Monthly Archives: June 2007

Will Write for Food

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The very best thing about going to conference is coming home to a houseful of adoring cats. The kids haven’t left my side since I’ve returned from DC. Gremlin was so happy to have me back that she’s sneaked into the bedroom two nights in a row to sleep with me. Gremmy Lou used to sleep with me every night, but since Bubby joined us, she’s been too scared to go into the bedroom. This is a timid creature we’re talking about here. She puts the pussy in pussy cat. But she’s been so happy to have me back that she’s crept around the minotaur guarding the door to hop into bed with me.

ALA was great. I met up with some old friends, like Marian Librarian; I met in person some friends I’d only known online, like Nonanon and Guybrarian; I met ricklibrarian, who gave me a nice shout-out on his blog, despite my being a total stranger; and I met a lot of famous types (not counting those just mentioned).

I would like to tell you who the famous types were, but there’s a problem: There’s nothing more pathetic than library name-dropping. Celebrity name-dropping is okay (“I lunched with John Malkovich, then dropped in for tea with Susan Sarandon”), and even political name-dropping has its points (“Barack and I went out for martinis, then I went bowling with Nancy Pelosi”), but it’s lame to mention that I met Nancy Pearl.

Though, actually, I did. It was embarrassing. Guybrarian introduced us:

“Nancy, I want you to meet Jessica Zellers,” said Guybrarian.

“Hi,” I said, acting casual, despite having three Nancy Pearl action figures. People keep giving them to me for Christmas.

“Hi,” said Nancy, looking bewildered. It was painfully obvious that she had no idea who she was meeting.

I managed to embarrass myself a bit on a different evening with a different library honcho. Upon learning her name, I said “Ah! That sounds familiar! Where have I heard it?”

She then (with no conceit, mind you) proceeded to list about a dozen possibilities. She’s an editor, an author, a lecturer, a conference presenter—you name it, she’s done it in library-land. If I had slogged through library school and two years of professional experience with my eyes squeezed shut and my fingers in my ears, I would still have known this lady. So, though “That sounds familiar!” was an acceptable response upon learning her name, a more appropriate comment would have been “Holy shit, I couldn’t have written my master’s paper without your research.”

There’s one other library celeb I’m gonna mention. That’d be my boss, Melville. He seems like such an ordinary guy at work, doing the same sorts of things that other library supervisors do. He makes our weekly schedules and he deals with unruly patrons so the rest of us don’t have to. He does, you know, admin stuff. He seems like a normal, likeable person.

It’s just a clever disguise. He’s still a likeable person, don’t get me wrong, but he’s modest enough that his celebrity status is largely kept under wraps at work. Following him around at conference was awesome because I got to bask in the reflected glory. Big famous library people were falling all over themselves to say hi to Melville. Somewhere in the process I got to meet them, too.

Meeting big famous library people is a keen goal of mine. It’s not because I want to meet them, per se, though in nearly every case I do. It’s fun talking shop with experts. But right now, I want to meet big famous library people so that they will pay me to write.

This here blog is a year old now. I update it at least once a week, sometimes more. I’d like to think that it’s a fun read, that maybe I bring a few chuckles to folks with it. I don’t have many readers, but I strive to entertain them.

I also write a few things privately, for fun. I’ve written a few professional articles. I blogged the hell out of ALA (and with very positive feedback, I might note). I’m writing one, probably soon to be two, library books. I write for NoveList.

Problem is, there’s no monetary payoff, except for NoveList (and boy howdy, did that eviscerate my tax returns this year. Caeser got hisself rendered unto in a big way). Royalties from the books will pay me at some point in the distant future, but they’re not likely to be bestsellers. Nothing else I write pays a dime.

So my plan is to sit here passively and hope that someone will stumble across my writing and decide to hire me. A library bigwig will do, or a publisher, or anyone really, so long as the person has a lot of money.

The plan is brilliant in its simplicity, yes? It’s practically guaranteed to succeed.

So… mmkay, I’m doing my part! I’m sitting here passively! Come on, writing gigs, start rolling in!


ALA mode

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It is with great regret that Jessica Kennedy-Rockefeller announces that her blog will not be updated for several days, perhaps a week. Aside from her typical responsibilities (rescuing African orphans, replanting the rain forests, bringing peace to the Middle East, and single-handedly reversing global warming), she has additional duties this week in her official profession, librarianship. For instance, she has to write a rough draft of a book proposal for the second book she’s planning to write. It is due tomorrow and she has not even started. She would be working on it right now, but she realizes her obligation to her legions of fans, who would be devastated without a blog posting to tide them over.

