad and I looked at each other with worries over our evening beers. Dad said "Now what? you want to take on a paper route? If you start delivering newspapers at 2am then when will you get any sleep?!" I nodded my agreement with Dad's concerns, but I also saw Tony's point of view in having a bonus job we could do together. Tony excitedly explained "We are getting a great route that pays the most out in Kuna." Dad snorted shaking his head as I said "We would be together in our car not alone that late at night." I had so many doubts that I decided to make up my mind and just do this. Tony looked at his father as he asked "What do you think?" Dad thoughtfully sighed his reply "I think it sounds shitty, but if you guys know what you are doing then go for it. Just make sure you DO get some sleep." I had no idea how hard THAT was going to be!

Day 5 of newspaper route, 120 hours into this CRAZY job I sat repeating over and over again "I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper.." to myself as I held a stack of newspapers in my lap. The delivery of our papers ran 2 hours late this night and now we were cutting our own deadline short. We hadn't got this crazy wilderness route down yet to not waste any time reading the map with a flash light. "Damn it Tony! You missed the turn over there!" I snapped as I remembered this road from the last long stressful passed four nights. "No that was the wrong way remember last night we got so lost!" He said back while still driving the wrong way. I snapped again as the morning sun was raising changing the dark sky to a light gray. "Noooooo we got lost last night because YOU DID THIS SAME THING! BLAAAAAAAAA!" (So much for NOT losing my temper) Tony reminded me "YOU said that tonight you were not going to YELL at me!" I waved a heavy newspaper in his face "THAT was before YOU got us lost! and I want to go home!!!" Tony and I rotated drivers over the next following nights but no matter what or who was driving for EACH and EVERY night we had a big stressful fight. Once when I was so upset as the passenger I just got out of the car. "OKAY OKAY I am sorry for yelling at you, BUT PLEASE GET BACK INTO THE CAR!" Tony called out after me as I walked away from him. I had no idea where I was in the darkness on that country side of those big dairy farms. With the lack of sleep and that feeling of dread having to delivery newspapers at 3 or 4am everyday was NOT what I wanted my life to be. Both Tony and I would start out talking about how much we loved each other, how happy we were to be in this job together then 6 hours later we were screaming and shouting at each other. It was the most crazy job I have ever had, that endless pile of newspapers and the frustration in not knowing where they all go. Tony rolled his eyes at me with a sigh "Why do YOU always have to pee at the very same time EVERY night?! I don't want you going out there in the darkness there are no lights to see what is around." I moaned "It's not like I have a choice!" We would have to pull over out in the cold weather miles away from any restroom. That first night when we delivered papers to a scary looking home down a really bad gravel road only to have the biggest monstrous dog slam up against the driver side window. It was At this very scary moment that Tony and I screamed at the top of our lungs! That was why when we finally watched the movie "Cujo" with the dog slamming against the car window, Tony said "Hey isn't that dog from our old newspaper route?"  Needless to say that section of our paper route was always so scary even though we learned not to drive along so slowly and even though we watched for the crazy dog, he still was able to make us lock our car doors as he chase us along. 
When Tony finally did the cost of gas, wear and tear on our car which defiantly took a beating scrapping sides of mail boxes or getting stuck in drain ditch. He realized we were making only $5 an hour. Those long stressful hours were any time from 1am to 10am when we would crash into our apartment dragging our feet and falling asleep completely dressed. Each morning we made up from our fight the night before but it wasn't getting any better after just a couple of weeks. When I realized we made only five dollars an hour Together, I was so deflated.
"Debby slow down you just passed the drop off!" Tony snapped as he had me back up so he could throw the newspaper into the drive way. I corrected him "You forgot to bag it! What if it rains!?" Tony rubbed his forehead like he could scream as he lifted his chin pointing ahead "Just go! I am DONE I am completely DONE with this job!" I chuckled as I replied "Well it sure isn't worth getting a DIVORCE over!" I felt so relieved that Tony made up his mind right then and there that we were done. I was so happy the very next night actually sleeping in our bed instead of driving all over the country side with the stressful weight of newspapers.


  1. Oh I remember this time well. I was so glad when you guys quit doing this paper route. Even though I was not there, I was still worried about you two. I guess this falls under "Live and Learn".


  2. It was an adventure to remember! One of the most funniest moments was when Tony and I both screamed by the big dog slamming up against our car window! We can laugh NOW:-D