Curse you, Piers Anthony, and your damnable puns!


I ran into the Barnes and Noble in Union Square at 9:59. It closes at 10. I wanted to check on something in a Piers Anthony book. Piers Anthony, for those who don't know, is quite fond of puns, particularly in the titles of his books. The book I wanted to check was Isle of View. I ran upstairs. Science Fiction was on the fourth floor. By the time I got there they were clearing people out. I got the security guard to let me check just this one thing, quickly. There was a young woman standing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section. The following dialogue ensued:

Clerk: I'm sorry, we're closing now.
Me: I just have to check one thing fast, I know exactly what I'm looking for.
Clerk: Tell me what it is and I'll get it for you.
Me: Okay. It's by Piers Anthony, Isle of View.
Clerk: WHAT.
Me: No, I mean, Isle... Of... View
(Here it should be pointed out that, it being late, me being under a lot of stress, and the clerk being an attractive female, I was stuttering like crazy here. My first sentence in this dialogue was more like "I ... j-j-j.. ust ... have t-to ... ch-ch-check one thing ... fffffffast, I knnnnnnow ex...actly what I'm ... lllllooking for." So, when I carefully said "Isle ... Of ... View," spacing out the words, it didn't sound materially different from how I'd been talking before)
Clerk: I think you'd better leave, sir.
Me: No! I mean, it's like a pun. It's Isle, like, I-S-L-E Of, O-F, View, V-I-E-W.
Clerk: *glances at books* We don't have it. Please leave.
Me: Alright (At this point I saw it behind her, but wasn't about to contradict her)


I probably could have saved you that entire conversation by telling you the following:

Whatever Xanth book it may have been in which I was credited for a pun, it can't possibly have been Isle of View. The books that came out after I started reading the series, I snapped up new as soon as they came out. The books that were already out when I started reading, I bought used. My copy of Isle of View was well-used when I got it.

That said, even if the clerk thought you were looking for a book called I Love You, she shouldn't have been a dick about it. Authors are allowed to use phrases like that as the titles of their books, which means that bookstores should allow patrons to ask for them. I recently purchased a novel by Garrison Keillor called Love Me. If I asked for it by name, saying, "I want a book by Garrison Keillor, Love Me," should I have been frostily kicked out? No, absolutely not. This story makes me extremely indignant.

Shit, I think I'm wrong. I just looked at the cover on and realized that I was thinking of a different book. My copy of Isle of View was new. I think it was Heaven Cent that I was remembering as old and well-worn, although that one's been reissued with a different cover and I'm having trouble finding the original image to jog my memory.

Please ignore the first two paragraphs of my previous comment and consider only my indignation.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on November 16, 2005 12:24 AM.

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