Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mounting the Assault

The Pony is a victim of neglect. It shames me to admit such a heinous act of omission, but the truth is, The Pony has never set hoof inside a bookstore.

It's not like I'm trying to shelter him from the literary world. That boy reads all the time. He has a Kindle and a Kindle Fire. A bookshelf build along one wall of his room by Hick. He reads Clive Cussler, by cracky! We even have a library card for which we are ripped off $5.00 per person because we live outside the city limits. The problem is that there are no bookstores in Backroads.

When I was a kid, and an adolescent, and a young adult, a couple of bookstores tried to keep their papery heads above water in the Backroads small business lagoon. I suppose my purchases of a couple books every other week were not enough to keep them afloat. When they went under for the third time and entered Davy Jones's locker, I graduated to chains like B. Dalton at South County Mall, and Waldenbooks just across Lindbergh. The Pony has had to make do with Scholastic book orders, and my Amazon acumen. He is missing the whole bookstore ambiance. I fear he might believe that books are found under cabbage leaves, or delivered by the stork. I think it behooves me to expose The Pony to this cultural experience.

Add to my wacky Lucy-and-Ethel schemes a trip to The Book House on December 8th for a Chicken Soup signing by local authors. A foray fraught with more logistical machinations than the invasion of Normandy. Though the lure of a certain author with her magical butt encased in pajama jeans was strong, a visit to All on the Same Page was out. The Pony has his first high school academic meet at 9:00 a.m. I was not averse to a jaunt to St. Charles to drop by Main Street Books and, perhaps, partake of some gaming activities afterward. Alas, casinos are not Pony-friendly, and if his team gets knocked out of the smarts tournament early-on, The Pony has his bowling league at noon. So that left The Book House. Which looks perfectly charming and mysterious, if one is to judge a bookstore by its website.

Not only is Crocs aficionado Sioux signing books at The Book House, but Donna Volkenannt, a latter-day Erma Bombeck, will be there as well. I am not familiar enough with Beth M. Wood to skewer her on this page, but I have read about her exploits on Sioux's blog. So there you have it. If Linda "Eagle Eye" O'Connell makes good with her comment threat to show up at that venue, I could kill four birds with one stone. WAIT! I'm not going to kill you! Really. There will be witnesses. And I'm not a very good stone thrower. Back-knifing is more my style. WAIT! I will be unarmed. I promise. Will any menfolk be present to entertain Hick? His favorite topics are goats, chickens, flea market finds, and fixing machines. He's not exactly a bibliophile.

For anybody planning to invade my rural compound while I am way, let my forewarning forearm you. This means you, Publisher's Clearing House, student fundraiser beggars, Mormon missionaries, Jehovah's Witnesses bestowing gifts of The Watchtower, revenuers looking for a still down by Hick's creekside cabin, government operatives snooping into my conspiracy beliefs, and Wet Bandits. Genius will be home. Strapping seventeen-year-old Genius, who turns eighteen in less than two weeks. He is well-versed in paintball warfare. And he is sitting on Hick's lifetime arsenal of mostly legal weapons. Oh, and any of you thinking of nabbing him for a hefty ransom...his nickname (in my mind) is Red Chief. And he has expensive tastes.

If the planets align, the biorhythms of the Thevictorian family all peak at the same time, and Even Steven is willing...I hope to see some of you at the The Book House on December 8th, between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.


  1. Crossing my fingers and eyes for the alignment of all things related to destiny, kismet and good fortune for you Val. And if anyone tries to ransom Red Chief while you are gone I'll bet there'd be a great story in it about how the kidnappers end up having to pay the you to take him back. Oh, wait...nevermind.

  2. I know you will wear a mask and a fluorescent-colored wig, and that is how we will know you.

    If you're into chocolate, I will bring a batch of my fudge for you (with walnuts or without--you choose).

    Hopefully the traffic jams and the crowds of clamoring press--which will happen when people find out Val is coming to BigCityLand--will not delay you in any way.

  3. One can judge a store by its website! Just be sure you look for the sign that we intend to put balloons on, because The Book House is hard to see from the road. I will be attending all three, so hope we're there at the same time. I'm not sure about culture, but The Pony will definitely be exposed to chocolate.

  4. How exciting for you. I can say I knew you way back when!

  5. Leenie,
    Thanks for crossing me. As for Red Chief Genius...that reminds me of the time Hick sold his watch to get me some combs for my hair, and I sold my lovely locks to buy him a fob for his watch, and...well...there's probably a story there, too.

    So now my face is not presentable, and I am beset with female pattern baldness, eh? You, Madam, should not presume to know how I shall dress. I am a woman! Not an elephant man!

    Of course I am into chocolate. You really don't need to go to the trouble of the fudge. But without nuts is fine. Perhaps I could trade you a bit of my World Famous Chex Mix.

    I feel bad for the environment, what with the ticker tape parade that is sure to break out when I cross into the city limits.

    I see. A house well-versed in the intricacies of hide-and-seek. Hopefully a house cannot outsmart a generic Garmin. All three? You'd better wear your pajama jeans for comfort. And to keep your prolific butt hidden. We don't need The Pony exposed to anything besides chocolate.

    Yes. Back when I never left the basement except to procure a 44 oz. Diet Coke and some gas station chicken.