Friday, May 19, 2006

This Bugs the Hell Out of Me

So I’m reclining on my desk chair, surprisingly relaxed after a terrible day at work, my feet up on the desk for prime comfort. I’m reading my nearly perfect copy of Possible Side Effects, opening the book just enough to read most of the words without craning my neck, the spine so tight the end boards feel like a spring loaded trap pushing against my hands. The cover is encased in shiny, smooth BroDart. The pages are bright white. The corners sharp. In other words, the book is gorgeous.

While enjoying the second essay, I notice a tiny brown speck the size of a needle point on the outside edge of the pages. It’s tiny. Smaller even than the one defect I noticed when I bought the book. So I hold the book gently and blow, making sure no moisture escapes my mouth. Satisfied, I return to the story. But no, my gust of breath didn’t dislodge that piece of lint. So I try again.

Damn it. Still there. I’m no longer relaxed. I can’t focus on the story. All I can see is that brown speck that ruins the beautiful white landscape of those pages.

It’s time to pull out the heavy artillery. Ever so lightly, I brush my finger along the edge of the page, knowing just a tiny amount of pressure could spell doom for the book’s luster.

I recognize my mistake instantly. My heart sinks. My eyes bulge. That tiny dot wasn’t a piece of dust or lint after all. It was the world’s smallest bug. And bugs have blood inside. And damn it, blood smears! And now, in one moment of poor decision making, there’s another flaw staring at me like an open wound.


Not 24 hours after sweating profusely trying to find the perfect one, my copy of Possible Side Effects stumbles from the ranks of the near perfect and now rests with thousands of others in the “severely flawed” category.

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