Already this week she has had a feature article published in Readers Advisor News. It was very favorably mentioned by ricklibrarian, though of course that is to be expected. Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller wishes to make it very, very clear that this man is not delusional. He is not, repeat not, suffering from any misapprehensions. Absolutely everything he expressed, explicitly and implicitly, is completely reasonable.

The rumor that Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller is professionally inexperienced and virtually unknown, that she is simply very lucky to happen to work daily with several superstars of the library world, that she is essentially a great big fraud—it is a lie, a damnable lie. There is no truth to the rumor whatsoever. If she were not so reluctant to jeopardize her Nobel Peace Prize, she would wish to see the rumor-mongers drawn and quartered.

Later this week, Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller will be attending the annual conference of the American Library Association. As in all other facets of her life, Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller will divide her time at ALA between gracing others with her presence at social events and working selflessly to better the profession.

On Friday evening, for example, she will be dining at a restaurant where the average meal costs the same as a week’s pay. She thanks God she will not be footing the bill. She is wondering if she can get into the restaurant wearing an outfit composed of thrift store finds (total value: $5), including a flattering brown ecru top and a white hausfrau skirt with blue flowers. Or at least it was white, until she washed it with an orange skirt. Now it is a hausfrau skirt with blue flowers and an inconsistent pink tinge. She had thought the orange skirt was too old to bleed in the laundry. Yet who would have thought the old skirt to have had so much blood in it?

Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller will also be blogging the RA sessions at the conference. Her faithful readers will not find these inspired, poignant summaries at this website, but rather at the all-new Reader’s Advisor Online Blog. She fervently hopes that her four-year-old laptop does not die a sudden death, as it has been threatening to. She knows it will not go gentle into that good night. Everyone will kindly keep his or her fingers crossed.

Besides the myriad requests for the pleasure of her company, and her goal to blog as many RA sessions as possible, Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller will also be visiting with vendors and attending other sessions. Because she is, after all, an Electronic Resources Librarian, it would make sense for her to go to some technology sessions, though frankly she is sick and tired of 2.0. Maybe there will be some comfortable, pleasantly dull database sessions. Nothing trendy. If she hears one more word about flickr or YouTube she will scream. She has nothing against online social networking trends, but they have become so (belatedly) fashionable among libraries that now every other presenter at conference is trying to get on the 2.0 bandwagon.

Alas, Mr. Kennedy-Rockefeller must stop writing now to get her beauty sleep, though she is quite beautiful enough already, thank you very much. It was just a figure of speech. She has to rise early to meet with Hairdresser Jeff who, God willing, will do something with the purple mop on her head.

Happy Motherfuckers’ Day

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Not until I was eighteen and safely tucked away at college did I get the nerve to wish my father a Happy Motherfuckers’ Day, though I had conceived of this naughty pun somewhere back in middle school. Fortunately he thought it was funny, and now I wish him a Happy Motherfuckers’ Day ever year.

You see why my father and I get along.

I have been thinking about gender a lot lately.

Er… that’s misleading. I’ve been thinking about gender nearly my whole life, starting when I was a naked heathen child in Mississippi. Mississippi is not a good place for people like me, who prefer the climes of, say, Siberia, or Saskatchewan. Mississippi is not a good place for anybody, now that you mention it.

The nakedness was a result of the heat. I ran around in undies or less, save for those times when we went out in public. It’s still my preferred clothing style. Unfortunately the dress code at the library is rather conservative, i.e., clothes must be worn at all times. I spent every possible Mississippi moment in our plastic pool outside, and I sported an unfashionable but practical short bowl cut, which prevented heat rashes from growing on my neck.

“Short hair on a five year old,” in this country, means “boy.” Hence the beginnings of my gender issues. I was upset every time a stranger would compliment my mother on her lovely little boy. Couldn’t they sense the girlness emanating from me?

Nowadays, I generally hover solidly on the feminine side of the gender spectrum, at least on the outside: I frequently wear gendered clothing (skirts, dresses, feminine shoes) and I sometimes wear makeup, though for over a year now I’ve sported a short haircut; I’m curvy enough that no one will ever mistake me for a male.

I love wearing skirts. They’re so comfy! I feel for the fellas out there; unless they are imminently likely to pick up some bagpipes, they can’t be caught dead in a skirt.

Other bits of the female gender appearance are less pleasing to me. I hate shaving my legs. I don’t mind having smooth legs, but I despise the chore and I resent that society expects me to.

