A billboard seen off the side of the highway:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Please don't hit him.
Don't drink and drive.

Misread on the side of a bus:
Children are our future sales!

Stars. Children are our future stars! Really, really must get that eye appointment.

But on to other more important (hopefully) things... the school board gave me $50 for Christmas. This was quite an unexpected shock (as if any shock is expected. Unless you purposefully stick your finger in a light socket, I suppose). The immediate plan in my head was to use it towards a new piece of luggage that I desperately need. This, of course, fizzled away when I recalled that there were many books that were homeless. What could I do? Certainly to buy the luggage would be selfish, but to buy books! Well, I would be giving a book a home, and we all understand the seriousness of homeless books, I suspect.

So off to the bookstore I went, just as fast as my little feet could carry me. Truly, I went in my car, because walking would take far too long. Also, I did not make a mad dash to the store, as I had promised to go to the office party with my mother. I just wanted to be absolutely truthful, you see. So. Party, then shopping.

The minute I waltzed joyously into the Barnes & Noble, I realized my tragic mistake. I had left my list at home. For reasons I will never fully understand but will always regret, I can never remember both the title and author of books I want. The great irony comes when I can remember neither the title nor the last name of the author, but the first name is crystal clear.

"Hi. I'm looking for a book by Pamela."

Right. 10,000 Pamela's in the store, and I've no idea which one is the one I need.

But I persevered and strolled the aisles until names and titles started to slowly reunite themselves with my disheveled mess of cranial space. I recalled that one of the books I was searching for had an author whose last name began with a "D", by the title of On Love. What luck! The books are arranged alphabetically by author's last name! Oh joy!

I perused the "D" section, and came across a thick volume of Pushkin's work. In the Fiction and Literature section. A "P" in the wrong section! How could it be? But it was. No matter. I'm a fan of Pushkin, so I reached down to pluck the book from its unnatural resting place when my eyes wandered to the book beside it.

On Love, by Alain de Botton.

A book I was looking for! The book I was looking for, or at least one of them. I neglected to return Pushkin to his rightful spot, and took my book instead.

I also found Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, which I have meant to buy for a very long time. And while looking one last time for anything else that might be interesting, I fell in love with the print on the spine of a book titled If on a winter's night a traveler, by Italo Calvino, so I bought it also. I read the first few pages, and believe it was a good purchase.

While I was aimlessly walking through the science-fiction section, a man gave me "the eyes" and my mother told me to stop flirting. I asked her how it was that I could possibly be flirting simply by walking.

"Well. Stop walking like you mean it."

Like I mean it? Am I supposed to walk as if I don't mean it? I fear if one were to walk without meaning it, one might collapse as an invertebrate and not get very far at all.

So thank you very much, Mother, for your advice, but I think I'll continue to walk like I mean it. Right after I finish reading these delicious books, that is.

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