Today is the day we take our shoes and socks off and run squealing around the bookstore: yes, we have carpet.
From this angle things are looking rather spiffy, no? Like we could just bung up a few shelves, slap some books on ’em, and fling open our doors to the public. Unfortunately, we have other angles, and from the one below it is apparent that we are… not quite there yet.
Meanwhile, we’ve been trying to find a nice table for the store. We pictured a giant 10-foot communal dealio, a place where people could sit and read, write in their journals, pass flirtatious-but-nonthreatening notes to charming strangers, and generally have a rollicking (spill-free) good time. Sort of like this, but with less sand and more prose poetry:
Our first thought: reclaimed railway car boards. What stories they could tell! And who wouldn’t want to prop open their Steinbeck on an old piece of railway lumber? Sadly, it turns out railway cars are made from 8-foot boards. Way to be not very multipurposeful, railway car manufacturers! Then we found a company selling old wood from the bottom of semi-trucks. The boards were the perfect size and the samples looked great, so we placed an order. Alas, the wood they sent us was filthy, scratched, filled with holes, and generally just sort of… gross. If this wood was telling a story, that story was: Help us! Help us, please! We are thirty-seven rabid raccoons trapped in the back of a semi-truck and we are going to claw, chew, bite, and basically destroy our way out of this hellhole! A dramatic story, to be sure, but not one we want told at our bookstore. So one of our less meek staff members threw the necessary tantrum and our money was promptly returned.
Naturally, our next thought was: bowling lanes! Yep, we found a guy on Craigslist selling 10-foot secondhand bowling lanes. Sounds ideal, right? We went to check them out, and the wood was lovely. Lovely, indeed. But the man selling the wood? Let’s just say he was… aggressively eccentric. We selected our piece o’ lane and asked him to give us a quote for fashioning it into a table: he gave us a quote and a bunch of dumb jokes. Now, we like a dumb joke as much as the next person (possibly even more than the next person, if it’s the one about the ferret, the onion, and the Swiss soccer team), but when the person telling the jokes is a stranger in possession of a dismantled bowling lane, and his chosen mirthful topics include the awfulness of Obama, the awfulness of our car, and speculations re. the romantic status of the two Malvernians present… well, it was all rather awkward. Thankfully, his quote was outrageously high, and although we are sad to be sans bowling lane, we are not sad to be sans jokes.
And so the hunt for a table continues. What next? Bunk-bed slats from a decommissioned submarine? The lid of a grand piano that was pulled by a Clydesdale from a mysterious Romanian bog? Watch this space…