I truly hate shaving my, ahem, “bikini line.” What a lousy euphemism. It’s a crotch, or a groin, or any number of other descriptive terms, but I do not wear bikinis. By that logic I don’t think I have a bikini line.

But last night, after years of glorious, untamed pubic hair growth, I took a razor to my poor vulnerable groin. Because of some stupid societal norm that makes no sense whatsoever, women can’t go swimming with pubic hair visible outside their swimsuits. As there will be a pool at my hotel in DC this coming weekend, I’d like the option to go swimming.

I rummaged in my old, old, old swimming suit pieces last night and finally found a combination that doesn’t recall a bovine. Not too much, anyway. There’s a modest orange top and… well, I really didn’t have any bottoms to go with it. Things could have become very frustrating, until I decided to look in my underwear drawer. Lo and behold, I found a pair of green Lycra undies, a lovely match to the orange swimmie tank top. There’s no way anyone’s ever going to know that I’m wearing underwear rather than a proper swimsuit bottom. Unless they, um, read this.

So anyway. I shaved. My girl parts look naked. I don’t like it.

And then there’s the razor burn. Yeeouch.

But as I was trying to say, I’ve spent my whole life thinking about gender. Thought about it when I was young, thought about it in college as a Women’s Studies major, thought about it in grad school, think about it now, in my personal and my professional life both. Doesn’t hurt that I’m writing a book about women’s nonfiction. That makes me think about it, too. And the nonfiction book I’m reading at the moment is a lovely examination of sex and gender. Woman: An Intimate Geography, by Natalie Angiers, looks at the biology of women. The prose is luscious and witty. Ms. Angiers could write about basket weaving or yaks and I’d read it.

Persepolis and I had a conversation about gender and genre the other day at work. She mentioned that two genres were flying off the shelves of her obscenely popular book display, Beach Reads.

Romance was one of the genres. I know who reads those. But the other genre was Thrillers.

“Hmmm,” I wondered. “What defines the Thriller reader? Male, female? Young, old? White, black, in between?”

“It’s everyone,” said Persepolis. “Everyone likes a good Thriller.”

I think she’s right. Thrillers may be the most crowd-pleasing genre out there. Everyone likes a good story, the defining characteristic of the Thriller. But they often have good characters, a swift pace, and accessible language. The typical Thriller doesn’t make a lot of intellectual demands of the reader, and it often delivers an interesting setting, a suspenseful atmosphere, and maybe a love interest or two. Yay for Thrillers. It’s probably the most gender-neutral genre out there.

Later that day we talked about Southern Literature. Persepolis asked a startling question: “Who are the new voices in Southern Lit from the past ten years?” And, darn it, we were stumped.

Bastard Out of Carolina!” I yelled at one point, only to discover that it was published in 1992. Niet!

I finally found one, Cold Mountain. But the question made me think about Southern Lit. I think it’s dying. There are still authors writing Southern Lit (Clyde Edgerton, T. R. Pearson– blech–, Kaye Gibbons), but there aren’t many new folks going at it.

I think it’s a dying genre, just like the Western is slowly but surely dying. We all know that Westerns were primarily read by men, which made me wonder: was Southern Lit the female answer to the Western? Strong sense of setting, violence (though oftentimes emotional rather than physical), compelling, often tragic figures…

I’m not sure who the readers of Southern Lit are, or were. I may never know.

Enough speculating over a dying genre. Time to work on mustering excitement for a growing genre, Women’s Nonfiction. Go, Women’s Nonfiction, go! Woohoo! Hooray for Women’s Nonfiction!

Makes you want to pre-order my book, doesn’t it?

Public v. Academic Libraries: Smackdown

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Last night’s bedtime conversation was typical.

“Girls! Bedtime!”

Bub looked at me.

“Kids! I mean kids, not girls! You, too, Bub! It’s bedtime!”

Then I climbed into bed, set the alarm for 4.5 hours later (I’ve GOT to start going to bed earlier), turned the lights out, and waited.

No one came.

“Kids!” I tried again, in what I hoped was an inviting, sing-song voice. “Bedtime!”


“Time to snuggle!”

More nothing.

I started with the threats. “Kitties who don’t want to snuggle have no place in THIS household.”


“You’re going back to the pound first thing tomorrow, every one of you.”

No cats.

“This is the entire reason why single women get cats. You all understand that, right?”

