An Affliction Infecting Nogglestead

He suffers from newspaper reading disease:

Your mate is snuggled next to you on the couch. You’re sharing the Sunday newspaper — cuddled and cozy — just enjoying the written word together. He points his finger to print on his page and looks up.

“Hey, honey. That movie you wanted to see is getting great reviews. They say it’s Oscar-worthy.” He pauses and waits for your response.

How endearing, you think, smiling sappily. My hubby is sharing news with me. The squeak of surprised interest you emit exudes approval and encourages exposition. He squirms slightly, hunches over his page, and furrows his fuzzy brows in concentration. Oh, look. He’s hunting for more tidbits to share.

. . . .

NEWSPAPER READING DISEASE forces your mate to provide updates on printed topics that you find nauseatingly boring. He will toss sports statistics your way and pepper them with incomprehensible commentarial expletives. Sports statistics are tossed like dice and peppered with commentarial expletives.

Obituaries of strangers whose names seem familiar to him (and therefore, to you) are recited, filling your head with ‘nee’ s and internment dates.

What’s the latest take on dietary prevention of cholesterol buildup? Don’t worry. His fingers are underlining the words right now, and his “listen to this” s are sure to clog your auditory canals.

There is no cure for NEWSPAPER READING DISEASE. The only treatment offering a modicum of relief is to read faster than he can talk. That way, you can enjoy the paper before his recitation begins.

I read this story in the Phelps County Focus yesterday, and as we were driving to Freistatt’s Lions Club’s Ernte Fest (a German festival), I recounted this column to my beautiful wife after recounting the story of the local columnist who had a recent cardiac procedure and was strapped to the bed for many hours in the very room where her husband died several years earlier. So it was a little meta, my recounting newspaper reading disease that I’d read about in the paper.

Also, hmmmm…. I read the column by Robin Leach (not that Robin Leach), a regionally syndicated columnist in the Phelps County Focus, but I could not find it on the Internet version of the site. But I did find it at the linked Herald-Whig, which I do not yet take. Ah, investigation indicates this paper is based in Quincy, Illinois, so I will probably not subscribe. I am not taking Illinois papers. Yet.

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