Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Club Emails

One stranger, Margret M., sent me an email a few months ago about a book club with very strict bylaws and suggested that I email the group. After doing a little research, I found another book club group online that also seemed unreasonably strict. I sent an email to them and the following transpired.

To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

Hi ANNA!

My name is June Hansen. I found your email online as the person to contact for a GREAT book club. I'm new in the area and had SUCH a wonderful book club in my last town and would just love to get started with a new one. I don't even know whether you are taking newbies! ;-P But I thought it would be worth checking. My last book club was very organized and efficient and yours seems to be the same way.

PLEASE let me know!!!

TTYL

June



To: June Hansen
From: Anna
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

Hi June!

You've contacted the right person! I am in charge of a great book club in this area. By the way, welcome to the area. We very much like having new people join but you should know that we have very strict rules and we aren't afraid to discontinue membership when someone isn't obeying those rules. Sorry to be so scary! It's just that, this isn't a typical book club and we take our experience very serious. So, if you think you can actually be serious and diligent we will be happy to let you join on a trial period. Attached is some information about where and when we meet and our bylaws. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Anna


To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

Great! So excited to hear back from you! OMG! I am SO totes happy you said that stuff about being serious. I was so worried I was going to have to come to the book club and lay down the law because the last book club I went to, ALL they did was sit around and gossip about the Bachelor. I was all like, "HELLO! If I wanted to see a guy dating 75 sluts all at once, I would have stayed with my last boyfriend!" 

I moved here from Mississippi to sort of try to get a fresh start. I heard that this area had a really great gang violence rehab program that I am excited to get involved in (I got heavily involved with this in Miami and moved here, in part, for safety reasons). But as is the case when you move somewhere new, it's a little hard to make new friends. 

Just a couple of questions about the book club: will there be any problem with bringing pets? I don't know whether this will be necessary for me but I thought I should just check as I'm not sure what our pet situation will be in the coming weeks. Also, do you take book suggestions? I have a couple of great ideas but I don't want to step on any toes.



To: June Hansen
From: Anna
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!


You can rest assured we will not be talking about the Bachelor, or any other tv show, in this book club. About your pet question, we hold meetings alternating between 3 different houses and I don't think anyone would be comfortable with people bringing pets to their homes. Sorry. We do take book suggestions. When you have one, you should submit it via email to me and then I make a list compiling all the suggestions that haven't been done already and present them at the meetings. When you submit a suggestion, just please explain what the book is and why you think we should read it.

What do you do at the rehab groups, if you don't mind my asking? Are you a counselor?


To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!


A counselor? Oh heavens no! I mean, it would be nice to work up to that at some point, but I'm far from getting there as of right now. What do I do there? Usually just talk to people about the struggles of gang life and drug usage and stuff. It's very rewarding.

I don't mean to press the issue, but the pets I want to bring are actually seeing eye pets. I'm partially blind in one eye so it is difficult for me to get around without some help. Do you think there could be an exception?

I have SO many suggestions but I don't want to overwhelm you so I'm going to just choose one for now. I'm assuming you've already done all of the Twilight books so I'll skip those (correct me if I'm wrong!!!).

I would like to suggest Nancy Drew: The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes by Carolyn Keene. This coming of age book is a thriller from beginning to end! Follow along as Keene unravels a mystery that will make your hair stand on end! The reason I would like to suggest this book is because it's SUCH a fun read. I was shocked by the ending. And it's not difficult to get through like some books so it's just a really good experience all around.


To: June Hansen
From: Anna
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

June, I should have been more clear. The kinds of books we read are significantly above the level of Nancy Drew books (and Twilight, for that matter). Our club consists of a group of highly educated women. If this club is not a comfortable fit for you, you should consider joining one that better fits your needs. You are still welcome to come and see, but I thought I should let you know what you're getting into.

I think seeing eye dogs are of course reasonable. I was thinking you just wanted to bring a common household animal.

I'm sure your work is very rewarding. Our group likes to get involved in outreach once a year. Maybe you could connect us with your employer for some good outreach ideas once you start working with a new rehab center here.


To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

OMG!!! I am SOOOOO embarrassed! Of COURSE I understand that you want something a little heavier than Nancy Drew! Please scratch that suggestion and forget I ever mentioned it!

