Saturday, 9 May 2015


For the last eight winters I have rented the Upper of a duplex in Santa Monica. For seven of those eight years I suffered the vagaries of forwarded mail. This past winter I decided to put in a change of address with The New Yorker

For the first two months things went well. The magazine appeared in my mailbox every Thursday. Then came an issue that was incorrectly collated. I got two first-halves instead of a first and a second half, thus missing out on the Cartoon Caption Contest The copy at the local library was similarly mis-collated. When I registered a complaint with The New Yorker, I was told that they had no extra copies and therefore could not replace my defective exemplar. It was cold comfort to me that they extended my subscription by one issue instead.
Toward the end of March, my landlady (who occupies the Lower) went on holidays and stopped delivery of her mail. Sometime after her departure, my husband remarked that we had not received any junk mail for several days. A packet we expected also failed to arrive. The tracing site said that an unsuccessful attempt had been made to deliver it, and a note to that effect had been left. But our mailbox yawned empty. Needless to say: No New Yorker.
It appeared that the post office had decided to stop delivery for both the Upper and the Lower duplex. My husband went to the local post office to make inquiries. He joined a long line-up of (similarly short-changed?) customers. When his turn came, a woman, who moved at a glacial pace, went off to look for the missing packet. She returned, stony-faced and unapologetic, with the item in question, but refused to look for mail that did not have a tracer number. Which included The New Yorker. Two New Yorkers by that time.
We left Santa Monica on 10 April and returned to Canada by car (a road trip of five days) by which time I had been without The New Yorker for three weeks.  A friend saw me suffering from withdrawal symptoms and retrieved one issue from her recycling bin, pulling me back from the brink.

In the meantime I had reversed my change of address, and The New Yorker once more appeared at my door – for one week. The next week: nothing, and no explanation. Delivered to the wrong street perhaps? Not likely because the people at the local post office here have moxie. A few days ago a friend sent me a book. She addressed it to “31 Morton”. Someone had written on the package: “Try 31 Manton”. They definitely know where to find me!

 I am happy to report that this week’s New Yorker has arrived and hope my luck will hold. I think I’ll tweet the good news: #amreading The New Yorker!

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