Saturday, January 15, 2005

It's Always Friday the 13th at Big Bookstore

The whole calendar thing baffles me. I don't use calendars unless absolutely forced. I have been known to use a calendar at the pesky day job, where it is sometimes unavoidable; but I'm not a big fan of keeping track of the days and writing dates down. It's that time management thing. Never been very good at that. I prefer my deadlines to sneak up on me like a slasher in a dark basement. I work better that way. "Oh my GOD. This project is due tomorrow. <bloodcurdling scream> Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck." And then I kick my ass into high gear and produce something absolutely brilliant. When I was in school, my Mother would say things like, "Just imagine what you could do if you started early and took your time." She just didn't get it. If I started early, I would produce absolute crap.

I suppose a calendar would be helpful for organizing other things in my life besides work - paying bills for example. To be honest, though, I don't really see the need for a calendar in that endeavor either. My creditors are very good about reminding me that I owe them money. It's really quite convenient. Some people pay assistants to remind them when things have to be done, but my creditors actually call me and give me polite reminders. It's so lovely of them.

As for birthdays, I have made it a habit for the past few years to completely ignore my birthday and not let anyone know when it occurs. By doing so, I free myself from the obligation of remembering the birthdays of others. Except for my Mother. I always remember Mom's birthday. It's the 4th of May. Or the 9th. Possibly the 14th. One of those. Anyway, it's definitely in May. I'm sure about that.

This lack of interest in keeping track of the days makes the zeal with which customers buy calendars fascinating to me. As I've posted before, the next year's calendars start arriving the store in June and we start displaying them in July. And people start buying them immediately! I suppose they are afraid that if they wait too long we will sell out of "Outhouses of Appalachia" and then what will they hang on their cubicle walls?

Of course we stock the predictable stuff: scenic vistas, famous artists, cats, dogs, hot rods, sports teams, and Star Trek. These are perennials. But I'm more interested in the oddball stuff and I always wonder who buys these things: the aforementioned "Outhouses", "Nuns Having Fun", "Clay Aiken", "Crop Circles", "Precious Moments." Precious Fucking Moments.

I think that calendar sales provide an interesting snapshot of American pop culture for any given year. Assuming that calendar sales are a predictor of popularity, America is currently into: Bush bashing, Spongebob Squarepants, the Sierra Club, the Boston Red Sox, and, as always, half- or mostly-naked chicks. America is tired of: Celine Dion, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the Sopranos, Snooopy, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Van Helsing. (OK. America never liked Van Helsing in the first place.)

And for all of the calendars that we stock, there are thousands more that we don't stock. Here's one that I'm sure would have been a hot-seller if only we had carried it: the Menopause Pocket Planner.


Blogger ecban said...

The best work and the most fun come from lengthy procrastination. I get so much schadenfreude out of spending only one long night on a massive project that other students have panicked over for months and still acing the class. If it's worth doing at all, it's worth putting off until the last minute.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Bookseller said...

ah! u have forgotten the ever famous calendars called "Stupendious Pigieons" and "Extraordinary Chickens"...

Who DOES buy that crap?????????????????????????????????

6:40 PM  
Blogger Mediaeval One said...

You forgot to mention my favorite: Women With Swords. Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo are two of my favorite artists. I am very serious. Impressionism, my ass. Give me a muscular (yet feminine) woman with a large, well-polished broadsword any day. Her biceps, bulging with effort as she heaves her ascendant weapon. Her strapping breasts, barely checked by a chain-mail brassiere, strain to be loosed from such a prison. Her long, black tresses wave in the murky air as she stares at you through defiant eyes. Her pouty lips seem to say, "I shall have at thee, mighty warrior. Art thou man enough for me?" Yes, yes I am. Throw in a dragon or panther, for atmosphere. That's all I need.

For lighter moments, a nice Thomas Kinkade calendar, filled with pleasant cottages set in Edenic landscapes, promising safety, traditional values, and, above all, order -- illuminated from some unseen heavenly light....

This is me. Complex, yet simple...

11:05 PM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

"strapping breasts"?




12:53 AM  

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