Self-Testing Time

There’s something truly optimistic about the question I get about this time of year.People drop off thirty or forty shopping bags of books and say, “The Book Fair’s getting close. When does it start to get really crazy around here?”

You see it, of course. They’re assuming we have a time of year when things are not really crazy.

We have at least one person in our volunteer corps who would object to the whole concept. “Things are not crazy,” she would point out. “Only living, thinking things can be crazy. So it must be you or the donors.” Not everybody was cut out for the diplomatic corps.

So here’s a little test to determine where you fit in this equation. Yes, it is a tad slanted, but you can always write your own blog if you don’t like it.

1. You have been packing books in paper bags and the handles keep tearing off. Do you

a. Realize the handles are the problem and use bags without them?

b. Put the bags without handles into garbage bags, which you can tie up tight and lift by the tied part?

c. Decide to use those new bags that are twice as long as grocery bags, so you only lose half as many handles when you fill bags?

2. You have a set of encyclopedias which is missing the L volume, thanks to an old Christmas joke. Will you

a. Send them to the Book Fair with a note about the L volume?

b. Send them to the Book Fair in boxes way too big so all the volumes can be packed spine up, so people can see there’s no L volume?

c. Send them to the Book Fair mixed up with a lot of other books, with no more than three encyclopedias to a box because without the L volume the Book Fair will just sell each volume individually anyhow?

3. Great-Grandma’s cookbook is starting to fall apart. Will you

a. Put it in a bread bag before you add it to a box of books?

b. Wrap it in three layers of tissue paper before you tape a brown paper wrapper around it?

c. Pack it in a large box with six special books in it for special attention, allowing all six to bounce around in all that space and lose their covers?

4. The books from the basement smell a little funny. Should you

a. Use up those boxes in the garage which smell a little funny and get it all taken care of at once?

b. Toss a toilet deodorizer into the box?

c. Fill each box halfway with smelly books and then fill the rest with nice clean ones from upstairs, since the smelly ones will naturally take on the odor of the clean ones?

I have not provided the answers because these are, of course, trick questions. ALL the answers are correct because each describes an actual donation that has come in in the last thirty days.

So who’s crazy? Well, I’ve been working on these things for thirty years and…no, come back! That’s not…okay, maybe it is.

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