Apparently they did not understand this. I fell asleep alone, but then reneged on my threat to take them back to the pound in the morning, because Bub was sprawled atop me, purring and being all cuddly. You have to understand that this is a large animal. This is a significant mass of cat to have conked out on one’s tummy. It is a warm, comforting, lovely sensation, and I was half tempted to call in Cat to work. (“Can’t come in. Cat cuddle’s got me down.”)

But go to work I did. There was an extra incentive today, a tour of the local academic library. I’m glad I work in a public library, but visiting this college made me wistful for Library of Congress. I appreciate that LC is impractical for a public library—it’d be a nightmare to find the fiction—but I’ll never be a Dewey convert.

Most of us public librarians privately suspect that academics have the easier jobs. Academic librarians only need to worry about faculty, staff, and students, not the great mass of humanity. These folks have a more specialized set of needs; they are, by definition, educated; and on the whole they are far more savvy about the internet. Based on my limited experience in academic libraries, I’d say it’s easier to serve academic patrons than the glorious public at large.

“But we have to worry about publishing,” protest the academic librarians. “And committees and politics.”

Bugger that. We have committees and politics, too, and as for publishing… I wrote two articles this week, thank you very much, and both were accepted, thank you very much again. (And thank you, Readers Advisor Online and Virginia Libraries.) I’ll be blogging a bunch of sessions at ALA, I write bi-monthly columns for NoveList, and I’m writng a library science book. I don’t have to do any of this, mind you. I do because I enjoy the professional development. Don’t talk to me about publish or perish.

After the tour, I took Bookish Jet out to lunch, as tomorrow is her birthday. We both had the tomato soup (scrumptious with some cheese sprinkled on it) and the salad bar (modest, but very tasty). We are both trying to become svelte. Mexican food is not the most direct path to svelteness, we have reluctantly concluded, so salads are becoming a mainstay for us after yoga class.

Speaking of yoga, did I mention the marvelous summer pass I purchased? For $130, I get to attend all the yoga classes I want between now and the end of August. It is heavenly.

Prior to discovering yoga, there was absolutely no physical exercise I enjoyed, save hiking (difficult, with no mountains around here) and swimming (impossible, considering my refusal to be seen in a swimsuit. I’d rather skinny dip than put on lycra to accentuate my tummy. Most swimming pools frown on naked swimming, alas. Some people are so narrow-minded.) I always got testy when people talked about how much they loved a particular exercise. I still get testy, now that you mention it.

So I won’t go into detail about how much I love yoga. Besides, there’s no way I can describe the awesome pose I learned the other night. Nor can I remember the Sanskrit word for the pose, so you’re safe. (But it’s awesome.)

Gonna spend this evening indulging in pleasure reading. Tomorrow will start with yoga, and then I’m going to get serious about the book. And then I’m going to have to start planning for ALA.

More responsible librarians would perhaps first consider what sessions to attend at ALA. Bully for them. I, for one, need to maintain the reputation of Jessica Kennedy-Rockefeller. Firstly: what color hair should I have? Now that Loreal’s Copper Blast has mostly faded, I am primed to apply a new color. Should I bleach it out to a spunky blonde? Should I switch back to my perennial favorite, bluish-black? Should I go with my librarian shocker, Chilled Plum?

Decisions, decisions.

Then I need to honestly evaluate whether I’ve been eating enough salads to squeeze into the hot pink pants. Feasible idea, or just pathetic?. Or how about my polka dot dress? It has to be worn with a strapless bra; is it delusional for a woman of my bearing to attempt it? Can I perhaps disguise matters with the shawl I stole from Mom a few years ago?

And academic librarians I have an easy job. Hrmph!

A new take on Open Access

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Quiz time! Jessica should

A) Work on her article
B) Work on her other article
C) Work on her other other article
D) Work on her book
E) Read for pleasure
F) Blog

Hint: Four of these answers are equally correct.

…got it figured out yet?

Answer: Jessica should get her ass moving on her writing assignments. Doesn’t matter which one. At this point, ANY sort of productivity would be a welcome change.

It may surprise you that I’m not choosing to squander the evening on choice E), reading for pleasure.

I take that back. It should be pretty bloody obvious that I’m blogging. You are reading this blog post; ergo, I have chosen to blog.

I’d be reading, but none of the fourteen books on my floor are calling to me. Or rather, thirteen of them are not calling to me, while Jack Whyte’s third book in the Camulod chronicles is crying to me in a plaintive, lonely sort of way. It’s very touching, very compelling, and it is taking quite a bit of willpower to resist. The problem is that The Eagle’s Brood is a fat, slow-paced, bug-crushing historical novel. I can’t commit to it right now.

