It's a Stretch | Page 9 | Newberry

It's a Stretch

So how would you like to discuss rubber bands today, mincemeat muffins? Well, so it goes. Those of you who would like to go read the genealogy blog instead may do so. We’ll discuss your individual family trees after you leave.

What I wanted to tell you about rubber bands is that I really don’t need any. You may donate them if you feel it’s essential, but if so, donate them in larger amounts, in boxes or bags of nice, new unused lengths of elastic. It’s the used rubber bands that make trouble.

My donors bring me rubber bands in four basic ways. First are the rubber bands that just got mixed in. You were cleaning all the books off the desktop or the bedside table, and there were a few loose rubber bands. This is because there are always loose rubber bands somewhere in the house, and these don’t worry me.

Those of you who have been using rubber bands as bookmarks are a dying breed, I hope. You may, of course, use any kind of bookmark you like so long as you either a) finish the book and take the bookmark out so I am never troubled with it b) you use bookmarks which will not deteriorate with age or damage the book, or c) you don’t donate the book to me.

Rubber bands, see, dry out with age and become brittle. Somehow, however, at the same time, rubber bands can become sticky and adhere to the page, especially, for some reason, the cover or dust jacket. This leaves me with a dilemma: do I remove the broken bits of rubber band, at the risk of tearing the cover? Or do I leave it there, so that anybody who looks at the book thinks there’s a small worm attached to it? This is not what we call a win-win situation.

The same thing happens to books with rubber bands around them. I get these in two basic varieties: there is the book held together with a rubber band and there is the SET of books held together with a rubber band.

I appreciate the help, really I do. If you hadn’t thiought to hold those books together I might never have noticed “VOLUME 1” on the cover. And that set of The Lord of the Rings where the first volume came from the movie edition, the second volume from the Tolkien-cover edition, and the third volume from the original dragons and eggplants edition: why, I might have…. Actually, I DID price them separately. My customers don’t seem to mind mixed sets, but they prefer to mix their own, and not maintain yours.

And could you just KEEP those books that are going to fall apart if the rubber band is removed? The book must have meant something to you, or you wouldn’t have bothered with the rubber band. So keep it. If you’re clearing out an estate, the book must have meant a lot to someone who meant something to you. Keep it. Let the next generation throw it away

Oh, you dropped it off because you felt it needed to be thrown away but you couldn’t bear to do it yourself? Very well, I can do that for you. Can you what? Have the rubber band back? Get over to that genealogy blog before I snap.


I actually made mincemeat muffins last Christmas, with the leftovers in the jar after making mince pies. Just sayin'.
There are at this time no plans for an Uncle Blogsy Cookbook, but we'll keep you in mind.

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