Tuesday, May 6, 2008

$5 Adventures: The Newspaper

Get a newspaper. Not the New York Times, unless you live in New York. The local one. The more local, the better. If your city has one of those crazy free papers, that’s the one you want. Even if you’re a Republican or fifty-five and would never read it otherwise. For our purposes, it’s the best one.

Throw the front page away. The latest developments in the Rezko trial or the Democratic primaries aren’t important today. Ignore everything remotely socially relevant. What we’re looking for are the listings: movies, festivals, sports events. Gardening clubs. If you found an alternative weekly, probably about half of it is devoted to such listings. In a mainstream paper, they may be more scattered around, but they’ll be there, on the edges and bottoms of pages, in tiny one-paragraph articles squeezed into corners, in ads. Go through the entire paper and look at them all, even the ones that sound boring. The sports section might list a contra dancing club or a roller derby. The “lectures” section might include a book signing with Rachael Ray (she makes me want to claw my eyes out, but maybe you like her). Many papers conveniently mark free events so they're easy to spot. Read the classifieds and the personal ads, too. Just in case the one other wakeboarder in town or the one other woman in Lubbock who reads Bust magazine is advertising for a likeminded buddy.

After you've finished looking through the entire paper, flip back to something
that sounded interesting. Then go.