The Newspaper Novelty

Lue Jun Yi
6 min readApr 9, 2020

Klank klank klank. The teaspoon knocks on the wall of my grandma’s slightly chipped mint green enamel mug with blue lining as I stir my hot milo. I give the chocolate malt drink a gentle blow, take a small sip, and place the sweltry mug carefully back on the dining table. The clock hands point at 10 and 12, signifying it’s now ten in the morning. A stack of half-folded wood pulp papers sits at the corner of the table. Noticeably creased on the edges, it seems like it has been read. Some pen scribbles — random numbers — on the front page confirm it. Well, it’s late morning so I guess mother would have read it — I reason with myself. I take hold of that slightly worn newspaper, flip through the pages while waiting for my breakfast to be ready. Ah newspaper. Who reads it anymore these days? Such…novelty.

The sky’s dark. The street lamp gives the road outside a little light. A couple of neighbours are up early before sunrise, deduced by the lit-up homes. One neighbour just got into his car, getting ready for the rat race of the day. The ignition of the car engine breaks the cricket-filled silence. From the bend of the road, the sound of an automobile can be heard fast approaching. Upon entering the lane, the Indian uncle now visible in sight, slows down his motorcycle. With years of experience and perfect dexterity, he manoeuvres his two-wheeled vehicle with his left hand and tosses the newspapers into the individual homes with the other. Each band-tied bundle of papers lands perfectly into the yard of the homes, to the envy of even professional frisbee players. Thump! It hits the back of father’s car and lands right beside, waiting for mother to pick it up at a moment. And the newspaper uncle is nowhere to be seen any longer, swooshing off to the next lane in darkness.

Licking the tip of my finger, I turn the newspaper to the next page. Or rather, the previous page. I start my reading order from the back. Sports. The back page serves as the headliner for me more than the front. I can even tell you the order of the various sports being reported. Starting from the back is the local sports scene, mainly badminton, sometimes squash or bowling, but never missing the Malaysia football drama. It moves on to the English Premier League, and occasionally the other Big Five Football Leagues in Europe. Right at the peripherals are the other less popular sports — basketball…