A suburban rant: Who gave Pennysaver the right to throw their crap in front of homes?

Every Saturday, come hell or high water, rain or shine, the publisher of (not one mind you; two) weekly circulars distribute their savings packs to every house in my neighborhood, and to the best of my knowledge, all 2 million homes on Long Island.

In my neck of the woods they’re called Pennysavers; a bunch of classifieds for used cars, announcements for garage & yard sales, a crossword puzzle a deaf, dumb and blind chimpanzee could finish in 2 minutes, ads from people selling their used mattresses and other junk from their basement, unlicensed handy-men posing as contractors-for-hire, weekly ads from every supermarket within 35 square miles, a K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Kohls and Target circular and two books of coupons rolled up in a .0002 mil plastic bag.

All right, I admit, I checked it out 4 years ago when I first got to the neighborhood and quickly placed it in the round file.

From the second Saturday since I moved in 'til this past weekend, I’ve had 416 of these damn things which I choose to not read, tossed in the general direction of my house. The retired couple in the beat up old blue Ford station wagon that take turns throwing them from the passenger window probably use the 1/3 a penny salary they get for each unit packaged and delivered to subside their rent at the local trailer park.

God, I hate them. Not the old people who deliver them, or for that matter the bargain hunters who read them regularly, I despise the “Pennysavers” themselves. At least once a month half the crap in the bag spills out and proceeds to blow around all over the neighborhood. By Saturday evening, 3/4 of the people on my block still haven’t even bothered to pick them up and throw them away. The reams of newsprint that is wasted annually must be mind-boggling.

“All right”, I say to myself, “I’ll call the publisher and advise them I wish to opt out of the free weekly “delivery” of their complementary circulars.” Needless to say, that was about as fruitful as pissing up a rope.

Next week comes and I’m still tripping over these damn things strew on every sidewalk from here to Montauk. “What if I call and ask a local legislator if this is even legal?” I mean maybe a lawmaker will agree these Pennysavers / Carrier Pigeon / Shoppers Guide circulars amount to nothing more than “unsolicited litter”. When I contacted a staffer, all I got were questions how much I planned to donate toward Congressman Douchebag’s next campaign.

OK, I’ve decided it’s time to take matters into my own hands. Next Saturday when Herman and Lilly come down the block (I’ll know they’re close when I hear the muffler and rusted wire hanger dragging down the street) I’ll wave them down and politely ask them to save the toss. I don’t read either circular they deliver.

Well, needless to say, that didn’t offer any results either. My next step, wait for them to come down my block and the moment they toss their packet of crap toward my house, I’ll pick it up and toss it right back into the window of their car…and if it beans Granny in the head, or knocks the Chesterfield King right out of her mouth, ce la vie.

Viola, success. No more Pennysavers. (Hooray! Do the Snoopy Dance!) Well…not for that one proceeding week at least. Turns out the only lasting result of my throwback was Grandpa rewired and duct taped the muffler so as to afford himself the element of quiet, stealth-like delivery; thus leaving me unable to detect his next weekly round.

This is getting nuts, I know I’m making way too much of this but it’s becoming an obsession. My logical side of me says, “just pick them up and toss them away, stop trying to reinvent the wheel, there are more important things in life.” My emotional side shouts back, “This is important; stop worrying about getting laid, screw politics, to hell with the Mideast…you can’t let them win!” I feel like a schitzophrenic Bill Murray at war with a gopher for crissake.

Provided this rant doesn’t calm me down, my next move is start collecting all the unread copies strewn in front of my house and most of the other homes in town and start warehousing them in my garage. (Screw the Cougar, I’ll park it out on the street for a couple weeks in the rain). Then, I’ll charter one of those huge fire fighting helicopters with the big hopper underneath and dump them all over the corporate offices of my new found nemisis…the Long Island Browser.

If that doesn’t work, guess I’ll just move us back into the city, where my heart is anyway.

I just previewed my rant and feel better already. If you’re a suburbanite, please don’t post saying how much you love getting and reading your copy, I wouldn’t begrudge you your bargain-hunting pleasures…I just want the publishers to either stop throwing 'em at me (and if I’m really lucky, everyone else who doesn’t read them) or put em in the mail like every other two-bit marketing company has to.
[edited "="s to make it fit-Czarcasm]

Sue 'em for trespass. Better yet, make it a class action and put the fuckers out of business. I’m sure there’s some down-on-his-luck lawyer who would take the case. I used to hate those bastards when they threw their trash on my lawn during grad school.

You they’re not sending them through the mail, but delivering them directly? Call the Post Office. They don’t like competitors.

How about suing them for harassment?

That’d be cool.

If I’m not mistaken, the US Postal Service shouldn’t have a problem with it unless they’re putting these things in mailboxes, which it doesn’t sound like is happening.

Speak not the words of reason to Ryan, Denise. It might just ruin his pathetic little hijack.