Tonight I think I’ll touch on a topic that I’ve been meaning to discuss for well over a year, longer than this blog has even existed. I’ve written extensively about my peculiar sexual orientation. By “extensively,” I mean “in such comprehensive detail that readers are both embarrassed by the personal content and bored by the sheer length.”

Embarrassed AND bored. Impressive, if you ask me. Hard to provoke both reactions simultaneously. That’s talent, that is.

Permit me to exercise that talent again. I am going to embarrass you to boredom, and bore you to embarrassment, with part II of my treatise on sexual orientation.

Last time I talked quality. Now I’m going to talk quantity.

Here is my two-pronged thesis:

I prefer open relationships, and I prefer polyamorous relationships.

Some vocab: open relationships are those that permit the principle parties to seek fulfillment (usually understood to mean sexual fulfillment) from other people.

Polyamorous relationships are those that involve three or more people.

A polyamorous relationship can be open, but it does not have to be. A traditional, two-person relationship can be open, but it does not have to be.

Let’s get a few things clear before I go any further. For starters, I realize that these are foreign ideas to most of you. They contradict social norms. It’s hard to accept the legitimacy of poly and open relationships. If it seems weird or wrong to you, well… I wish I could convince you otherwise, but I don’t blame you at all if you don’t buy into it.

Let me make one other thing very, very clear: I do not condone cheating. Adhering to the vows you’ve made with your lover(s) is honorable.

Enough disclaiming.

First thing: I’ve slowly developed my thoughts on relationships based on my personal experiences through the years, and based on a brilliant book by Dan Savage, The Commitment. This is one of those exceedingly rare books that I think everyone should read.

You can do yourself a favor and stop reading this post now. Go read Mr. Savage instead. He says everything I’m going to try to say, but he says it a lot better, and he’s really, really, really funny, as in Snorting Tea Out Your Nose funny. The Wilhelmsplatz library doesn’t own it, but don’t worry. I have several copies.

Let’s start with open relationships, and why I think they’re a good idea…

With a few interesting, short-lived exceptions, I have been resolutely single and celibate for the past two years, ever since moving here. (Virginia is for lovers, my ass.) Prior to that I had two long-term relationships back-to-back, with precious little sex in either. We’re talking months at a time of chaste pecks on the cheek.

In all of my relationships, no matter how enamored I was, I found myself attracted to other people. Really attracted, not just idly interested. I didn’t want to have to pick one person or the other. I wanted both.

I felt terrible about it, just wretched. Remember: I don’t like the idea of cheating. I worried that something was fundamentally wrong with me because I couldn’t contain my interests, no matter how fabulous the person.

Good old hindsight: I had these problems because I’m a polyamorist at heart. That’s just how I approach things. I can be totally in love with more than one person at a time.

True polyamorous relationships are very rare. It’s hard to find three people who all love each other romantically. I entertain no delusions that I’ll ever be involved in a long-term poly relationship.

It’s a little easier to find people willing to go along with open relationships. Any significant relationship I have in the future will have to be open, unless I find a person who dazzles and fulfills me so much that I don’t have any desire to look elsewhere, and frankly, I have doubts about that happening.

Does this make me a bad person? Certainly makes me unusual—or at least, it makes me unusual to admit it out loud. But as Dan Savage so ably articulates, it’s uncommon for any two people to fully satisfy one another’s needs for an entire lifetime, or even for an entire relationship.  So I ask: is it necessarily wrong to occasionally seek satisfaction, sexual or otherwise, from a third party?

Answer: yes, it’s definitely wrong if the two main romantic partners don’t agree. Cheating is cheating. If your actions are hurting the person you love, you’re behaving selfishly.

But if both people willingly agree to let each other seek occasional external satisfaction? Nope, I don’t think that’s unethical. Better yet, I think it’s healthy. If done properly, it makes each individual happier, which in turn makes the relationship healthier.

These are not popular ideas. Even as recently as two years ago, I thought of poly and open relationships as unwholesome and freaky—and I was already unusually open-minded about sex and relationships. And people who are as perpetually single as I am are in no position to make bizarre dating demands. “Baby, I think you’re great, but I should tell you I don’t want to be 100% exclusive. Baby?….Baby? Hallo?”

Aw heck, I’d appreciate it if you’d just read Dan Savage’s book. He’s so much better at explaining this stuff.

…okay, that’s one evening wasted. Perhaps I can be clever and turn this blog post into an article or a book chapter. I wonder if Readers Advisor News would accept it for publication?

