Visit to the Bookstore: A Story

This past Friday was my twin's 14th birthday so we decided to gas up the people mover and head south to Mobile. We, as a family, love day excursions. Provided we know what time we eat. That's the only requirement. After meandering through shops filled with furniture and bath essentials we spotted the BOOKSTORE.

Three of us froze in our spots, our eyes seeking each other in silent support and ecstasy. The other two groaned and gagged.

Me, Twin B and the Baby yelled, " YAY!"

The opposing team made up of The Husband and Twin A, yelled, "NAY!!!"

Given the strategic move I made 6 hours earlier of procuring the car keys and money, the opposing team decided their survival might hinge on keeping me in their sights. Entering the bookstore always produced the same sense of euphoria in me. The sights of neatly bound pages bursting with knowledge and hours of adventure. The aroma of coffee and ink titillating my senses beyond compare. And then there is the grunting of The Husband elbowing his way past me to get "The Good Seat" in the magazine isle.

Twin B , The Baby and I have a technique we share. We "weave" the bookstore . Start in the southern most corner and split up moving north through the isles in a slow meticulous crossing swirl. Much like the blanket patterns of the Junquila Tribe of Tunzibawa.

After approximately 15 minutes the inevitable happened.

The Husband came seeking knowledge.

"Are you tired of looking yet?" The Husband moaned.

Through my gasps of outrage at his blasphemous tone I narrowed my already beady eyes in his direction. He took the hint and dragged twin A off with him towards the coffee bar.

15 minutes later....

I trolled down the self help stacks towards the clearance booth and stopped short as The Baby came running , motioning for me to follow and be quiet. Two lanes over I spied The Husband and Twin A lounging on the floor flipping through "Outrageous True Laws".

"Here's one," Twin A read, "It's against the law to make noises while moving boxes in the state of Ohio."

"Oh, look at this," The Husband snorted. "It's illegal to use blue toilet paper to roll trees at Halloween in Hawaii."

That would keep them occupied for a short time. Thank goodness it had pictures.

15 minutes later....

Trying to narrow my selections down to five books, my nasal passages started to smart. Frowning at the realization I was detecting smoke I panicked trying to find The Family. Not for fear of burning alive or losing such a valuable establishment. But from fear of my family being the cause of said smoke and subsequent fire. Racing down the isles toward the blue haze overhanging the tax preparation nook I sent up a small prayer there was an escaped arsonists lurking close. Rounding the corner my fear was confirmed. The Husband and Twin A had set fire to a small mound of stationary.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" I screamed/whispered.

"Look what we made." The Husband grinned up at me. "This loose paper was just sitting here so we made a miniature fort but then we saw an ant crawling in and used a magnifying glass keychain and the sun to fry him dead. "

Twin B and The Baby covered my eyes and turned me around. Slowly we made our escape back to our respective sections.

15 minutes later...

That cursed electronic tracking device called a cell phone alerted me to the text message Twin A had sent.

We are starving. We need food. Please send money or rescue party.

Because I am a loving and thoughtful mother I promptly deleted it and giggled. If this was a movie this would be the part where you scream at the screen ,"No, don't do that."

But it's not. And I couldn't have heard you anyway.

15 minutes later.....

A portly security officer sporting a three haired goatee waddled up my isle. Behind him was a homeless looking figure. The figure was hunched over in tattered, dirt stained clothes. His beard dragging the ground as he shuffled to a stop. A small lump hid behind his legs, glowing eyes peaking out. Was that a dog?

"Mam, do these two belong to you?" the officer jabbed his finger towards the odorous duo.

"No sir, I'm here with my husba.....OH MY GOD!"

"Mam, we caught these two cooking a seagull between tax law and photography. They said they where abandoned and left for dead a few hours ago. By you. We understand if they do belong to you. We have several families that come in here and usually they have one or two that just don't do the book thing. However, they normally sit in the lounge and wait. I'm sorry but we're going to have to ask you to leave."

Not daring to touch The Husband and Twin A I rounded up the two I could call sane and proceeded to the check out lane. Hiding my face and gagging over the smell of burnt feathers I threw some money at the cashier.

"I'm sorry but this doesn't cover the damages. You are the one responsible for the removal of the charred bird and cardboard structure complete with toilet capabilities, right?"

Throwing a few more Jacksons at the counter I ran out, vowing to shop online next time.


  1. I love this bookstore story. I have 13 year old twin boys. Any hints for navigating the teen years with twins?

  2. Lauri, Congrats on lasting this long. UMM I use a lot of Tequila. No just kidding. I don't have any advice since I'm just getting there too but I'm just taking it one day at the time and picking my battles. Stuff that really won't matter 20 yrs from now I don't bother to change. Mine are really great kids but I know any minute now they will fall off the stupid wagon and then it's "I'm sorry Officer, they didn't know what ten bottles of soda and mentos would do to the inside of the porta-potty."

    salarsen, Thanks. It was fun to write and the part half of it was true.

  3. Great story. My husband won't even go into bookstores with me except on rare occasions: an airport, maybe, because there is all that time to kill. I have a favorite used bookstore I hang out at. Once, when it was my turn to cook dinner, I lost track of the time, and my husband actually called the book store to see if I was there. (I hadn't taken my cell phone.) "Do we get dinner tonight?" he wanted to know. The owner said, "Well, he knew where to find you, didn't he!"

  4. Wow, they really fall apart without you around. Although it's pretty impressive that they were able to create a working toilet out of cardboard.

  5. Lol loved this. Just dropped by to let you know that I have an award for you at my blog. :-)

  6. Elizabeth,
    Oh that's too funny.

    I'm more amazed they bothered with a toilet. ;)

  7. Hilarious story! When wandering around in a mall, my family always knew where to find Mom if they lost me.

  8. So funny! I have twin younger siblings and it always amazed me the many ways they were the same and the many ways they were different.

  9. This is fantastic! I can just picture it. I'm also in awe of your time management skills. Phew!

  10. - love it!

  11. This is great! You should submit this post to magazines--funny stuff a la Dave Barry for women! I especially liked, 'Much like the blanket patterns of the Junquila Tribe of Tunzibawa.' Thanks for the post :)


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