Things Overheard in Bookstores
The Huffington Post has a story on ridiculous things overheard in bookstores. On Twitter, the hashtag #bookstorebingo is where people are sharing these funny remarks. Yet “clueless” remarks are probably no less rampant in bookstores than in any other speciality store (expect there to be a follow-up investigation: ridiculous things overheard in sex shops. In a bookstore, as in any shop, it is the job of clerks to turn the clueless into the clued in. The disregard of this ethic is why I remember an exchange I overheard some years ago in the now-defunct Crown Books in Washington, DC. A college age customer approached the store clerk and asked where he could find Billy Budd. The clerk’s reply: “Check over there in the Biography section.”
Election day approaches which means utility poles and front yards in Washington DC are being dressed with campaign signs for local candidates. Vince Gray is running for mayor, Kwame Brown for DC Council Chairman, and Vincent Orange is also vying for Council Chair. Mr. Gray, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange. Who are these characters really? What is their backstory? One imagines only Tarantino, only Mr. Quentin Tarantino could do it justice.
Not Ready for Video
This morning, while checking the Washington Post’s website, I came across a short video in which Ned Martel, the editor of the newspaper’s once-celebrated, now tired, Style section critiques the premier episode of the Bravo series, Real Housewives of D.C. Martel’s performance is not easy to watch. You’ll probably wonder why there was no one at the video shoot speaking up in favor of doing another take. You might thinks you’re watching a sound check run-thought, or maybe an early thinking-out-loud session — thoughts that are still being formed. Martel’s profession requires marshaling words with precision; unfortunately what the Washington Post has allowed to be posted is a dribble of verbal bungling. In just the initial 60 seconds the speaker refers redundantly to “this first premiere” and describes a high-energy cast member with the oxymoronic phrase, “so enervated and quick.” (The mistaken use of “enervated” is untangled in a “usage note” here.) Martel deserves better support from his employer. Here’s hoping he bounces back stronger . . . in time for his second premiere.