Every so often, I’ll write about a topic that hits a common nerve, resulting in a few emails in my inbox.
Not surprisingly, my thoughts on political matters prompt comments. I’ve been accused of being both far right and far left, and I thoroughly enjoy the correspondence with those of you who choose to engage beneath the surface of what I might write in a column.
A piece I wrote a few years ago about my distaste for wallpaper brought some of you out of the woodwork (pun intended) to agree with me. (If any of you have weakened and decided wallpaper is “back,” please let me know so I can pray for you, because it is still evil.)
And when I shared my frustrations with cable television and streaming options, many of you offered helpful advice. I’ll never forget the note I received with detailed instructions for assembling a home antenna (from a reader who far overestimated my abilities.)
The most recent piece that resulted in a flurry of emails was the one about my decision to give up the print edition of The Tennessean.
I thought I would give an update.
The day after the column ran, I called Gannett, the owner of The Tennessean. After a wait of about five minutes, a representative came on the line. I told him I would like to cancel my print subscription and convert to digital-only.
The only resistance I received from this nice man who took my call was for him to ask if I would like to still receive the Sunday print edition. It would only be a few dollars more, he told me.
I might have waivered a second or two as I thought back to lazy Sunday afternoons going all the way back to my childhood, when I would peruse the separate sections and conclude by reading the color comics.
But I quickly held to my resolve and affirmed my desire to become a digital-only subscriber – cold turkey, if you will.
Although I could summon sentimental memories, I knew those newspaper-reading Sunday afternoons of yore were over. The content in even the Sunday print edition today is so reduced from the old days of fat Sunday papers, and considering I was seeing many of the stories online before seeing them in print, it was hardly taking an afternoon to get through it anymore.
So, just like that, it was done. The next day, there was no newspaper in my driveway. And I’ll have to hand it to Gannett. Not only did they not put up an argument, but they also gave me a credit for the print editions I would not be receiving. I was not expecting that.
I have been surprised by how much I do not miss the print newspaper. On my personal computer or my phone, I can easily gain access to the top stories via The Tennessean website or app, and I can also view the “e-edition,” which is simply a picture of the print newspaper. I can still see every bit of it.
I still work the Jumble in my head, maybe jotting down on paper the letters that make up the solution to the daily cartoon, but I confess I have not been working the crossword as faithfully. At first I was printing and working it, but it’s been a while.
That could be a phase I am going through or could also be attributable to me now playing Wordle on my phone each day.
If my unscientific research is correct, many of you are joining me in this daily exercise of trying, in six lines, to determine the five-letter word of the day. If you’re like me, you go with a repeated first word that has as many vowels as you can work in, my favorite of which is “adieu.”
On two occasions I have not gotten it at all, which has caused me anguish and embarrassment.
But a handful of times I have figured it out on the second line, which makes me quite proud, in a humble sort of way.
Now, it might take me a period of several hours, and going away from it and going back before I finally get it. But I’ve decided that is OK. No rules in Wordle, other than you only get six tries.
My days of print newspapers seem to be done, but I’m still all about the word puzzles. I’m fairly obsessed with this newest one.
What is your favorite first word?
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at [email protected].