Well, Yes and No | Newberry

Well, Yes and No

I have no notion why people don’t believe every word I say. Certain of my readers, however, come to ask me about this or that in the blog, generally beginning with “Did you really….” At least they’re too polite to call me a barefaced liar. Or they feel my whiskers invalidate the phrase.

So to answer just a few of these inquires:

YES, we really did get an LP which proudly states it is by the only secular Polish choir in Connecticut. We have quite a number of Polish LPs this year, which have been difficult for me to sort, reading, as I do, mighty little Polish. If I see a 19th century folk dress or an accordion, they go into Folk Music, and if not, into Easy Listening. Having John Paul II on the cover moves it somewhere else.

NO, I don’t really know how many SACRED Polish choirs there are in Connecticut. Somehow, I don’t think of Connecticut as a major Polish area. (We’ll be fair: compared to the Greater Chicago Area, nothing short of Warsaw is a major Polish area.)

YES, someone really gave us a copy of The Joy of Sex which had phone numbers written on the cover. My theory is that it was the same size and shape as the suburban phone directory and….

NO, I have not called the phone numbers to see if I can sell the book to whomever answers. The very idea is an insult to my integrity and, anyhow, there aren’t any area codes,

YES, a miniature antique carpet, mounted for hanging on the wall, did come in a few months ago. This came from the lady who gave us the needlepoint picture which operates as a personality test: half the people who see it think it’s obscene, and the other half just can’t obscee it somehow.

NO, it is not a Navajo carpet. I misunderstood the donor completely on that. It is from somewhere in the Middle East, and very lovely, and also serves as a personality test. So far nobody who has come to look at it has been able to resist stroking the material and saying “Hmmmmm” in a deeply significant tone. Does everyone in Chicago know about Oriental carpets? Did someone forget to mail me the manual when I moved in?

YES, people still call me up and ask “You don’t take paperbacks, do you? Well, you don’t want cookbooks, right?”

NO, I do not scream at these people. Anybody who believes we don’t take cookbooks or paperbacks has never been to the Book Fair, and I feel we should be kind to people who are culturally deprived.

YES, someone gave us a massive collection of comedy recordings. You will find them at the Book Fair in the record boxes marked Comedy/Spoken Word, mixed in among the Franciscan Sermons and the How To Learn Swedish discs.

NO, you will not need proof of age to browse among the Ruth Wallis or Rusty Warren records. If you know what an LP is, that’s probably a sign you’re old enough.

YES, we did get a mighty collection of books about one of the most collected personalities of modern history, most of them marked up to a fare thee well by the famous collector who amassed the library. “Well, he was making them his own,” said one of my volunteers who likes to argue for the other team. “Well,” I said, “Then he should have taken them with him.”

NO, I am not going to tell you whom the books are about, for fear of a massive rush of customers. (But he did tend to stick one hand inside his coat. I say he was smuggling a paperback romance to read during dull moments during the Battle of Waterloo.)

YES, there is such a thing as tapioca meatloaf.

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