Asking for the holiday tip

This is the time of the year when the newspaper carrier tries to tell you to give him/her a tip without actually asking for a tip. It’s all very Minnesotan, and I have some expertise in this field.

As I’ve written before, I delivered the Pioneer Press for 10 years and perfected the art of getting the Christmas-New Year’s tips. I was once told by the Pioneer Press circulation manager that I was “a legend.” Yes, of course.

The best way to get a tip if you deliver newspapers is to hit the top step, even when the homeowner couldn’t be bothered clearing the two feet of snow from the driveway or sidewalk.

Also, when you leave the Christmas card, put a letter in it, use your name and address, and say “thanks for shoveling the walkway,” which is Minnesotan for, “do you think you might get off your fat tush and make life a little easier for me? I’m only making 10 cents here!”

The holidays were a wonderful time. Every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d come home to a mailbox full of cash (note: don’t ever leave cookies or food for your newspaper carrier, they’re not out every morning at 2 a.m. for a sugar fix).

And so every Christmas I pay attention to the subtle ways my carrier asks for money.

Today, almost a week after Christmas, I got the card with no name signed, and an envelope with a convenient “return” address already stamped on an otherwise blank envelope, tucked inside the paper, which was tossed in the bushes.


Be looking for a plate of cookies on the top step, friend.