JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

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Sunday, February 02, 2003
 
A case for long trips

Necessary background: I'm staying here in Calcutta in a second floor apartment. There is a balcony that looks out onto the street. The balcony has a interlocking series of bars to keep criminals away. The daily newspaper gets delivered to this balcony.

At first I was amazed. How does the paperboy get the paper to the second floor balcony (the answer I was told: "he throws it." Well, duh.) Next question, how does the paperboy get the paper through the bars... I mean, there isn't much room (the anwer I was told: "he's really good.").

So, I was thinking, the Pirates should come to India and sign this guy. The Pirates can't hit the cut-off man, can barely field the ball *and* throw it to first base, and this guy can chuck a newspaper from the ground, to a second floor balcony, through a series of bars? And do it time after time after time? Wow.

But, then, this morning, during my fourth week here in Calcutta, I was awake at 6:30 a.m... when the paperboy arrived... and witnessed how he did it. His first throw hit the bars and clunked back down to the street. The second throw hit the bars. The third and fourth, too. His fifth finally made it threw and I had my newspaper.

I've changed my tune. If he takes five attempts at every building he goes to, it must take him hours to deliver the papers.

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