THE FROG POND - How To Get Published In The Newspaper


By Suzanne Mazer Stewart

Now, we're generally law-abiding citizens out here in Frogpond. We fly a flag out on the porch, and we vote rather diligently. OK, so I do occasionally forget to return my library books on time. And there's that little problem with the parking meters that my husband seems to have. But otherwise, we try our best to be fine, upstanding folk. However, a recent case of disgraceful behavior is more the fault of the postal service than anything else.

See, our post office did away with their rural-route-and-box-number addresses at the beginning of last year. They've long stopped delivering any mail not properly addressed with the "new" addresses. (Try explaining how your address has changed, but you haven't actually moved. On second thought, it ain't exactly a pleasant way to spend a half hour.) Well, we sent out change of address cards to everybody we could think of. We filled out all the little boxes on so many little forms, informing utilities and insurance companies, even the public library, of our new, not necessarily improved, address. Seems we forgot to inform the county tax office.

When the time comes for paying taxes, the Sheriff's Department, duly assigned to oversee the collection of the county's portion, provides each property owner with a bill. This bill states how much is owed, how and where and when it should be paid, and what property is being taxed. It arrives, as you know, by MAIL. Well, when the post office won't deliver it if it hasn't got the proper form of address, even though they know who we are and where we live, and if we never get it because of the lack of delivery, we can't very well pay it, can we? And to top it all off, we had paid some of our taxes for 2 years when we had rendered unto Caesar the year before. Add it all up, and, well, you can understand our situation a little better.

Seems last Tuesday, the Sheriff listed all his delinquent tax payers in the newspaper. Page after page of names. Page after page of the ne'er-do-wells and the law scoffers. Page after page of those who thumb their noses at the established order. Death and taxes, remember, are the only inevitability's. Unless, of course, you don't pay. Then, there's one other. You get your name printed in the newspaper, for God and everybody to see. Not exactly the kind of publicity I would have liked, but hey, at least I got published in the paper!

You may contact Suzanne at

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