The Twentieth Argument I Had With Victor This Week

Me: You know how I’ll know when we’re really successful?  When I can buy the New York Times just to throw it in the trash so that the garbage men will think I’m smart and sophisticated.

Victor: You can buy the New York Times now.

Me: Yes, but then I’d feel like I have to read it.  Have you seen it?  It’s enormous.  And there isn’t even a comic section.

Victor: Really?

Me: Well, I assume.  I’ve never made it all the way through.  I mainly just buy it when I’m on a plane because then I look smart and also it’s really big and so it makes a good blanket.

Victor: Because the smartest people on the plane are huddled under newspapers like homeless people.

Me: I don’t huddle.  I drape the sections over me gracefully.  And then I crumple some into a makeshift pillow.  Sometimes I make a paper prom dress or sailer hat.  And then I sigh to myself and shake my head condescendingly and tell the person next to me that I found another error in the crossword section.

Victor: I thought you didn’t like to talk to people on planes?

Me: I don’t.  That’s why I say that.  Say something ridiculous like that and people assume you’re either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid.  Either way, they tend to avoid you the rest of the flight.

Victor: Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that you’re wearing the sports section like a Snuggie.

Me: Well, whatever works.

Winner:  Victor by default because “sports section snuggie” is fantastic alliteration.

73 thoughts on “The Twentieth Argument I Had With Victor This Week

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thank you for the insight into your plane ride strategy. If I ever see you on a plane covered in the Times, I will still fawn all over you anyway. But only for a sec, K? Because personal space and all. But also because YOU!

  2. The bigger the newspaper, the easier it is to hide under. That’s why the New York Times is the best.

  3. Slightly off topic, but where I live, it’s cheaper for me to get the Sunday Washington Post delivered AND get online access than it is for me to get ONLY online access. So, I pull out the coupons and the rest goes in the trash, unread, as I prefer reading the articles online and not having to deal with cats attacking me while reading and shredding the paper….

  4. I’m catching a flight tomorrow and I fully intend to employ this tactic. It’s only a twenty-minute journey, so I’ll have to do everything at double speed at least, but surely that can only enhance its effectiveness.

  5. When you said, “buy the New York Times,” I thought you meant buy the company. I mean, that WOULD be a sign that you’re really successful. Then you could fly in your private jet and not have to talk to anybody, AND use a real blanket. But you’d still have to bring a copy of the paper along, of course, just to make shit out of, like a wine slushie koozie.

  6. Just idle curiosity here, apropos of nothing, does Victor have a brother who happens to be single and have a penchant for fat women in their late thirties?

  7. The only thing I know about the New York Times is that they have a Week in Review section, which is what we call leftovers in our house.

  8. If I didn’t know who you were, and I saw you huddled under a newspaper like a homeless person on the airplane, I would probably think, “THAT’S my people.” And then I wouldn’t talk to you because I don’t like to talk to people on airplanes either. I don’t know if this is all a good thing or a bad thing.

  9. The last time I flew somewhere there was a young woman carrying a full-sized pillow, with a throw blanket around her shoulders. She evidently had never heard of the New York Times.

  10. I consider myself a colossal snob about a lot of things, but life’s too damn short to read the New York Times.

  11. I wish we had another book from you, already, already! I know, gotta be stressful, but I, like so many others, can’t get enough of your wisdom! And everything else, too! 🙂

  12. Well, Victor, obviously you can’t multi-purpose tablet like that, so it’s just makes sense to use a real newspaper. And why not make it the New York Times?

  13. Jenny, i love you for you AND for bringing together this merry band of misfits who fit perfectly together! i thought i was gonna lose it over the alliteration (read as ‘spit my coffee at the computer screen), and then perusing the comments, i about fell over reading “they have a Week in Review section, which is what we call leftovers in our house”. OMG! i fucking love you people!!!!