Don’t think you’ll escape by moving to the city. I get at least two circulars every day, and they are the reason I hate that NYC started recycling. I can no longer just dump them into the trashcan as I walk into the house (which still annoyed me, but not as much as having to open them and sort thr paper from the plastic)


The evil grasp of the Pennysaver spreads coast to coast. Here in Torrance we get the Pennysaver twice a week, not to mention the Admailer, the Torrance Weekly Saver, and Goat Felch Monthly thrown into our mail boxes. Fortunately, our landladies are understanding–they’ve helpfully put a recycling bin next to our mail boxes. It has to be emptied every week.

I am glad to see i am not the only one a little pissed about this. I get a couple of unsolicited “bonus” news papers every week. They throw the stuff out on my lawn and I have to collect the stuff and dispose of it. I think a littering charge could stick.

You forgot an important PennySaver feature: the numerous prayers to Saint Jude thanking him for…whatever.


I kinda work in that business (newspapers, free circulars, etc.) … I’m trying to make sure that only people who want 'em get 'em, but damn if it ain’t hard to do!


Around here it’s the “Food Day” section of the Oregonian–never mind that I wouldn’t even wipe my ass with that rag let alone subscribe, it’s apparently mandatory that I get that piece of shit batch of worthless coupons and crappy “recipes” on my lawn every week. I used to throw them away or recycle them, but it gets my hands muddy taking them out of the plastic bag so now I just pitch them into some of the potholes in the street for landfill. I do have a full size cargo van with messenger placards on the side and I’ve given some thought to gathering up a huge number of these obnoxious eyesores and dumping them into the underground delivery bay at the Oregonian but I’d probably get into trouble for it.

Isn’t it enough that I get fifty solicitations a week for refinancing my house and for credit cards? I should have to deal with all the rest of this crapola as well?

Fuckers… :wally

I get two or three different papers a week where I live (Bergen County, NJ)

I agree, it’s really annoying. If you go away, you have to arrange for somebody to clean them up so that burglars won’t know your away.

As far as legal action goes, I had an idea that was inspired by the approach of “Private Citizen” in dealing with telemarketers.

You send them a certified letter, offering to proofread the paper for a fee of $1000. They can accept the offer by leaving the paper on your property. Roll the camera, proofread the paper, send 'em your markup, along with an invoice. Then take them to court.

Dude, you get Goat Felch Monthly? We don’t get any of the good junk mail down here.

:: makes note to self to ask mom in Redondo if they deliver it up there ::


I’m seventeen years old and working at a small printing press in Fetid Pus-Encrusted Rectal Wart, Illinois (aka Peoria). It’s the graveyard shift. I am an inserter. For eight hours a night (or 10 or 14, depending on how far behind we are) I stand in one place and pick up an advertising flyer from stack A, and another from stack B, and another from stack C, and maybe 5 or 6 others from stacks D through H, and place the whole wad carefully within the fold of (Ben Stein)Anybody? Anybody?(/Ben Stein) The PennySaver!

The racket from the printing press across the floor is deafening. Conversation with my fellow workers is out of the question. I neatly jog my stack of 25 inserted PennySavers and place them on the conveyor belt in front of me. It’s 110 degrees Farenheit in this pressroom; I wipe the sweat off my steaming brow with a grimy forearm, shift my weight from foot to aching foot on the concrete floor, and gaze hopelessly at the rows of pallets stacked 150 deep with bundles of PennySavers, all waiting to be inserted.

Finally, 6 hours into my shift, I give in to the inevitable and pass out from heat exhaustion.

If I ever catch ANYONE throwing a PennySaver or any facsimile thereof onto my yard, I’m going to wrap it around the end of a rake handle and use it to forcibly sodomize the perpetrator, and I will blame it on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A great idea:

Save up approximately a month’s worth of PennySaver newspapers.
Get up one morning and take a drive to your local PennySaver office and deposit them neatly on their doorstep.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.
I do wonder if you happened to video tape the people leaving newspapers on your property if you could indeed press charges for littering…

The fault does not lie with Pennysaver. The fault lies with Herman and Lilly, tossing the plastic bag from their car, heedless of the risk of the contents “spilling out and blowing all over the neighborhood.” The fault further lies with the residents, who don’t see fit to pick up what’s on their own lawn before it spreads elsewhere. Yes, I know they didn’t put it there, but we all have problems to solve.

Is it possible to find out who Herman and Lilly’s employers are, and complain to them? Perhaps the Pennysaver has an 800-number listed on it.

Forgot my sig…

Agents, acting within the scope of their duties. Sue the principals. Without them, this shit would not be thrown on your yard every week.

Actually, ISTR that newspaper delivery folks are independent contractors. So that might be a problem. But sue the fuckers on general principle anyway, just because it will make me feel good.

Yeah, that’s a tough one. Hmm…oh, here’s an idea: unless I tell you I want it, assume I don’t and keep your worthless shit to yourself.

Granted, it’s not as bad as taking a leak on my welcome mat, but I can’t stand the sheer corporate-slime arrogance of “send it out to everybody, we can afford it”. I have a tiny little mailbox at my apartment and every other day it’s stuffed with ads for fuzzy-puppy designer checks, shit-ugly collector plates and those “new worship” churches where Jesus lets you wear blue jeans. Searching for the mail that’s, you know, useful is a pain in the ass.