Stuff I'm Still Working On | Page 53 | Newberry

Stuff I'm Still Working On

Have I mentioned we’d like you to hold off on donating things for a while now? (I know I have, flourless torte; I just wanted YOU to say so so I know you noticed.) This is so we can all get a few little this-and-thats done before the Book Fair. See, I would like nothing better than simply to sort, price, and pack books all year-round, but they insist on having this sale thingie, and things need to get done or get set aside for another year. I thought you’d like to know what I do when I’m not going through your boxes of books (which you’re not bringing in now until after Labor Day, right?)

Harry Potter: I mentioned these signed Harry Potters that came in during last week’s surge. Well, now I have to renew my faith in human nature by proving, at least to my own satisfaction, that they aren’t forgeries by comparing signatures, checking on the reputastion of the book dealer who vouched for one of them, and so on. Tme-consuming and probably pointless. It all comes down to whether the customer has any faith in the Book Fair Manager. The last polls showed me about three points behind Severus Snape and eight points behind a big-haired feller who used to be governor.

Audio-Visual: I have a lot of nice discs for your collection this year, and I want price stickers on ‘em. That sign last year “All LPs one dollar a disc” had its advantages, but some people didn’t realize an LP and a 78 are different things and, after all, if all discs are a dollar it means I can’t charge five dollars for that rare original pressing of the Brady Bunch theme. And I did mention that donor with the thousand cassettes, each wrapped in an individual sandwich bag, right?

Jigsaw Puzzles: No, Virginia Ham, Uncle Blogsy does not put all the puzzles together to make sure all the pieces are there. I have a really good helper to put stickers on these. But I also have a lot of puzzles and games coming in and I often set them aside for a long time because I can’t really box them up and send them away like books. If, in putting together a shipment for the warehouse, somebody tossed a box of books on top of a box of puzzles, breaking the box and sending pieces from ten different puzzles flying around the room, someone would have to shoot me with a tranquilizer dart before I killed the miscreant (and all the miscreant’s descendants to the seventh generation.) And our budget does not allow for tranquilizer darts. (I might be able to manage an aspirin dart.)

Now, I can hear some of you saying “Piece of cake! I could get that all done without taking three weeks!” Ah, but you don’t have the phone ringing with plaintive voices crying, “I know I missed the deadline but can’t I bring in my thirty boxes of old New Yorkers?” And you don’t have people knocking at the door to tell you they’ve brought in thirty banana boxes of books on guppies, without asking. And you don’t know how many other little chores here and there your old Uncle Blogsy has to get through. (They don’t make me audition the T-shirt models, but I have to hold myself in readiness in case I’m called on.)

I’d swap some of these signed Harry Potters for that Elder Wand he’s not using. Might come in handy. 

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