And Bubby Makes Four

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We change displays at the liberry ever month, so we’ve bid adieu to Real Men Read Fiction. One of the new displays is Summer Is Sweet, maintained by La Friend. It’s an excuse to showcase dessert cookbooks. You can well imagine that I was in the mood for dessert after a few hours working the desk in its presence on Friday. I asked Persepolis if it would be okay to have ice cream for dinner. She didn’t see a problem with it.

Late that afternoon I realized I’d fucked up big. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say I spent seventeen hundred library dollars when I maybe shouldn’t have. I had given the go-ahead to purchase a database that we probably can’t use. This realization came to me directly after five o’clock, promptly after the bigwigs had gone home. My boss Melvil wasn’t there to tell me how to fix everything.

With no further ado, I upgraded my dinner plans to Ice Cream and Beer.

Upon further reflection, I realized I was being foolish. I therefore changed my dinner plans one more time, to mudslides. This involved ice cream, vodka, and Kahlua, and it explains why this entry didn’t get posted last night. I tried, really I did, but there came a point where typing was beyond my capacity.

So let me bring you up to speed. I have a new cat. Call him Beelzebub, or Bub, or Bubby. I would introduce you, but he’s very shy. I would take pictures of him, but I don’t have batteries for my digital camera and I am too cheap to pay the picture fees to Verizon. I have a shiny new red phone because I’ve sold my soul to the devil for two more years.

The reason I have Bub is because I am a sucker, and because my coworker Nebudchadnezzar has questionable morals. Apparently he thinks his girlfriend is more important than his cat. I’ve met her, she’s nice, she had the same sophisticated response to Pirates of the Caribbean 3 that I had (“I don’t get it”), but I ask you, how can any woman be more important than a cat?

So Nebudchadnezzar made the unconscionable decision to give up his cat so that he could move in with his girlfriend, who is dangerously allergic to pets. His only saving grace is that the cat went to someone he knew, rather than a stranger.

I really am a sucker. I wouldn’t have done it, but his fur is the correct color scheme and his name fits with the nefarious theme. Beelzebub is a dark Siamese-looking kitty; Goblin is a dark tortie; and Gremlin is pitch black.

Bub has been here for a week now. He spends most of his time asleep on my bed. He hisses if the girls get too close, but the definition of “too close” has changed from “in the same house” (a week ago) to “right up next to each other” (this evening).

And now for something completely different:

Alyosha and I have been writing abridgments on the liberry’s book blog. I am re-posting mine here. You should also read Alyosha’s hysterical abridgment of The Da Vinci Code.

Here are the three abridgments I’ve done so far:

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

Mr. Rochester: I’m pretending I don’t like you.

Jane: I’m pretending I don’t like you, either.

Mr. Rochester: Oh what the heck, let’s get married.

Minister: And do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Fate: Not so fast, champ. Anything you want to confess, Mr. Rochester?

Mr. Rochester: No. Well… okay, technically I’m already married to a crazy woman whom I keep captive in the attic, but don’t hold it against me. It could happen to anyone.

Jane: I’m outta here.

[Time passes]

Mr. Rochester: Fortunately, my wife died. Let’s get married.

Jane: I didn’t want to marry my cousin anyway.

The End

The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris

Starling: I’m in the FBI. I hate criminals.

Lecter: I eat people.

Starling: Ew.

Lecter: But I’m really sexy. Anthony Hopkins plays me in the movie.

Starling: I’m sexy in the movie, too. Jodie Foster plays me.

Lecter: Rarrrow.

Starling: You can’t trick me with your mind games.

Lecter: Did I mention I’m also debonair, suave, and erudite?

Starling: Fine, I have this amazing crush on you. But I’ll never admit it.

Lecter: Yes you will, in the next book.

The End

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy



Boy: I’m hungry.

Man: Don’t eat anyone.

Boy: Everyone else is doing it.

Man: That’s because they are bad, whereas we are good. [Dies]

Other Man: No, we are not all bad. Come join my family and we will live happily ever after, insofar as that is possible in a
McCarthy novel, which it’s not.

The End.

And finally, because Marian the Librarian specifically requested it, I present all new material, never before published!

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Dmitri: I’m the drunk and likable one.

Ivan: I’m the smart and cynical one.

Alyosha: I’m a pussy.

All: Our dad’s dead.

Father Wossname: Religion and philosophy are important.

[Re-read these same five lines continuously until you’ve reached the equivalent of 1200 pages.]

The End