*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"What a drag it is getting old . . ."
--The Glimmer Twins, Mother's Little Helper
OLD PEOPLE WITH NOOKS (Part One)
This wasn't his first rodeo. Lieutenant Juan Carlos had been a beat cop for twenty years before he'd made detective. And he thought he had seen it all. He picked his way through the barricade of police cars and EMS vehicles, and then gingerly stepped over the the yellow crime scene tape. He paused to look up at the Barnes & Noble logo over the store doorway, shook his head, and strode inside.
Nothing could have prepared him for the carnage that lay before him. Several hover rounds were toppled over like ungainly dinosaurs with mottled skins of mismatched paint and Tea Party bumper stickers. With an attendant high-pitched whine, one of the scooters still had its rear wheels impotently spinning. Round and round. EMS technicians were administering first aid to broken and bloodied booksellers. There were books scattered across the floor, and small electronic devices of plastic and glass. He felt the hard crunch of glass beneath his shoe as he tiptoed his way towards the sales counter. Wilson, his partner, sidled up to him and handed him a foam cup full of warm coffee, then gestured over toward a bandaged bookseller perched on the counter, "Lieutenant, we got a live one here."
Juan took a sip of coffee, grunted affirmatively, and answered, "Man, that's good coffee. Are you ever going to tell me where you get this stuff?"
Wilson's eyes twinkled, "State secret, sir."
He chuckled, "You know I could find out if I really wanted to. I am a detective."
The bookseller had a look in his eye that Juan hadn't seen since he'd served in the first Gulf War. The faraway stare. What the lad had seen was so shocking that his brain was completely unable to process it. Shell-shocked. But worse.
Juan leaned down and asked quietly, "What's your name, son?
He said haltingly, "Bil . . . ly."
"Billy, can you tell me what happened here?"
Billy continued to stare into the distance, "I dunno, sir. They were like zombies. There was a whole mob of them shuffling towards us. They were pawing the air with one hand and holding up their Nooks with the other. They had flecks of spittle flying from their mouths as they mumbled the same things over and over again . . ."
Juan briefly made eye contact, "This is important Billy. What were they saying?"
Billy hesitated, "They were saying stuff like, 'What's a cart?' or 'Can I plug this into my computer?' or 'Can I watch Matlock on here?' It was horrible . . . horrible."
Wilson plucked a still glowing Nook from beneath his feet, "Let's see what we have on here . . . America (9781621572039) 29.99 by Dinesh D'Souza, Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas (9781621573135) 27.99 by Edward Klein, Ben Carson's One Nation (9781595231123) 25.95 and Tom Clancy's Support and Defend (9780399173349) 28.95. Well, if Tom Clancy wrote it, he'd have to be a zombie by now."
Juan ignored his last comment and sighed, "Yup, it's definitely old people."
Odds & Sods
For some inexplicable reason, there are not many good Michigan biking books available right now. Fortunately, Robert Downes has stepped into the breach with his new release, Biking Northern Michigan (9780990467007) 13.95. Just to be clear, this book only covers the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula, so as not to confuse our Yooper friends. But hey, it's a start . . .
At first I thought that Mark Rea's The Legends: Ohio State Buckeyes (9781939710109) 22.00 was one of those joke blank books like What Every Man Knows About Women. But apparently this is a legitimate book about their football program. Go figure . . .