So, when I drive the girls to school,
I am usually barraged with driving advice,
requests to turn the music down -
(Both of those things are unwelcomed,
and rejected outright)
they ask me to do something I will actually agree to do.
There is not much I will agree to do.
and the procuring and supplying and whatever else,
gets a NO.
Complicated drop off and pickup requests,
that are outside of my carpool skill set?
But my Achilles' Heel?
I don't say no to books.
The girls know this,
as they live in a house full of books.
And also a house full of me screeching about whichever Kindle isn't cooperating,
and somebody fix it NOW.
But in the early morning,
with a good song on the radio?
I can't pay attention to all of that at once.
Plus a truck in front of me was driving all weird.
So I was like:
"I cannot hear you.
You are all talking all over each other,
blurring your book demands,
and also I like this song.
Write all the details down,
or text me,
and I will go after the gym."
Who knew this would lead to Metaphor Mayhem, Bookstore Edition?
I did not know that was a thing,
but it totally is a thing.
Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover,
But Do Know What That Means If You Work In A Bookstore.
Metaphor Mayhem, by Allison:
So I go into the bookstore,
gross and starving after the gym.
Those are not ideal conditions for me to engage in any type of anything.
But my girls want books!
I love books.
So much that it is totally,
completely a bad idea to let me loose in a bookstore.
Especially when holiday displays fetchingly display
Stuff I Didn't Know I Needed But Now Totally Need,
I Want That Also.
I realize within one second -
after entering the foyer?
Whatever it is when you open the first doors,
and there is a pile of marked down things all around,
before you enter the actual store?
is clearly The Foyer Of Misfit Books,
and I should move along.
It is a bad sign when I can't even get into the store.
I somehow thought a book called Weird Things,
plus one on How To Draw Horses,
were good purchase choices.
I should not be allowed unsupervised in a bookstore.
And I make myself stop trying to buy another castle book,
or another pocket sized Constitution
(we have four already but they are so handy and darling)-
And I march myself up to the help desk,
with my list of books for the girls.
And am greeted by Metaphorical Mayhem,
in the form of Dude at bookstore help desk.
He seemed perfectly nice,
and I pull out my phone for the girls' requests.
He has a computer or some such thing,
that can look up where things are.
So I am like:
"Hey. I need - "
(scrolling on my phone)
"A book called The Swap?
It apparently has a cover that looks like gravel,
with yellow ballet flats,
and a pair of sneakers on it also."
I am aware the author's name would have been helpful,
but I didn't have it.
E didn't give it to me.
she described the book's cover.
And bookstore dude started kind of hopping around.
I have never met a person who literally judged a book by its cover."
Ok, I was not up for this.
I decide to blot out the liberal use of "literally,"
because I am too tired and hungry to get worked up about that.
I choose to get worked up about the fact that HE IS WRONG.
He is wrong.
I am not judging a book by its cover.
I am describing the cover of the book.
"Um, I am really just describing the book cover,
so we can find it.
Judging a book by its cover is more like,
if I said it was a good book or a bad book just by first glance,
It also applies to people or places too,
but I am not doing that either."
"You are totally judging a book by its cover."
"Can we go find the book?"
And so we go towards the Young Adult section,
and I divert my eyes from all the stuff on tables,
luring me like a siren's call to BUY BUY BUY.
It was helpful that I was so baffled by this person who worked in a bookstore,
and yet did not seem to know what Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover means.
Isn't that like, on the application?
But it should be.
Because we find The Swap -
and get this?
Cover has gravel, yellow shoes, sneakers.
That is exactly what you said.
You really judged this book by its cover."
"No! No I did not.
I described the book's cover,
and we found it.
If I said it was a bad book or a good book,
based upon the gravel and shoes cover,
then I would be judging it.
I am not.
That phrase does not mean what you think it means."
(not even getting my Princess Bride reference) :
"Yes you did."
"Ok, the next book?"
(scrolling my phone)
I have a flash card on this one."
Because E wrote out a flash card detailing this book she wanted,
and put it in my purse.
She knows how to manage me.
I proffer my flash card,
"Out Of My Mind.
The cover has a fish jumping out of a bowl."
I show this to the dude.
waiting for the Metaphor Mayhem.
"This really judges a book by its cover!"
Which of course he says.
And I say:
This is a description of the book's cover.
It would be awesome if we could go find it?"
It does not occur to me to ditch this dude.
he is helping me find the books.
And also distracting me from buying everything I see,
and think I need,
because I am addled from the gym,
and carpool before that.)
We find the book.
To no one's surprise,
it does indeed have a fish jumping out of a bowl on the cover.
And to no one's surprise,
Dude is like:
That is just what she said.
Way to judge a book by its cover."
I really don't think he was just purposefully antagonizing me for sport.
He kind of had a zealot's glee about him.
he had been waiting for a long time to trot out the book/cover thing,
and I was the lucky recipient of pent-up Metaphor Mayhem.
V's list is next,
and she is as concise as her sister is verbose.
"This daughter wants Stephen King's The Stand."
(Thinking, Ha HA!!!
Book and author,
You cannot wreak metaphor havoc on this one.)
And Dude was kind of glum about this.
Too easy a task,
finding a giant book in a section of giant books written by famous author.
He perks up at the next item on the list.
It is written by Stephen King's son,
but he doesn't use that last name."
Dude is like:
"Well how will we find it?"
And at this point,
I have no idea what to do with this guy.
He is the opposite of helpful.
he is aggravating me enough to keep me from buying ten travel journals.
So silver lining?
But there is no father/son book display,
and Dude is flummoxed as to how we are going to find this book.
they have computer things to look this up.
Horns isn't that common of a name.
So I was like:
"I am pretty sure they made a movie of this book.
And I think the guy who played Harry Potter is in it.
I think we should look for a book with Daniel Radcliffe on it,
with horns growing out of his head."
wait for it:
you totally judged a book by its cover before seeing it!"
"That makes even less sense than the other stuff you have been saying.
I am guessing at a cover of a book I have not seen or read.
I am trying to find and buy it,
because my daughter wants to read it.
I am not judging it.
I don't know the first thing about it."
all smug like I just proved his point,
and he sank my Battleship?:
"Are you doing this on purpose?"
Let's look for Harry Potter with horns."
And lo and behold!
Horns has Harry Potter with horns on the cover.
I do not even know what to do at this point.
I am afraid he is going to start More Metaphor Mashup and Mangling.
I can barely handle the book/cover thing.
I consider snatching Horns and running off,
now that I have the books I have been tasked with purchasing.
But there is no way I can do that.
I would not know how the story ended!
Just like I have a personal rule to finish every book I start,
I have a rule to use my Pretend Ph.D. in People Watching for sociological purposes,
and I cannot cut bait now.
I need Dude to walk me to the line to check out,
so I won't buy anything random.
upon seeing Harry Potter with horns?
"Can I tell my manager about this?
I have never seen somebody judge a book by its cover before seeing the cover.
This is crazy."
"I'm sorry, I need to leave,
can I please get you to walk me to the checkout line?
I am at risk of buying origami kits or something.
That phrase does not mean what you think it means."
"Ok, cool. It will be our secret."
I start wondering if he even works at the bookstore.
But I check out,
no rogue purchases frantically made at the wicked Godiva and nightlight station.
And I flee.
And in case anyone is counting, this is Reason 1,493,574 Why I Want An Intern.
I can't take Metaphor Mayhem on an empty stomach.