This Is FIOS. This Is BIG. FIOS, This Is a Big Mistake.

fios1What’s wrong with this picture? No, I don’t mean that I have a newspaper bag taped to my office wall. (Yeah, we at The Hired Pens still read the newspaper.) Don’t see it? Okay, here’s a hint: This landed on my stoop three days ago. May 2010. Now do you see?

This bag asks me to bring it to the Verizon Kiosk at my local Mall* starting

11/26/09 thru** 1/4/10 for a chance to WIN A FREE*** 55″ HD TV!

My first reaction when I saw this bag was, “Are you kidding me? I have to save this stupid bag until November!?” Then I saw the date. Oh, it’s a mistake.

But, whose mistake is it? There are three potential culprits:

Culprit #1: Verizon

If you’ve ever been to a murder mystery party hosted by my friend Andy, you’ll know the most obvious culprit is never the guilty party. I think Verizon is the victim. But they are guilty of other writing crimes for which we feel obligated to take them to task.

Dear Verizon,

You have a lot of money. Hire a proofreader who knows that MALL should be lowercased. That it’s redundant to use WIN and FREE in the same breath. And that only fast food joints and teenage girls writing notes in class are allowed to use THRU.


The Hired Pens

Culprit #2: The Globe

Trying to save money wherever money can be saved, they reuse plastic bags from expired advertising campaigns.

Dear The Boston Globe,

Making your advertisers look stupid is not a step in the right direction to save your flailing newspaper. Instead, try not pissing off your subscribers by jacking up the rates while your paper gets slimmer.


The Hired Pens

Culprit #3: The Paper Boy

The Globe leaves it to our hapless paper delivery boy to find his own plastic bags. As his own cost-saving solution, late one night he breaks into the Verizon storage facility on Route 128 and steals leftover plastic bags.

Dear Paper Boy,

I sincerely doubt this is what happened, but if it is, I admire your inventiveness. But you should quit. No one should make you risk a criminal record for minimum wage and such early hours.


The Hired Pens

I love The Globe, but I think it’s their fault. And this is big. This is a big mistake. At least for those of us still reading the paper and considering a flat-screen TV.

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