Jay Beeler

Every two weeks my 14-year-old Chihuahua-mix dog, Molly, and I head off to deliver newspapers to a half dozen carrier homes as well as a few dozen bulk drops to businesses. The mid trip, 5:30 a.m. break at McDonald’s yields a chicken jerky treat for Molly and a caramel frappé – an iced pick-me-up – for the master.

Image my shock when the ignorant clerks repeat my order with the word “frap.” No,” I say, “it’s frappé. When there’s an accent mark above the “é,” it’s pronounced “fra PAY.”

With 1.9 million employees at 14,149 McDonald’s location nationwide, you’d wonder why that corporation doesn’t better educate its employees. If they worked at Starbucks, they would get reprimanded for saying “late” versus “latté” [laa TAY] or “grand” instead of “grandé” [gran DAY]?

When those employees get a better paying job at a small restaurant, are they going to say they work at a “caf” versus “café [caf FAY]? What to do when the menu offers “paté.” Will it get pronounced “pAte” or “paa TAY”?

“Ole” King Cole was a merry old soul until he went to a bullfight and heard the crowd shout “olé.”

If you come to California from Pennsylvania, you’ll soon learn there are two different ways to pronounce Lancaster, according to my niece (DQ) Susan, who lives there. The people in Massachusetts drive “caz” and have an entirely different way of pronouncing many words (Right, nephew Joe?).

It’s equally confusing when Molly and I drive past streets like Ximeno and Junipero that often get mispronounced. We live on Ramillo Avenue and find it amusing to hear people murder that one. The new generation of smart phones have apps that should prove very helpful in teaching the younger generation the enunciation of one of my favorite refreshments. But it’s doubtful they’ll read about it here.


Speaking of ignorant people, a couple of times each year we’ll get a phone call from someone who does not want our paper delivered to their home because it “wastes trees” or that they “don’t read it,” which fully explains their ignorance.

In reality, it takes 30 trees to print our newspaper every other week. Nationwide, based on 5,829 non-daily newspapers, about 10 million trees are consumed each year to educate people like Barbara, who called to discontinue receiving the paper.

Compare those 10 million trees to the 240 million trees that burned in California last year, due to the government’s inability to clear fallen trees and dead vegetation. If Barbara did not have her head where the sun doesn’t shine, she’d realize that all of the newspapers nationwide use four percent of the total trees lost each year to the wildfires in our state alone.

So, the only valid reason for not wanting our paper delivered, Barbara, is that you are a globetrotter, your neighbors hate you and refuse to pick up the papers for you when traveling.

On the other side of the equation we get far more callers who complain about not getting their “free” Beachcomber. That’s a problem that we’re eager to rectify, since those callers admit they often “steal” a neighbor’s paper. We’ll bend over backwards to reduce all forms of crime in East Long Beach.


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