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Read these numbers about who does the workload


You've heard that old story a hundred times - how, out of all the people in the U.S., it turns out I end up doing ALL the work.

But if you don't know that moth-eaten account, here's how it goes: According to the U.S. census, our population is 308,745,538. But 90 million of those are retired, 75 million are under the age of 10, 1.6 million are in prison, and millions more are in hospitals, armed forces or still in school. More lists and numbers go on and on.

The entire total comes to 308,745,536. Subtract that number from the above population, and it's plain to see that leaves only two people who do all the work.

And who are those two? You and me. I've done the writing; you're just sitting there reading it. Soooo… ?

Well, I got to thinking about this old story the other day when I saw the phrase, "Serving the communities of King City, Summerfield and surrounding areas" beneath REGAL COURIER, on the front page of this newspaper

So, to satisfy my curiosity, I phoned the city planning office to ask: "What's King City's population?" "To be specific: 3,225."

Next I called Barbara Sherman, editor of this paper. A year and a half ago, she's the one who chatted with me about writing a monthly piece. (Obviously the woman has excellent taste.)

I asked: "How many Couriers are published monthly?"

"There are 4,800 printed and delivered to those living in King City, Summerfield, various villas, and local businesses. Extras are left elsewhere for pick up.

“I don't know the exact population of all the areas, but it includes two cities and unincorporated Washington County. A chart we use indicates 11,520 readers."

I'm pleased Barbara puts me on the editorial page because the Newspaper Association of America estimates 55 percent of subscribers read it. Fifty-five percent of 11,520 is 6,300.

The NAA adds: "Readers of editorial/opinion pages represent those who're better educated and informed." (Since you're one of the 6,300 elite presently reading this page, give yourself a pat.)

"Next question to Barbara: Of your 6,330 blue-blood devotees - how many letters do you receive each issue?"

"Maybe one, usually none at all." (A slight rustle, sniff and pause indicated Barbara was tissue-dabbing tear-filled eyes at this reluctant admission.)

"Not surprising," I consoled. "I've been writing for the Courier for 18 months with not a single, personal letter."

Another sniff. "I haven't either, and I've been editing this paper for 5 ½ years."

Wow - 6,300 high-IQ readers DO NOT write!

Also, according to the NAA, the percentage of letters editors receive expressing appreciation compared with complaints: "Jeers run 5-1 over cheers."

(Barbara and I write nice pieces, not controversial.) More mental math: 6,300 divided by 5 equals 1,260.)

But each of you elite readers has a whole month between editions to write, so 1,260 divided by 31 days boils down to a mere 40 possibilities of getting a monthly letter.

What's the chance of hearing from you once a year? Divide 40 readers by 12 months: Three!

Remember this piece started with who ends up doing all the work? Who are they? Barbara, you and me.

Neither she nor I will write a letter about ourselves, so it's all up to you!

© Copyright 2013 by Isabel Torrey, a King City resident and 40-plus-year columnist.