Cardboard Criticism | Page 15 | Newberry

Cardboard Criticism

Every cold or case of the flu I have had seems to be at its worst on a Wednesday. I don’t know whether Wednesdays are naturally woeful, or whether this is related somehow to the fact that I almost always got assigned to the P.E. classes which met on Wednesday. In any case, the world has always seemed a bit pointless to me on Wednesdays. I once suggested a line of products to compete with the TGIF line (Thank God It’s Friday). Mine was going to be GWIW (Gee Whiz, It’s Wednesday.) Another one of my million dollar ideas that just didn’t catch on.

But Wednesday has always seemed a miserable day, to me. Which is why we’re going to discuss boxes again.

No, sardine souffle, no one has brought me a truckload of banana boxes lately. In fact, the banana box quotient has been down lately. Our efforts have had results: those flame throwers concealed in the bushes were worth the money. I am concerned on this Wistful Wednesday with needless thrift.

Thrift can be a virtue, of course, but like all virtues it becomes a vice if overdone. I am grateful, of course, for your generosity in dropping off your treasured books. But I do wish you’d let me keep the treasured boxes they’re in.

“Can I have my boxes back? That way I can refill them!” You always say that like it’s a GOOD thing. You need to understand, tofu chili, that what you are really saying is “Would you please unpack these books and either repack them in your own boxes or just pile them up somewhere on the floor so that you can trip over them until you have someplace better to put them?” The day has only so many hours, and all this repacking of your collection of Rebecca Wells first editions takes time a Book Fair Manager can ill afford. Yes, I know this is Uncle Blogsy we’re speaking of, but when they were passing out superpowers, I passed up super speed in favor of X-Ray vision.

Once in a while, it just so happens I have boxes similar to the ones a donor is using and I can whine, “Could we just swap these for those?” This usually works, but I did once get a reply of, “Certainly not. OURS are new!” (Actually, they’re not, pork chop pot pie: you put books in them, remember?)

Now, about those of you who are thrifty with tape, I have just one little thing to say. But I know they won’t let me say that, so I will instead suggest that you GO BUY SOME TAPE. Folding a box bottom together may work when you are moving towels or job lots of paisley boxer shorts (I told you I had X-Ray vision) but doing it with books can be dangerous, especially as the boxes get larger. When I pick up such a box, there’s every chance that the bottom will fall open, the books will fall on my toes, and my upper body will snap back from the sudden lack of weight and I will hit my head on this souvenir steel ingot somebody gave me.

And it MIGHT happen when you’re not there to take pictures for YouTube. Did you think of that?

Actually, I do more damage to myself when I pick up a box, realize the bottom is sagging, and try to get one arm underneath while balancing the rest of your set of the Harvard Classics in the crook of the other arm. The Power that designed the elbows, knees, and lower back did not have Harvard Classics and untaped boxes in mind, marshmallow manicotti. THAT sort of idea comes from a region where it is always Wednesday, and the marshmallow manicotti is left over from yesterday.

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