Yesterday I posted a riddle on Twitter and Facebook: Name a book that everyone has, no one reads, and contains the most characters ever put in between two covers.
What you see in the photo, other than my ultra generic but sincerely welcoming welcome mat, is something called a phone book. There is also a large orange door that keeps me safe from intruders. That is a cool color for a door, right? How many people can say that they have an orange door? Sometimes I describe it as “papaya” just to play it up. Unfortunately, my door’s special hue can’t get rid of the aforementioned abomination.
Last week, I arrived home from a taxing day of work and mindlessly climbed the stairs three stories up to my apartment. As I rounded the corner of the stairwell, I saw a line of identical plastic bags placed strategically in front of each door on my floor. As if they were presents or something. Pfft! I didn’t even have to inspect the shady package to know what awaited me. That is partly because the bag was clear, but mostly because I could smell the tears of the rain forest emanating from the pages.
Another phone book.
I didn’t fret. I had a plan. I would pretend it wasn’t there and hope that eventually maintenance or the old, hoarder lady next door would swipe it up without me having to even touch it. A week went by, and I noticed that the stubborn yellow eyesore wasn’t giving up easily. Although it moved about three feet from its original imposing position on my threshold, it continued to annoy me. But its position was such that it was no longer decipherable who’s doorstep the book belonged to, so I held on to my composure.
Until one day, I came home and found a disturbing scene at my door step.
There it was. The phone book, miraculously and deliberately resting not only on top of my threshold once again but actually leaning up against my door, clashing horribly with my beautiful papaya. It was as if it was telling me, “I’m coming in whether you like it or not.” It was inexplicable. Had one of my neighbors become frustrated by my blatant disregard for this unwanted delivery? Maybe someone was jealous of my courage to boldly reject the persistent Yellow Pages and wanted to teach me a lesson by nudging the book back closer to my door? Or perhaps the dumpster food itself scooted its way back into my path just to spite me.
There is no telling which scenario is more likely, but I still haven’t let that thing into my house. The last time I did, I ended up with a phone book Eiffel Tower on top of my fridge. Never again.
Okay, I get it. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a NASA worthy computer the size of a staple at their disposal at all times. You know, besides the billions of people world wide who are using a cell phone. Excuse me, smart phone. But come on Yellow Book, do you really need to distribute five phone books to the same household twice a year to ensure that we are all able to order Domino’s when we are hung over?
Not only is it a huge waste of resources, but it just doesn’t make any sense. When was the last time you wished you had a phone book so you could look up your friend’s number that you lost? Never. Why? Probably because your friend’s number is a cell phone number, and guess what type of phone numbers are not in the phone book? The exact kind of number that you need. Plus, using a phone book when you can transfer information simply by booty bumping your mobile device with another is practically as primative as using a warming pan to heat your sheets at night.
Phone book, you misguided me as a tween when I accidentally called the wrong Bobby Smith and lost my one chance at true love. You made sure to trick me into perpetually looking up numbers that were unlisted, and you most certainly don’t rip in half with ease like I saw on TV.
Your silly games no longer fool me. You are nothing but a pathetic leech clinging on for one last shot at cluttering my shelves. No, you are worse than clutter. You are a true waste of space.
As this game of chicken comes to an end, fear not. You will surely be scooped up and recycled by some Good Samaritan that is not me and then redistributed back to my very doorstep in six short months. But next time I will be ready…