A few summers back, I was standing on a neighbor’s front lawn with a few friends, enjoying the host’s outdoor party.
At one point, one of the neighborhood kids walked up to me and said, “There’s an old man sitting on your front lawn.”
My house was about five or six doors down, and when I squinted I could barely make out the person to whom she was referring. I said, “Wow, you must really have good eyesight to know that’s an old man sitting there. All I can tell is that it’s someone reading a newspaper.”
She then replied, “That’s how I know he’s old. I can’t see his face, but if he’s reading a newspaper, he must be an old man.”
Ouch. That really hurt. I still read newspapers, and to be honest, I have been around the block a few times. But up until that moment, I had never really associated reading newspapers with being an old man.
I realize there are plenty of other ways to acquire your news these days, but one of the things I like about newspapers is that you can get so many other uses out of them once you’re finished reading them.
Here are seven you might want to consider:
- Packing fragile items. Newspaper pages are great for wrapping dishware and other breakables prior to storage or moving.
- Removing smudges. It seems strange to use something for cleaning that leaves ink on your hands, but it really does work on cleaning glass such as mirrors and windows.
- Drying shoe and boot bottoms. When you enter your home with wet shoes or boots, remove them and place them on newspapers, which will absorb the moisture.
- Ripen tomatoes. Wrap each tomato individually in newspaper and leave them on a counter, where they will ripen nicely.
- Deodorize containers. Wad up a newspaper page or two and place it in a sealed food container overnight.
- Dry the vegetable crisper. Refrigerator draws can collect moisture and start to smell, but lining them with newspaper can solve the problem.
- Add to the compost pile. Newspapers make for good composting material, but don’t just toss them in the pile. Shred them first so that oxygen can flow through better.
And next time you see an old man sitting on your front lawn reading a newspaper, ask him if you can have the paper when he’s finished with it.