In the Q | Page 7 | Newberry

In the Q

            I would hate to suggest that you folks aren’t being as useful as you could be, but this blog has to stick to pure, unvarnished truth.  (And between thee and me, that’s the funniest statement in this column.)  And you just haven’t made yourself as useful as you are ornamental.

            Not one useful suggestion have I had as to how this Book fair can identify itself with the library’s 125th anniversary, or Quasquicentennial, or Q, as we call it.  And I asked so nicely, too.  Shows how far manners get you.

            I did like the ingenuity of the lady who suggested we take the whole show on the road, packing all the books and customers off to England, so we could hold the fair in Kew Gardens.  But you should know by now I don’t approve of selling books outdoors.

            Quite a number of people suggested special discounts.  This is NOT constructive thinking.  I approve of discounts even less than I do of stacking books out in the elements. 

             Anyway, some of these discount ideas were a bit limited.  There is no excitement in a discount for people whose names start with Q.  Either the name does or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, the person won’t be interested.  The discount for authors whose name start with Q has a better chance, but after Ellery Queen, Patrick Quention, and Daniel Quinn, how far can you go?  As for titles, I don’t get all that many copies of Quentin Durward.

            The discounts for customers who are over 125 years old, or who spend more than $125,000 intrigue me.  I may work on those.

            The person who suggested a pool party seemed a bit off-target until he explained that he was speaking of billiards, and we would each brandish our cue.  Even at that, my mind went to another kind of pool, but there the brandishing pun is both vulgar and in another language, so forget it.

            Another curious soul suggested a special prize to anyone who waits outside in line for more than 125 minutes.  We already have that, prunepit paella: we let you inside.

            The people who are really thinking along interesting lines are those—three so far—who suggested a special honor at the Book Fair to botanists or farmers who can prove they have grown a New Berry.  (Pause for wild and raucous laughter)  We do, of course, need a new berry so we can replace its predecessor, which would thus be the elderberry.  (No pause for laughter at all.  They are already digging a grave for that one, producing a New Bury.)

            A smattering of other ideas included a discount on all books published in 1887 (there’s that discount thing again: what DO you people see in them?), a glee club of 125 voices singing songs 125 years old (no space; I’m putting the cat books in that spot), and a gigantic birthday cake with 125 burning copies of The Da Vinci Code on it.  (Kind of like it, but I’m sure it violates the fire code.)

            And as for those of you who have asked Uncle Blogsy to think back and just redo whatever they did when they opened the doors in 1887, remember this: there’s no discount for being Qt.

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