I actually don't have a seeing eye dog. I have several seeing eye cats, but I really only need to bring one or two with me at a time. I also have a pet chicken named the Queen of Colors but she's not for seeing purposes of course! ;-P  I really appreciate you making an exception for my cats.

I've actually already got a job here! I'm a cook at Shakey's (my last rehab program set it up for me before I moved here). Like I said before, I don't think I'm anywhere near recovered enough to start working at a rehab center. But I can get you connected with the one I start attending!

One other book suggestion, if you don't mind: What about the Bible? In this book a group of authors take you from the beginning of the world all the way to the end in a drama packed account of serpents, slayers, and Sadducees. It's sure to make your hair stand on end! I think this would be a good choice for our book club because it's religious but also very above the level of Nancy Drew.


To: June Hansen
From: Anna
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!


June,

I don't believe cats can be used as seeing eye animals. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that is right. I'm sorry, but we really cannot allow cats to attend the meetings. And I misunderstood. I was under the impression that you worked for a rehab center . . .

The Bible is not exactly what I had in mind when I mentioned heavier reading. I have attached a list of books we have read so you can have an idea.

Anna


To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!


Do you intend to shoot ALL of my ideas down?! That's ok. I'll just keep trying. How about this one: 50 Shades of Grey is a coming of age pornographic thriller that contains the secrets of life. It's sure to make your hair stand on end! Since you obviously don't like religion or suspensful mysteries, this book seems like it might fit the book club's interests.

Also, I will be bringing my cats. We'll just have to agree to disagree about whether they are allowed in book club.


To: June Hansen
From: Anna
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!


If you had read the list I sent you, you would have noticed that 50 Shades is already on it. And this is not negotiable. You may not bring your cats to book club. I really think you would be better off looking for a different group.


To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

I'm very sorry it has come to this, but if my cats can't come, then I won't come either. I'm not going to negotiate on this one.


To: June Hansen
From: Anna
Subject: Re: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

I'm sorry that you feel that way. Best of luck on your endeavors.

Anna

_____________________________

[And from a different account]


To: Anna
From: Shakey's
Subject: Outreach

Dear Anna,

My employee, June, informs me that your book club is interested in doing some service with our establishment. The kitchen area is in serious need of cleaning. If you could be there tomorrow morning by 6:00, that would be most appreciated.

Mr. Shakey


To: Shakey's
From: Anna
Subject: Re: Outreach

 . . . ???  WTF



~It Just Gets Stranger

41 comments:

  1. "This coming of age pornographic thriller is sure to make your hair stand on end"....
    That should be on the back of the book.
    I was about to start my day with the usual 15 cups of coffee while I repeat the same 2 instructions to my kids 9 bazillion times. I'm glad I paused to read this first!

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    1. I sort of just assumed that is what's on the back of the book. But I was unwilling to fetch a copy to make sure.

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  2. What the hell kind of book club is reading 50 Shades of Gray?! She's rather pompous for a person reading lonely housewife fan fiction smut.

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    1. Exactly. I couldn't believe my Nancy Drew suggestion was mocked when I found that out.

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    2. That made me laugh the hardest. They read something heavier than Nancy Drew and Twilight, yet 50 Shades is on their list?! Wow...

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  3. It will make your hair stand on end!

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  4. "What about the Bible? In this book a group of authors take you from the beginning of the world all the way to the end in a drama packed account of serpents, slayers, and Sadducees. It's sure to make your hair stand on end!" made me laugh out loud... not to mention actually made the Bible sound interesting...

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    1. This is why I don't trust movie descriptions on the back of dvd cases.

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  5. Oh Gawd! I'm here laughing till my sides hurt!

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  6. Of course a group full of highly educated women would be reading 50 Shades of Grey!!!! Haha, this is awesome. You sold me on the Bible too. I think I'll start reading it.

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  7. This is the funniest thing I have ever read in my entire life. I found you through the Snuggie Texts thing months ago and love everything you write. But I never thought you could outdo that one until now!

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  8. I've been looking for a book to make my hair stand on end...I might have to check out this "Bible." Who wrote it??

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  9. You always find the best people to trick. I tried with the last wrong number, and she went along with pretending to want a couch I'd painted etc but stopped when I said we should meet to discus her further plans for blank parts. i just don't know what i did wrong. was i scary? i didn't even mention cats. maybe i should have mentioned cats.

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  11. OMG... I am so behind the times... I just found the snuggie texts... That has been almost a year ago. I suck. Anyway, so glad I did. HILARIOUS. I really dig your sense of humor.

