On Thursday, I approached my antique, curbside Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram delivery box with the usual trepidation for this day of the week. As always (seemingly), the day would bring a heavily scented Macy’s advertising insert. It did. Three inserts fell out as I was heading to the trash – er, recycling. Poetically, it was a near miss on the recently used cat box.

Fearful of offending the cats, I picked them up and, indeed, trashed them and all the newspaper – except the front section, which I hoped (erroneously) was far enough away from the offending stench. No, not the cat box – the inserts!

Proceeding inside with the front section, I discovered it too was tainted, but in my thrifty Mainer way was determined to get some value out of what I paid for, my newspaper. What I got was a fit of sneezing and an asthma flare-up (also known as an attack).

Back to the recycling bin.

Now I’m left with no value for this day of my annual subscription, and, as the first paragraph suggests, for every Thursday and any other day on which a perfume insert arrives.

I have recourse and the technology for the virtual newspaper online, but for someone of my 67 years, whose Press Herald reading goes back to his grandfather’s kitchen table on Congress Street, it’s hardly the same thing.

I’d like a refund. I’d like to not have to battle Macy’s and the Press Herald for my life.

Karl Smith