Even before Al Gore invented the Internet and put all the phone numbers you could ever want on the worldwide web (thanks Al!), phone books bugged the living crap outta me. It's probably because I grew up in a community where seven towns fit in one tidy 1/2 inch book, yellow and white pages, and there was no need to print a new one every year because no one moved in or out. If someone died, you simply got out a Magic Marker and drew a line through their name. And it was a Magic Marker, because no one used Sharpies yet. Because Sharpies can't make you high. It was all we had, because cable TV hadn't been invented yet either.
When I moved away from the idyllic land of little phone books, I was amazed and dismayed by the stack of slippery yellow and white tomes that graced my steps. At first, I put them on the shelf, carefully folding the pages over for Pizza Delivery, Video Rentals, Drive-Up Liquors, Tanning Salons and University Note Taking Services. But a few months later, more books arrived. Wanting to be a responsible adult, I scribbled the numbers I used often on the cover and stuck the old phone books under the bed in case I needed to reference them. By the time a couple of semesters were over, I had enough phone books to prop up the entire Lollipop Guild at Thanksgiving Dinner.
Every apartment I rented, phone books appeared on the steps and more were hidden under the kitchen sink. I had an address book I wrote down the good stuff in, and threw the big books in the dumpster, effectively ridding half of the Oregon coast of old growth timber in the process. Later, I joined the ranks of the real world in advertising sales and learned that they have to print 80 billion phone books just to sell the ads, and they don't really care if you open them or not, just as long as some guy in a Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon sends his 8 kids out on every city block to deliver them, then they've done their part to get your ad in the hands of the people.
Still. Don't. Care.
Every 4 months, I get a plastic bag of unusable paper on my front porch and it just plain pisses me off. But the pain ends today. Because today, I found this:
And I clicked on some stuff and gave them our address and opted out of getting phone books. Forever.
It's because I'm all green and eco-awesome and I'm wearing vegan fair-trade shoes and weaving a baby wearing device out of hemp right now as I type on my solar-powered laptop made from recycled goat hair, grass clippings and soy.
Meh, not really. I'm just easily annoyed.