Friday, June 20, 2008

a line from Sloan

I put this to him at the book shop, a short while ago as I bought John Lanchester's Family Romance. I had given the bookstore owner a couple of copies of Taking The Stairs books and he said, "let us see how they do, $21.95 Canadian?" He got the calculator out and had a right go at pricing the thing -- he looked up with wary but clear eyes, "A tenner is a bit much for a book, most of these go for £8.99 and below in price." I said, "OK, how the poetry nights goin?"
He said, "We've stopped them, a dead loss." Then he took the book, "We'll price it as a tenner. See you in a week?"

So when back, in a weeks' time, in full suit and looking a little bedraggled, he went straight to till as I loomed in, pricing a book in his hand and there was a mad woman in there, (mad in the sense that she was fifty-odd, blond, a little sidetracked, speaking a list of book titles into a mobile phone) who seemed curious about everything that was happening. So I said because I was kinda giddy and had been receiving emails from a friend, I said "There is a line from a band in Canada, they are called Sloan",
and he said:


and I said, the line is:

"Once Upon a time I was on the scene,
with an attitude and a jacket of jean,
these days I'm up to my ass in routine..."

And he said:

"Right." (Waiting, I suppose, for there to be a point to this...?)

Anyway the mad woman was listening to all of this, and she gave me a glance as if to say that she either:

1. Wanted to add her bit
2. Wanted to wring my neck because I lost her place in the listings.

Ummm. Well...

This will unlikely get my books into the shop window, but I can't complain, and I like the tune, you know. It was on the strength of another person's enthusiasm, to be fair, but still. And someone in Ontario once remarked, (editor/poet I think), "Why is it that we seem to be embarrassed about where we are from and you folks from Nova Scotia, seem to be proud of it."
I don't know, but, well, that's all right then, isn't it?


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