Of Banana Stickers and a Neutered Pony

A picture of a kangaroo eating grass. Which has almost nothing to do with this post. Except grass is present in both. What now?

AKA the stories of an adventure of visiting a bookstore in The Dalles. Specifically, Klindt’s booksellers, which had a sign out front stating that it was ‘The Oldest and Tiniest Bookstore in Oregon.” Actually, I lied. The sign read “The Oldest Bookstore in Oregon” I added the ‘tiniest’ myself for reasons you’ll understand later.

So anyway, Klindt’s was having a supermegawesomepeanutszomg 12 Authors, 1 Day palooza which myself and two of my friends decided to grace with our presence.

Naturally shenanigans ensued.

Before we could even get in to the 12-in-1 palooza, we had to get to The Dalles first, and seeing as my budget didn’t have room for airplane tickets this month, that meant driving. Lots of driving. We warriors three partook in a several-hour long drive through a desolate flat landscape occasionally decorated with rocks. If we were really lucky, sometimes we saw a cow. We drove far enough that our favorite radio stations began shape-shifting into terrifying monsters, namely oldies and, (horror of horrors), country. Several hours later when we finally rolled into town, and I had only one thought on my mind:

This better be the BEST KABOBING BOOKSTORE PALOOZA EVER!

Going through the town, we were stopped at every red light even though there was clearly not a single car in sight from all directions. Though slightly irritating, the lights gave us a chance to fully appreciate the complexity and beauty of small town life. Or peer past all the abandoned buildings until we spied a Burgerville a couple of blocks down from the bookstore and gave shouts of joy.

A mostly-accurate portrayal.

The further we drove, the more I felt like I was in one of those movies. You know, where the city-slicker gets stuck in a podunk town and tries desperately to escape before realizing at the end that what they really needed all along was a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Then they discover a nefarious plot involving a gold mine and ninja-pirate-bandits which leads to a shootout at the blob corral, the stranger saving the town and consequently inheriting the gold mine from the random old guy who died. And then he marries the hottest cowgirl in town, because that’s how these things work.

Seeing as I was neither a charming city-slicker nor a hot cowgirl, I was desperately praying that the car wouldn’t break down so I didn’t have to be in one of those movies.

Not even close.

Finally, we got to the bookstore and this is where the ‘tiniest’ part I was talking about earlier comes in. Klindt’s was a relatively small bookstore already, but with 12 authors and 12 authors’ worth of fans packed inside, it was a sardine can. In the interest of space, a couple authors were placed outside in the front while others were tucked into an odd corner or two. The rest were situated in such a way so they weren’t completely blocking entire aisles, but attempting to wriggle past them to look at other books that weren’t theirs was really awkward. Marketing at its finest.

After wandering around for several hours and having great conversations with several of the authors, we moseyed outside in search of the rumored free hotdog and soda lunch. We found it, but there was a catch (as always). In order to get the food, you had to risk a serenade by whomever had the mike atop the hand-hewn stage. The options were the local violin students, the nearest high school’s all-girl band, and some dancers. Also, there was an old guy who was either reading poetry or doing stand-up comedy, but (as his voice was rather hard to hear through the homemade speakers), I couldn’t tell which.

Pictured: not hot, and not a dog.

None of us were big fans of hotdogs, even free ones, and instead chose to brave the town and head to the Burgerville we had seen earlier.

Several small fries with newt-adorned wrappers and two hummingbird-ed cherry-chocolate shakes later, we were fueled up and ready for more awkward shimmying around the bookstore. Reinvigorated in our wanderings, we stumbled upon the ‘gag’ books section that was nestled neatly between two sets of authors and so almost completely empty of browsers. There we had a great time finding Jesus in toast and laundry, reading a fantastic amount of pirate jokes, (Q: How did Captain Hook die? A: Trust me, you don’t wanna know) and what happens when cheese is left in the rain.

Then, I found it.

A Hunger Games word-search.

Written across the top: “Everyone knows Katniss is an excellent hunter. Now you can test your own skills by hunting for the words hidden in this puzzle.”

ME: This is the BEST KABOBING BOOKSTORE PALOOZA EVER!

“BANANA STICKERS!” My friend replied and then proceeded to rush over to a clear plastic box filled with novelty items and pick up each fruit-scented sticker in turn and inhale violently.

My eye was caught by something…else.

“What is wrong with this?” I asked, picking up a mostly brown plastic pony out of the box next to the banana stickers. I say “mostly” brown, because while the top of the pony had been completely painted, there was one small spot left uncovered: a small knob on the underside of the horse’s belly. We three stared at it for a moment before observing:

Image censored for decency reasons.

“They neutered the poor thing!”

Yes indeed, the makers of this particular toy had completely and unceremoniously removed the poor horse’s junk without even the decency to do a quick spray-paint coverup afterwards. A quick search of the box showed the other figurines to be completely intact, so they were obviously just prejudiced against this poor guy.

“Perhaps they wanted him anatomically accurate?” One of my friends suggested.

Suddenly becoming aware that the three of us were blocking an entire aisle whilst staring at a plastic pony’s crotch, I gingerly replaced the sad figurine back in the box.

No one spoke for a few moments.

Finally, I cleared my throat. “Well, I think we’ve seen everything here…”

*nods all around*

On that perturbing note, we left for home.

And that’s pretty much what happened.

Mostly.

Maybe.

P.S. The authors were supermegawesomepeanutszomg awesome, but I’m planning on checking out this book especially. Also, for you romancey-types, check this out. I’m not much of a fan of the romance genre, but author Colleen Houck is super cool, and rumor has it a movie’s in the works.

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Posted on June 22, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Of Banana Stickers and a Neutered Pony.

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