Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Magnificent Ambersons
Okay. Okay. Am doing it.
So, here's the thing: I have a really, really big fine at the Brooklyn Public Library. I think it's from The Illusionist, or some other DVD you wouldn't necessarily pay to rent but at the library it looks pretty good but it's annoying that that's what the fine's for. Anyway, my local branch has this kind of creepy librarian in very, very tight hip-huggers and a ponytail who, a long time ago, waived a fine for me in a very significant and insinuating way and now acts like we have a special secret. And the thing about this branch is, they don't have a book drop, so you have to hand it to the librarian, which in addition to being awkward if it's late, in my case necessitates contact with the creepy guy. I tried to determine his hours so as to go when he wasn't there, and soon learned that his hours are: always.
I decided to splash out on a new copy. Or, at any rate, a used one. I hit the Strand the other day with this in mind, and of course they didn't have it (although I did get this really good new cookbook, Eric Kayser's Tarts) and it was filled with teenage litterati. Since I was eager to jump into my self-improvement campaign, I bit the bullet and hied me away to the Court Street Barnes and Noble. I was faced with the choice of a really nice Penguin edition with a Winslow Homer painting on the cover, and the crummy, salmon-pink house paperback from the "Classics" table, that looks like it's for assigned summer reading. The price differential was five bucks, and the choice was clear. I took my crappy copy to the front of the store.
While I was on line for the register, a group of fratty guys materialized behind me, and one of them started talking on the phone very audibly, while his friends all stood around sniggering.
"Yeah, there's this chick in front of me in line," he said, "and she's running around the store in this weird little dress. I'd like to see her in some tight jeans and a halter top."