[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you have five extra dollars in your pocket, consider tipping the newspaper deliveryman. If you don’t subscribe to the paper, tip your mail carrier. Or anyone, for that matter.
You might end up tipping someone like Eddie, my old coworker. A single father with three girls at home. He was glad to show you their wallet photograph if you had a second.
Eddie and I both threw the newspaper.
If you’ve never thrown the paper, here’s how it works:
Imagine fourteen hundred pounds of Sunday coupons stacked in a pile roughly the size of a Waffle House. Then, shove sixty thousand of them into cigar-sized plastic sleeves. Crank down your windows. Now drive in circles through the rain – and toss. Do this for seven hours, then reward yourself with an oil change.
Eddie worked like a refrigerator. After a morning of deliveries, he stocked shelves at Walmart. When he finished there, he took a nap. After that, he did it all over again.
“It ain’t so bad,” said Eddie. “I sleep in my car, so I have extra minutes with my girls. I hardly get to see them.”
The backseat of Eddie’s car was a walk-in closet and pantry combined. Hanging clothes, sneakers, boxes of crackers, beef jerky, drinking water, and Mountain Dew.
Eddie explained, “Used to, I’d sleep at gas stations, but cops don’t like that. Nowadays, I park in used car lots. They can’t find me there.”
I’m sure you’re practically invisible, Eddie.
He went on, “Mostly, my oldest girl takes care of the younger two. She’s fifteen, smart as a whip. God, I miss them.” He reached for his wallet. “I have a picture of my girls, right here. Wanna see them?”
Don’t be silly, Eddie, of course I want to see them.
And so do you.