Friday, February 17, 2006


Or, more about blank looks and blank books

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., Professor of Patently Piffling Pages at the rumbustically-renowned College of Crock & Cutting Corners, conveniently situated betwixt and between Little Snoring (in Norfolk) and Frisby-on-the-Wreake (in Leicester).

A cursory review of our college library shelves reveals a remarkable shortage of throne-room reading material suitable for closet clodhoppers, loquacious loons and a broad assortment of nimble nitwits.

At the request of George Hopton-Wafers, Dean-of-Do-This-Do-That, the Curriculum Committee of Quaint Inquiries recently racked up an incredible record of 455 hours devoted to 103 completely unnecessary inter-departmental meetings held to shoot the breeze eruditely among five hot-air enthusiasts, three book-worms and one wind-bag concerning what new titles should be purchased for the library.

To make a long story short, the committee put forward 142 recommendations on ways to enhance the reading and comprehension level of plodding page-turners, (who for the most part have been mired in mundane if not entirely mind-boggling tasks such as how to avoid those excruciatingly blank looks appearing on the faces of some poor plebes during a blind date going nowhere fast, and more importantly, how to master the art of writing something scathingly polite yet quite anonymous on the customer satisfaction card courteously left behind by a haughty hostess after being served a particularly unappetizing meal of haggis, tripe, and pickled pigs toes seasoned with wimpy cucumbers and a rather large dollop of something that ressembled a nuked slice of ancient cheddar cheese).

Cutting to the chase, here are a dozen ditties that our fine fettled faculty agreed upon to place in the nooks and crannies of our esteemed “Library of Odds & Sods Plus A Few Loose Ends” (better known as the “The Little Loo”):

  • Anything Book, Classic Executive Series (Black).
  • Empty Cell Phone Book (Hardcover).
  • Empty Pages of a Dead Book & The Passion of Chen Y. (Kung Fu Collector’s Edition).
  • Empty to Full: Full to Empty by Harriet Ziefert & Susan Baum.
  • Eng. Heritage – Empty Pocket Books (Author unknown).
  • Living Books: Empty Floor (Display sample only.)
  • Nothingness: The Science of Empty Space by Henning Genz & Karin Heusch.
  • Paradise City (The Big Empty, Book 2) by J.B. Stephens.
  • Rain Sploosh: An Empty Book by Merilyn Read.
  • The Blank Book (A Series of Unfortunate Eevents Journal) by Lemony Snicket & Brett Helquist.
  • Thoughts, a bland book by Flavia.
  • The Empty Book: A Novel by Josephina Vicens and David Lauer.


The following three riveting cliff-hangers failed to make the cut:

A Beginner’s Guide to Mute Music by Grimbister Skoonspruit, (features an obscure selection of noiseless nocturnes performed by a strident symphonic orchestra full of windless instruments supported by a silent if not sullen string section whom most audience members probably can't quite grasp or appreciate due to their somnambulent state of awareness).

How to Leap to Conclusions in 15 Seconds or Less by Nether Poppleton, (an easy-to-read primer for those with incredibly short-attention spans and a sharp pencil with which to doodle in the margins of this 225-page tome filled with undeniably enigmatically blank hints).

What Did That? A Driver’s Guide to Gunk & Guano of North America by Adrian Moxibustion, (a flattened fauna and flying fertilizer analyst whose repository of fowl research has spawned a brand new genre of urban art aptly referred to as, “Super Splat”).

For those interested in learning more about dolts, dingbats, and dunderheads, do pick up a copy of Steve Allen’s masterpiece, Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking With 101 Ways to Improve your Mind.