Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flushed with sorrow about my future

I am a very depressed newspaperman this morning. It finally hit me, on this 15th day of June in the year of our lord 2010, that my livelihood is doomed. By this time next year, I better know how to make a double mocachino pronto if I want to earn enough money to pay my bills and continue to add to my miniature troll collection.

I have been one of the staunchest advocates of the print newspaper and very Pollyanna about it survival until The Revelation hit me this morning while I was completing my daily indoor constitutional: That bastard Steve Jobs finally created a product that will end my stellar career (Shaddup! And this time I mean it!)

My mantra always has been, "Until they develop a product that lets you read the comics in the john, people will still want to buy newspapers." Now, people don't have to.

A vision burrowed its way into my head. Attached to the wall of my bathroom to the left or right of the commode, whichever is more convenient, could be one of those scissor-type extenders that often hold mirrors. But instead of a mirror it could hold an iPad just 2 feet in front of my face. Rather than clutch a newspaper to see exactly what Dagwood will put on his sandwich and wonder what Liz the vet sees in Garfield's master Jon, I can sit there with my hands free until it's time to flip the screen to "Luann."

With the comics read, I can check my stocks, examine my daily schedule, Tweet my innermost thoughts and track all flights around the country on the FAA website without leaving the plushness and comfort of my $250 Hammacher Schlemmer heated seat. When I'm done, I just reposition the iPad against the wall and go on with my day.

"Oh," you say, "newspapers were already doomed because people could read the comics on their iPhones."

C'mon. How can you tell on a screen that small what sick prank Lio is going to pull or trace the circuitous route Billy takes as he comes home from the drugstore with Jeffy's insulin. And besides, if you're a klutz like me, you do not want your $199 smart phone anywhere near a bowl of water.

No, it's time to polish that resume, or go into business for myself. I have a good idea, too. I might start manufacturing bathroom iPad holders and scissor extenders. I'm telling you, by 2015, "smart toilets" will be all the rage.