    Do you have an update on Jane???

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  12. You should do something like this next:

    Please Move the Deer Crossings:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI8UPHMzZm8

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  13. haha I love this blog!!! I think this will keep me busy at work for the next little while!!!

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  14. I have laughed so hard today reading your blog. Twice my husband came in to see what was going on (snuggie... too funny.) You are hilarious!

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  15. this is too funny!I can't believe she refused to let you bring your seeing eye cats. What right is it of hers to say what animals can or can't be used to help the vision impaired? I think she just had a personal vendetta against cats. I'm sure if you wanted to bring your seeing eye hamster with you she would have gladly obliged. ;) And that email from "mr. shakey".... priceless!

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    1. No kidding! My favorite part other than the "make your hair stand on end" lines was when you told her you would just have to agree to disagree about whether or not cats are allowed. Just about died laughing on that part.

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  16. There's nothing funnier than screwing with people who take themselves way too seriously. Had me laughing all the way through.

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  17. I think you should reveal yourself to her, as you did in the snuggie text caper. I would love to see her reaction! My hope would be: she laughs at herself and the situation. My suspicion is: she would sanctimoniously lecture you about being offensive and wasting her time. Entertaining either way!

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  18. This post makes me very happy in my pants. As well as other places.

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  19. I just discovered your blog today and will definitely be a regular reader...I haven't laughed this much in ages. I nearly fell off my chair I was laughing so hard. I think my favorite part of this exchange was that they read Shades of Gray but mocked Twilight!

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  20. It's sure to make your hair stand on end!

    Nice touch.

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  21. Tut tut ... Not nice of her to discriminate against a (mostly) blind person. Or religious folk. Or Nancy Drew lovers. Or crazy cat ladies. Does she hate puppies and cupcakes also? Who doesn't take there cat(s) places with them? I bet she thinks it's okay to take here kids places without worrying if people mind. (I'd mention her snippy attitude toward Twi-hards, but as a dyed-in-the-wool Buffy lover to the core, I can't be a hypocrite) Love your blog!

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  22. I nearly died when she revealed 50 Shades was "on the list"...I was under the impression that "highly educated" might mean things like The Wealth of Nations or classic Greco-Roman literature or other books I haven't even heard of. MY BAD.
    How can she be hatin' on Twilight when 50 Shades is, in fact, terrible Twilight fan fiction that caught a lucky break?! (I'd be afraid to even read just the back cover too, haha)

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    1. Seriously! She acted like they were reading college text books.

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  23. Can't believe that 50 Shades was already on the list for these "highly educated, serious" women. I'm really sad you can't attend.

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  24. The greatest joke out of all of this was a seeing eye cat. We all know cats aren't REALLY good for anything.

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  25. If you simply call them "service animals" instead of 'seeing eye' then you can have all sorts of furry friends! I find book clubs uncomfortable in that you have to have a dreaded group discussion... my introvert soul cringes at the phrase. I'd recommend The Phantom Tollbooth by Roald Dahl for any and all ages. There is a book for the serious and well educated :)

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    1. Clementina ThornicroftDecember 21, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      Norton Juster. The Phantom Tollbooth is by Norton Juster. I mean, I love me some Roald Dahl and all, but don't ascribe that incredible work of literature to the wrong man.

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  26. My favorite book club choice is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". It's an inspiring novel that will leave you in TEARS by the end.

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  27. I just scared my non-seeing-eye cat off the bed with my laughter.

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  28. My family is completely annoyed with my laughter... My 6 year old keeps telling me to be quite, my 11 year old wants to know what's so funny and eventually I was left in the living room by myself, when they could still hear me laughing from their rooms they yelled something about how stupid I am then slammed the doors
    Ahhh

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  29. I hope you'll one day consider trading the seeing eye cats in for a seeing eye chimp. They can be so much more helpful in spite of their mischievous nature. ;)

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  30. Dear lord, I just stumbled upon this blog and I have been laughing in stitches for the last hour.

    If only I was graced with half as much cleverness as you my friend, my world would never be a dull place!

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  31. I truly love love love all your blogs!!! Write more about Messing with People!!!!

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  32. It cracks me up that Twilight is not allowed in this book club, yet a smutty "novel" that started out as a fan fiction work based on Twilight is! Ha!

    Thanks for all the humorous posts! They made my day!

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