  14. Last time anyone talked to me on a plane (I must look particularly scary), they were a creationist, and I’m a scientist that definitely believes in evolution. Made for a not particularly comfortable long flight. Silence is best.

  15. Not to bring the conversation down or anything, but everybody knows that newspapers are recyclable, right? And when you say “throw it in the trash” you mean “throw it in the recyclables bin,” right? RIGHT?

  16. I swear ya’ll need to start shopping a sit com or a movie, I would so go watch it! You guys come up with so much good stuff it’s hard to believe you don’t have your own show already.
    Also I’d have to agree with A Nony Mouse, you are or will throw the unread newspaper in the recycle bin? Right?

  17. I need to remember the newspaper trick the next time I fly. The last time I flew, I wound up giving some poor old man cauliflower ear with my life story over the course of an hour and a half – all because I was nervous about flying by myself.

  18. If I tried to take a newspaper on the plane, I’d clear the whole aisle posthaste with my uncontrollable sneezing. Yep, violent allergy to the ink. And the bullshit the media puts out there. On the upside, when those paper-selling dudes at the stoplight come up to my car, I don’t even have to lie – I act like they’re shoving poison in my face (because they are) and blurt out that I’m allergic to the ink, and they move on quickly. Newspapers are definitely the perfect conversation antidote.

  19. You’re right. There are no comics. The Times is actually proud about that. The Washington Post, on the other hand, has great comics plus Carolyn Hax. And, it’s almost as good as the Times.

    How can you use it as a blanket? The ink comes off on everything. Do people give you funny looks when you get off planes?

  20. We get free newspapers on flights in Australia, well, that is, there are newspapers for free at the boarding gate. The amount of available room on flights though is so small that opening the newspaper is a hassle and annoys everyone.

  21. Why are planes so dang cold? I keep wanting to cancel our Chicago Tribune because so much of it never gets read and just takes up space until someone (me) finally decides to eliminate the stack of papers near the kitchen table. But I am afraid of turning even dumber than I am with constant GPS at my fingertips and all.

  22. I actually love the New York Times. It has a huge nostalgia factor for me, because my father had a subscription to it (and some other American newspapers like the WaPo) even though we were Canadian. The Times was his absolute favourite newspaper, and he had my sister and I reading it every week by the time we were about five, because he felt it was very important that we were up on current events even in Kindergarten. We comprehended absolutely none of it!

  23. I prefer “Whatever fills your taco.” personally, because it sounds unintentionally dirty. Or maybe intentionally dirty.

  24. The drawback to the NYT as a blanket is that for those of us who sweat a lot when we sleep, we run the risk of waking up looking like we got really poor-quality full body tattoos.

  25. Today, I was picking up a mechanical part for The Viking and one of the salesman started talking to me because I happened to look at a Smoker. Suddenly, he’s telling me recipes for steak and chicken. I’m smiling and nodding but I really just want him to go away. I’m going to make business cards that say “I’m an introvert. Please stop talking to me”

  26. Hmm. Maybe that explains why the stationary salesman next to me on the plane with a Dickensian underbite and suit wore his plastic cup like a muzzle then bit through it while telling me he was a lion. There are easier ways to avoid talking you know….

  27. Victor doesn’t have to read the NY Times. He just has to do the crossword puzzle. In ink. 😉

  28. Please keep sharing every single argument with Victor. You should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for saving marriages by showing the reality of it all and how ridiculous we all are. For better or for worse. Grateful for you Bloggess!

  29. I highly recommend looking up “newsprint blanket” and “headline blanket” on zazzle & cafepress. I’m rather fond of the “Daily Curse”. It would have to be quieter and more snuggly than real newsprint — and the curse images would still get fellow travelers to leave you alone.

    The one with the Back To The Future clock tower front page is probably my favorite…. I am confused why so many people would want to sleep under reprint front pages about the Titanic.

  30. Well, shit … yeah, he wins, but points off for not pointing out that there would be plenty left over to use as a pillow so people would think you completely planned it all that way.

