One Ringie Dingie

Ah, here’s a toast to those whose joy and cheery optimism make life brighter for everyone! As long as the world is filled with people who attempt the impossible, barriers will continue to fall and mountains will crumble. Would Columbus’s discovery of the New World, would Edison’s invention of the light bulb, have meant as much but for the hundreds of people who said it couldn’t be done? I’ve promised to say nothing more about my recipe for turkey liver pizza in this column, but that’s along the same lines. Yes, let’s lift a glass to those indomitable spirits who keep on reaching for the stars.

I refer, in this particular case, to the 27 people who tried to reach me by phone during the Book Fair.

Once upon a time, reaching Uncle Blogsy by phone during the last weekend in July was even less likely. See, my phones are disconnected so that the credit card machine or machines can be hooked up at checkout. Thanks to electronic voicemail, however, callers CAN get through and leave a message in that good old electronic mailbox. All I need to do is call in and check those messages.

Alas, your Uncle Blogsy has a twentieth century mind and does not regard his telephone as the center of his existence. Given a choice between checking voicemail and helping a customer figure out where to find Room 1, he will always choose the three-dimensional option. So, what with one thing and another, I did not get around to checking these messages until several days AFTER the fair.

A majority of the messages were silent, indicating that these people called to get the times and dates of the shindig, which were on my message, and then hung up. OR they called, heard the message, realized that I was probably fighting off people who wanted to bid on the stuffed talking owl, and resolved to call me back when I wasn’t so busy.

But I feel I owe the more optimistic callers an answer, even if it is a bit belated.

To the person who asked if I could pick up her World Book encyclopedia before July 25, the short answer is “No.” The long answer is “You MUST be kidding. This is just an excuse to get me out to your place and steal that turkey liver pizza recipe, right?”

To each of you who prefaced the phone message with, “I know you must be busy right now, but….” the answer is “Yes, I was.”

To the man who listed a bunch of books he’d fished out of the garbage behind a junior high school and wanted to know what someone would give for these valuable first editions, the answer is, “Donate them to the 2015 Book Fair and I’ll give you a receipt for them.”

To the young couple who wanted to know if their Associate status entitled them to come to Preview Night and whether they could bring their sister’s kids, my response is that you should ask these questions before 2 P.M. on the day of the Preview, AND that you should call somebody else. But maybe you guessed that part already.

And for the man who knew I was busy but gave me the titles of three books he was looking for, and hoped I would be able to call him and tell him the prices, and let him know where these books could be found after I set them aside so he could come and pick them up on Half Price Day, I have no answer at all. At least, not one that’s printable. But if you want to drop by and discuss it someday, I have some cold leftover turkey liver pizza that I think says everything I have in mind.

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