Fredericton — Winter in the capital has come and gone, and the snow has all but disappeared. As a result of the thaw, driveways across Fredericton are littered with a season’s worth of sodden issues of The Daily Gleaner.
“Some of them got caught in my snowblower and just shredded to bits,” said Riverside Drive resident Donald Corey. “I used one as a doorstop and and quite a few as fireplace tinder. Thought I got ’em all but now I’ve got Gleaner garbage all over my yard! Maybe I can find someone in the classifieds to come clean it up.”
“Usually I use the Gleaner to sop up liquid messes — you know, when I don’t want to waste paper towel,” said Jolene Curtis of Douglas Avenue. “Or I’ll lay them down on the floor if the kids are making a messy craft. But with all the snow this year I got lazy and just left them in my yard, so this week the dog’s been burying them in the flowerbed… think they’ll make good fertilizer?”
Edith Hart of Nashwaaksis said the newspapers left in her driveway after the snowbanks cleared formed a surprising — and divine — shape.
“I looked outside,” said the 84-year-old, “and I swear to you, the papers formed the face of the Virgin Mary. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t have my glasses on but I know what I saw — the Blessed Mother. So I called up the Gleaner and they sent someone over right away to do a story on it. Look for me in tomorrow’s paper!”
“I stopped subscribing to it about 10 years ago, but the kid still drops it off here,” said Kayla Ogilvie of Canada Street. “There must be some kind of miscommunication between the delivery boy and head office. Didn’t even realize they still print the thing until I saw them all turn up in my driveway. What a mess!”
Those who deliver the Gleaner say it’s a low-wage, thankless job, which is why they just huck issues into people’s yards and driveways without a second thought.
“I actually net around three bucks a week,” said Brendan Southerland, 15. “I swear customers have trained their dogs to bite me when I come around to collect payment… so I just throw the papers wherever and bike to the mall. No one keeps track or anything, so like, who cares?”
Devon cat lady Marsha McDevitt seems to be the only subscriber who hasn’t let the newspapers sit in her driveway all winter. “I don’t want to throw away pennies on kitty litter for my precious babies,” she said, laying out papers all over her home, which smelled strongly of urine and cheap cat food. “They prefer to go where they want, when they want, and this way I can just pick all the used papers up once a week, trash them, and start fresh. The cats prefer the ‘business’ section… kinda funny.”
The city has been dealing with the springtime Gleaner problem for years, but this year, they’ve had enough.
“It’s unsightly and wasteful,” declared Mayor Mike O’Brien. “This weekend we’re going to send around a garbage truck to collect them all and bring them back to the Daily Gleaner office uptown. We’ll dump them in their driveway and let them figure it out.”