  31. I really like these ‘arguments with Victor’ posts, especially because roughly half the time I’m like ‘woah I totally get that!’ and then the other half I’m like ‘whaaaa people seriously say that kind of stuff??’.

  32. I hope one day to have a fantastically clever relationship with my husband
    as you do with Victor!!!
    (Step 1. Find husband)

  33. I could have used this advice a few days ago on my 7.5 hour flight! Prom dress making would have made the time pass faster. Oh well, next time!

  34. If you don’t want people to talk to you on planes, I think it would be most effective to create your own special edition of the NYT. Before throwing the paper out each day, look for scary photos (crocodiles eating beavers, Slenderman, serial killers glaring at the camera and so on) and cut them out. Also cut out phrases like “human skin,” “slaughtered seven,” “basement burial,” “satanic revels,” “am I psychotic,” and similar. Then glue your special photos and phrases all over your newspaper. You can circle them in red ink or draw some skulls in between them, if you like. This will make a prime huddling tent and if anyone does approach, you can make a sound from deep within the tent like the winds of the Sahara being slowly forced out of a sticky colander.

  35. Wait, The Economist is more expensive and makes you look like a GENIUS. 🙂
    Easier to roll up and put in your back pocket, or smack someone with.
    Bonus: You can make up anything you want about the stories in it—it’s that hard to grasp sometimes. Use Reagan’s trick: talk in meaningless yet specific percentages: 95.3%, 28.45%.
    Thank you Jenny, for keeping us sane with laughter when we are under siege from our own.

  36. Why give a shit about whether people consider you smart or stupid and ,not to sound too condescending, but shit, the garbage men? I know, he’s just another human being making a living, but seriously?
    I certainly hope Victor is not your partner because you guys seem to be on waaay too different levels.

  37. I think that you and Victor may want to use the term “academic discourse or academic discussion” because it more catches the spirit of the moment.

    I love your writing and all your blogs! You are a miracle and a wonder!!

  38. Hey hey do not throw newspapers in the trash. Your recycling person will be impressed with your NYT.

  39. Have you seen WordPlay, the documentary about crossword puzzle contests? It’s wonderful. Will Shortz is amazing, and cameos from The Indigo Girls, Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton. (If you’re looking for a throwaway line about the paper – don’t say there’s an error in the crossword – that’s super-rare! )

  40. Bawhahaha my friend values success as having 3 or more bathrooms. You two should be friends 😂😂😂😂

  41. Oh, man. The Grey Lady. I used to spend many Sunday mornings with her, a cup of joe and a lot of lazing:). You’re too smart not to get hooked by at least ONE article before you recycle it . . . 🙂

  42. Artists can work in several media, instead of writing you are creating art with the written word, and then writing about it. Very sophisticated. 😘

  43. This is why I love you. I realized that when I see your posts, I stop to get a snack and or a cup of tea to settle in and enjoy it… thanks for being you.

  44. Thank you thank you thank you! I laughed until I cried and maybe peed my panties a bit (I knew I should have worn my designer Depends) Thank so much you’ve made a huge contribution in my life with your books and blog

  45. Love my Sunday papers! It’s the only day of the week I have time to read them. The only downside is having to listen to the husband ranting about articles he doesn’t agree with!

  46. So if newspapers really do go away someday, it’s gonna be really hard to line bird cages with… social media posts?
    Not a clue.
    I actually don’t even know if lining bird cages is still a thing.

  47. Once, in a work staff meeting, i felt the need to blurt out “Sometimes I buy vegetables I know I will end up throwing away, so the cashiers won’t judge me.” I was instantly judged by my 20 or so coworkers, not only for my bizarre desire that grocery store cashiers think I eat a well balanced diet, but for my compulsive outburst, totally unrelated to work. I am forwarding them all this story and totally expect them all to know why, even though it is 10 years later and I haven’t spoken to many of them in a decade. .

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