Each morning I travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan to go to my job and make money. I get on a crowded subway and will do one of three things, depending on my morning state of mind. Below is a breakdown of how my morning activities correspond with my levels of alertness (and their frequency):
Awake and Peppy: Very rare. In this case, I will read, listen to music or do a crossword puzzle. Sometimes all at the same time. Huzzah.
Tired: Frequent. I usually manage to do the same activities as above, just with less concentration.
Hungover: Frequent. I listen to music and vacantly stare at those around me, judging them.
Hungover from a 4am karaoke night: Very rare. Stare at my shoes in an attempt to not vomit and get the song Rocket Man out of my head.
As you’ll notice, the first two levels of alertness result in me doing a crossword puzzle. What crossword puzzle do I do? When I first moved to New York, I had the choice between two free papers each morning (as we all do). It was either the Metro or the AM New York. I began picking up the AM New York in the morning, and when I had finished reading it, I would get to the crossword puzzle. This usually happened pretty quickly considering that AM New York is a shitty newspaper which will often place rehab photos of Hollywood stars on the front page in lieu of world events of actual importance. Eventually, I stopped even glancing at the paper, and would just pull the crossword puzzle out each morning.
And oh, did I have a grand old time with the crossword puzzles. Like the New York Times, the puzzle gets progressively harder as the week goes on. I used to be able to finish Friday’s in an hour or two (while at work of course – like I am now), do Wednesday’s on the subway ride to work, and come up with the answers to Monday’s puzzle while in the shower before even looking at the paper. But times, they have changed.
Either I’m getting dumber, or the puzzle is getting much harder. I would really rather believe the latter. I like to think that I treat my brain with a certain amount of respect. I read a lot. I don’t watch a ton of bad television. I have a group of intelligent friends and we occasionally have thought-provoking and engaging conversations between dick jokes. I finally quit doing whip-its. What’s the deal?
So let me say to you, AM New York. You are the paper for the tired and the hungover. You write about trashy celebrities, and make people feel better about their lives while waiting on a dank subway platform. You print two page ads about shitty miracle drugs that will help people lose weight. Hell, sometimes your ads are actually the front cover of the paper, and you have to turn the page to find the real headline. So why make your crossword puzzle harder? I don’t want a fucking challenge at 8:00am! I want to feel good about myself. I want to know that 24 down is “aloe” and that 36 across is “Bogosian.” I want to solve puzzles quickly and impress the random person reading over my shoulder. I want you to make my AM easier.
It’s either that, or I start doing whip-its in the morning.