Wednesday, August 26, 2015

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK AGAIN

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"You underestimate the power of the dark side . . ."
                                                                                     --Darth Vader

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK AGAIN
(The camera shows our solar system in a wide angle shot.  The camera begins to zoom in until Earth is fixed in the center of the screen.  It continues to zoom in until we see a futuristic whitewashed building, and finally the lens bursts through the ceiling and into a high school classroom.)

Darth Nebulous:  Welcome Sith apprentices to your first day of class at Grand Moff Tarkin High School.  I am Darth Nebulous, your language teacher.  Don't bother googling my name unless you are a fan of baking contests.  Unfortunately, I missed out on most of the action during the Second Sith War and the re-establishment of the Empire.  My service in the name of Emperor Palimpest was on the fringes of the revolt, hence, my name.  However, I have learned the ways of the 'dark side' to become a first rate English instructor and a two-time champion of the Imperial bakeoff.  In front of each of you, there is a copy of the Imperial Handbook (9781452145280) 19.95.  Do not lose it.  Do not deface it.  If either of these events occur, your parents will have to pay to replace this textbook . . .


(A young acolyte raises his hand to ask a question.)

Darth Nebulous:  I would prefer you save your questions until I am done.

Young Acolyte:  But Lord Nebulous, what if me and my twin sister are orphans?

(Nebulous clenches his hand into a fist.  The acolyte starts to squirm in his seat gasping for breath.  Nebuous opens his hand and the acolyte pitches forward on his desk, wheezing uncontrollably.)

Darth Nebulous:  As I said, I would prefer that you save your questions until the end of my lecture.  As for our first reading assignment, you will need to purchase a copy of  Lt. Dan Marcou's new book, Law Dogs: Great Cops in American History (9781933272528) 16.95.  The Empire thrives on both discipline and a respect for authority.  Much like the Wild West, the days of the Republic were a time of turmoil and destruction, but eventually, lawmen like Wild Bill Hickock were able to bring order to this chaos.  Dan's book illustrates the importance of law enforcement in a humanoid society.  After that we will read a short story collection, Let Me Tell You (9780812997668) by Shirley Jackson.  Her story The Lottery perfectly encapsulates the Imperial doctrine.  (The bell rings and his voice rises as students leave their seats.)  Tomorrow, we will examine the syllabus for this class!  Also, Lightsaber Making 101 has been moved to room 461!  Room 461!


Odds & Sods

I am quite fond of potato chips.  My favourite brand:  Better Made.  This is the 85th anniversary of Better Made, which was founded in east Detroit on a local stovetop.  So what 'better' way to celebrate this auspicious occasion than purchasing a copy of Better Made in Michigan (9781626199859) 21.99 by Karen Dybis?  Also, my favourite flavour is BBQ . . .



If you thought three new books on Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines weren't enough for this upcoming football season -- fret no more.  Rich Wolfe has cranked out another one, Take This Job and Love It!:  Jim Harbaugh (9780996324748)  21.99 and it releases on November 15.  Let the games begin!