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Book Club Blues

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Lori Curley: I am quitting my book club. I have had it with Sally. She is a respected community member, a retired history teacher, brews her own beer, and makes peanut brittle for everyone at Christmas -- this in spite of her own lack of teeth and a missing finger on her left hand. But last month, she had us read a 220-page nonfiction narrative about a grown man who lets a squirrel live in his house, called "A Squirrel Forever: The Story of Chippy."

annoyed woman
Chippy, the adorable squirrel, attacks the author three times before he gets rid of it. When I complained that the writer seemed like an authentic nut job, the group attacked me. Old Sally accused me of being "out of touch with nature." I think she's been smoking a little too much nature. You tell me. Here is an excerpt:

The puncture was turning blue, and a small hard knot was rising under the skin. I touched the knot and wondered what it meant. None of the many scratches and bites that Chippy had given me in the past had ever become infected, and none had ever caused me swelling either. (page 190)

Later he writes: "I tried scolding Chippy -- but she just ignored it." (page 193) Next month, the group will read "How to Entertain Your Pre-Schooler." On the surface, this book sounds practical, but my group does not realize that old Sally has chosen the 1958 edition, which includes a chapter called "Junior Carpenter":

"It is wise to help the child get accustomed to swinging and directing the hammer blow, and this training can start with the hammering-board stage." (page 26)

But what is a person to do -- how do you overthrow a woman like this? I know of some ladies who tried to go underground. They dispersed the group in an e-mail, then set up a new place and time, but they got caught and hurt Sally's feelings. They had to apologize and read "How to Build Your Own Porch Furniture" in a week.

next: Chris Brown: 'Everything Comes with Consequences'
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cheryl August 31, 2009, 8:54 AM

Hilarious and sad all at the same time. I have been in a couple book clubs where the “choices” were made by a despot. I hope you can find a better group!

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