Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Gypsy Newsstand Vendor

A passerby stops by a street vendor manning a "newsstand". The palaver of verbal confabulation was as follows:

Passerby: Excuse me good sir, but I have the impulse to purchase one of your fine products on display here.

Vendor: I already knew that, for I am a Gypsy fortune telling street vendor. Do not tell me what it is you want to purchase, LET ME GUESS! Give me 5 observations about the product you crave. If you stump me, you may have it for free. However, if I guess correctly, you must purchase your item PLUS one additional product on display here of my choosing. Do we have a deal my good man?

Passerby: Sure! You have about a hundred items here so I like the odds.

Vendor: Then please present your clues.

Passerby: OK. Here we go...
1) The product I desire is chock full of unique content I can't get anywhere else.
2) Some folks get this product every day, while others just get one on the weekends.
3) I know that when I spend time with this product, I feel smarter.
4) This product comes in sections. Some folks like to start at the front section and work their way to the back, while others are in the habit of starting with one of the inside sections. You can enjoy this on the subway ride, and tuck unfinished sections under your arm to finish later.
5) It is a popular answer to the riddle, "What is black and white and red all over?"

Vendor: Too easy my son. (The gypsy vendor holds up his guess) Is THIS the product you describe?

Passerby: Yes, you guessed it.

Vendor: And per our wager, you must also purchase one of my wares of my choosing. Of course, I am going to make you buy a product that is over-priced; has unhealthy content; is manufactured by young and inexperienced slave labor; and a product I can't give away without my mad gypsy skills. Enjoy!

The above transaction did not actually occur, and is just a blog re-enactment of what came to my fertile mind after reading this article from Business Insider (and having spent many years in the newspaper business).
Washington (AFP) - The news remains mostly bleak for the American newspaper industry, struggling over the past decade to adapt to the new digital landscape.

The sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune in early May for $85 million underscored the horrific slump in the value of "old media" companies in recent years... the newspaper was believed to be worth as much as $1 billion as late as 2004.

Blah, blah, blah, then this:
"Every newspaper chain talks about getting digital faster. The plain truth is that despite almost two decades of effort, most aren't close to where they need to be," says Ken Doctor, an industry analyst who writes the Newsonomics blog and is a consultant for the research firm Outsell.
Soon, said Doctor, newspapers will have few options aside from cutting the frequency of the print edition, as several dailies have done, to save expenses.

All I can say is, Gimmee a break! I'd rather break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.


  1. Our local rags once had some interesting reading. Local news was reported with accuracy, national news wasn't completely filled with partisan politics, and the editors allowed written discussion, which could be vigorous.

    Now? Even the birds refuse to poop on what was an accurate slice of history. If you put it in a bird cage, the canaries become so constipated, they look like uncomfortable yellow pigeons.

  2. Check Coffeepot's post.

  3. Jess, Great observations, and I share them. I miss the old days when my work life was surrounded by "the daily miracle" and it was something to be proud of.

    Ed, Those newspaper clippings of double entendres are hilarious! Like I said over at Coffeepot's place, I think some folks used to like to see what they could get past an editor with a hangover :)

  4. I will never pay for online 'news' content.

  5. Kid, Me neither. I don't even answer those survey questions in order to read the rest of the article. There are plenty other articles where I don't have to work so hard.