January Jumble | Newberry

January Jumble

So we’ve had a pair of scrapbooking scissors come in, and it nearly hit 70 degrees at the end of January. Did I ask for a Smurfy New Year?

Here I am, not bothering anybody, just brooding to myself about whether The American Heritage Spanish Dictionary is a title worth mentioning, and then somebody goes and drops off The Story of Scrap Rubber. It’s a wonderful world.

Two personal journals came in, and no, you may NOT have them back. I’m selling them to the Society For Defeathered Tweeters. These are people who tweet so often they’ve run out of things to say. A good journal, at two lines a Tweet, should keep them supplied with material until something happens again in their lives. (Unlikely, perhaps, so long as they spend all their time Tweeting, but that’s the opinion of someone born when computers ran on magnetic tape.)  Anyway, one of your journals is all about your spiritual quest, and runs on for only three pages. The Book-and-Weight-Loss Journal goes on for nearly fifty pages, and though it touches lightly on books read and restaurants visited, it is mostly caught up in a bitter struggle to drop from 189 pounds to 173. I wish you had a) explained why these numbers, b) finished the journal so I’d know if you made it, or c) chewed on a few of the pages as a symbol of your willpower. If you’re not going to play the game, I don’t see how you can expect me to return your journal.

(Note to self: next million dollars: invent diet journal with gluten-free pages.)

A couple of people have dropped off (small, fortunately) pieces of luggage. One of you left a pair of baby socks, and another of you donated a slip of paper with your friend’s birthday noted on it. I hope you transferred this information to another, safer place. Oh, and if someone out there is looking for an address book you filled in between 1983 and 1989, it has resurfaced after a quarter of a century. I doubt the pizza coupons in the back are still good.

I did not write that column on the strange things I’ve seen come through the Book Fair just so you could try to outdo them. Yes, I’m sure I WILL find a buyer for the little pitcher with the painted view of the Odd Fellows’ Fountain in Warren, Indiana. But is this what the Book Fair was founded for, I ask you? The DVDs of the Salvation Army sitcom are more in our line.

Still, we will continue to make do with what people give us, be it a history of recycled rubber or the two stethoscopes I’ve had lately. We have experience, and we have courage. We’re hard to frighten. I was uneasy about that belly dancing book you dropped off, but that’s just shellshock. We had belly-dancing kits donated once, which included the instructions, cassette tape, complete costume and accoutrements, all tucked into a little box just about the size and shape of a stick deodorant. I sent one to the curator of our dance collection with the note “Thought you could use this”, ASSUMING she would look at the label on the box. It took a week of explanation before she realized I had NOT sent her…oh, never mind. And, anyhow, the two bumps in your book on belly dancing turned out to be the finger cymbals.

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