Monday, July 20, 2009

Today I did the unthinkable ...

I grew up as a kid in the 1980s.

I was a shy nerd, but proud computer geek.

I was in my last year of high school when the original Dot-Com Boom started in 1995.

Since moving away from home, I've always answered those pesky phone calls with, "No thank you ... Because I get all of my news for free on the Internet."

I realize that, as a cartoonist, I should probably be ashamed of myself. While I was still in college, it was honestly the financial reasons for not subscribing to a newspaper -- I simply wouldn't be getting my money's worth, and I needed all the spare change I could scrounge. Unfortunately, old habits can quickly adapt, and you soon forget what you're missing ... Especially when your local paper has a free digital edition!

But late this afternoon, I did the unthinkable ...

I picked up my phone, called the local newspaper, and subscribe to their daily print edition. I even qualified for their "new subscriber" rate of only $9.80 per month (compared to their regular $17.30).

The deciding factor came this morning when my wife and I took our 15-month-old daughter to her doctor's appointment and she discovered a piece of newsprint sitting on the waiting room's coffee table. The page had lots of text, but also lots of funny pictures -- yes, it was the Comics page.

In that moment, I realized that although I may enjoy reading the funnies while sitting on the toilet with my iPod in hand, my daughter is possibly missing out on a great opportunity.

You see, she loves books. Her vocabulary is borderlining on scary. Unfortunately, whenever she sees my iPod, she immediately shouts, "Elmo! Elmo!" (thinking that I'm watching Sesame Street on YouTube as we sometimes do). If that's not bad enough, she shouts "Annie! Annie!" whenever she wants to watch her most favourite movie in the entire world ... After multiple views a day, it certainly is a hard-knock life!

Subscribing to a daily newspaper will be a little bit of an experiment. Although I'll be able to enjoy reading the Sunday funnies again on Saturday mornings, I'm very curious to see if my daughter will eventually anticipate going to the mailbox every morning for the newspaper -- as much as she anticipates Annie or Elmo :)

Tomorrow morning, our mailbox will be my family's early Christmas tree.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

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