On a Graveyard of Boxes

Along the subway line, there is a graveyard of newspaper boxes.

The train rolls along, through a wooded stretch of track, and then, suddenly, on the south side of the track there is a fenced off area with woods all around.

There, in the middle of the enclosed space, stands perhaps twenty newspaper boxes.

They are of all shapes and styles. There are red boxes and yellow boxes. Some have their money boxes sticking straight up.

And there’s a distinctive USA Today box, with its thin black stand and the large white box.

I remember the first time I saw a USA Today box; I thought it was the niftiest thing I’d seen in some time. It was like a window on the world, a television monitor of sorts, like something futuristic as if designed decades hence. Which was, I think, the idea.

I haven’t seen a USA Today box in the wild in a long time.

To see it there, in the grave yard, is saddening.

More bothersome – to me, anyways – is the trend of the Baltimore Sun to look like the USA Today. Color, loud headlines, sans-serif fonts. A venerable institution, turned crass and unappealing.

I don’t know how long the newspaper boxes have been there. I don’t know why that clearing, along the track between the Milford Mill and Reisterstown Road stations. It seems… random, as though someone didn’t know what else to do with the newspaper boxes.

Out of sight. Out of mind.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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