Rant: Phone books

Weeks ago, a stack of a dozen colossal, inches-thick phone books showed up in the lobby of my apartment building. The tomes seemed archaic and out of place. I can’t remember the last time I was at a loss for a phone number or the closest Chinese take-out joint, and turned to a clunky paper book instead of my iPhone or computer. I’ve long assumed, as a society, we moved on.

The phone books have gone untouched, which validates my thinking. But I am annoyed that no one—including me—in my seven-unit apartment building wanted one of these pieces of, well, litter. I wondered who put the phone books there? The phone company? They can’t afford to be bothered with phone books, can they? How much do they cost to print? How many trees are chopped down in the process?

I keep telling myself I should just toss the phone books in the recycling bin. But maybe if they’re in the same exact spot at the time of the next phantom phone-book delivery it might send a message: Stop printing phone books, whoever you are.

Rave: Free beer

I walked into Vine Street Pub on a recent weekend in search of a table for six. The place was packed and the wait was 40 minutes. But the hostess had good news: Free beer! Yup, that’s right, free beer for anyone waiting for a table (taster-size glasses, not full pints). I was shocked they were offering, but, of course, happy to partake. It was a day or two later that I realized the genius of their plan: I was still thinking about their no-cost suds and had long forgotten I waited 40 minutes for a table. Nicely done, Vine Street. I’ll be seeing you again soon.