So, a gal walks into an (unnamed) chain bookstore–okay, so I was the gal and this isn’t one of those jokes. It’s a (mostly) true story. I usually shop for books online, because all I have to do is click and the books come to me, but this time I wanted to thumb through some books before I bought. I wasn’t sure what I needed, just that there would be a Roswell something in Kicking Ashe.
So the hermit left the hideout and headed for the bookstore. Inside, I approached the help desk, because I needed help. I didn’t know where to look for books about Roswell, NM. It’s not like there is an alien spaceship crash section (though there totally should be).
The following conversation has been edited for clarity, but otherwise is totally as it happened (or at least as I remember it happening):
Help Desk Person: Can I help you?
Me: Why yes, thank you. I am looking for books about Roswell, New Mexico.
Help Desk Person blinks a couple of times before offering cautiously: Our maps and tourist books are right over there.
My turn to blink, but I wouldn’t have asked for help if I had a clue where they’d put the Roswell books so I trotted over to maps, etc and took a look. No surprise there were no books on Roswell, though I did find a tourist guide to New Mexico and a map. Back to Help desk, which I’m starting to believe might be mis-named, or perhaps overhyped.
Help Desk Person: May I help you? (The again was implied.)
Me: I’m still looking for books about Roswell, New Mexico. (Another blink from help desk person.) You know, about the alien space ship crash? (Several blinks this time.) In the 40’s? (eyes widen this time) Outside Roswell?
No sign of an aha or sign one might be incoming. I lean close and suggest she type Roswell, New Mexico into her computer. After a dubious pause, she complies. Then starts back in wholly obvious surprise–her body language is the cliche of surprised in fact–as the titles start to scroll.
Help Desk Person: Oh!
Me: (eye roll) Yeah, so what do you have here in the store?
After all that, they only had two books in stock, but at least this time I was directed to the proper place (history–an interesting choice, I thought).
So, which side of the help desk would you be on? The side that knows Roswell or the side that has no clue? For those who don’t know, or those who would like to know more, I offer the following, actually helpful links:
There’s a lot of books on the subject, too. Just ask the Help Desk of your local bookstore. Or check Amazon
. They have over 400 books on the subject. 🙂
So, what do you think? Do you “know” Roswell? Have a Roswell, or bookstore story? Please share!
Pauline Baird Jones has woven the Roswell crash into a couple of her books, but she has no clue about what actually happened, despite her research. She makes no secret of fact that she has written 12 novels, all of which are fiction. You can find out more about her at www.paulinebjones.com