/ˈɑrsiˈvɑrsi / [ahr-see-vahr-see] Informal.
wrong end foremost; completely backward: an arsy-varsy way of doing things.
in a backward or thoroughly mixed-up fashion: The papers are all filed arsy-varsy.
Also, ar·sy·ver·sy /ˈɑrsiˈvɜrsi / [ahr-see-vur-see]
No doubt you noticed that I didn’t publish a blog post on Sunday as I usually do. I felt really bad about it too. I pictured you sitting by your computer just waiting for my post, wasting a whole beautiful day, while I just lay in bed and did nothing. I apologize for that, and I think I’ve decided not to make promises I can’t always keep. If I don’t publish by a reasonable time on Sundays, just go on ahead and enjoy your day. Don’t worry about me…I’ll be fine…
I wanted to talk about books. A lot of us share a love of reading, so we scour best-seller lists, we join book clubs and we just generally talk about what we’re reading when we meet. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to find something suitable for your current frame of mind.
For example, last night I started reading Cockroach by Rawi Hage; by all accounts a very good book, and one I had to wait several months to get from the library. I quickly determined, after only a few pages, that it was not the right kind of book to be reading in my present state. You would think the title would have given that away, wouldn’t you? On the heels of the week I just went through, it was an especially bad idea.
Here are some of the things that happened last week:
- I asked Franco to buy me some popsicles and he came home with an industrial-sized box of those mini freezies that don’t even taste good;
- I finished book number four of the Harry Potter series. This is good. My daughter, Julie, insisted that I must read the entire series. So what does she do? She gives me books 1 through 4 and then SKIPS number 5 and goes directly to number 6. Just when I was really, really into it. She says she loves me !?!?
- One day, I was in so much pain, I had to be brought to the local hospital by ambulance only to find out that my cancer has migrated yet again. This time it has found a new home on a bone in my rib cage, very close to the spine;
- And if all that wasn’t enough, I asked Franco to buy me some Kraft Dinner and he brought me home the white cheddar kind instead of the original.
I know right? But it’s my own fault. I should have been more specific about the popsicles and the K.D. Franco is from Spain, where they don’t even have Kraft Dinner. How was he expected to know?
Julie, Julie, Julie, it’s okay. Franco will get Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from the library and all will be well.
As for the cancer, I’ve decided to rename it Roaman Carcinoma. He certainly gathers no moss. But you see, that’s the point. I can’t let Roaman get the best of me. There are simply too many books left to read. I’ve got a list as long as my cancerous colon of tomes that I want to crack. I keep hearing that heaven is wonderful, but will they have all the books there? A lot of the books I read have sex and violence in them (and that’s just Harry Potter). I find it hard to accept that God will allow that.
Big Apocalyptic Voice: God will not censor!
BAV: No censorship in heaven!
Me: Oh my gosh. Is that..? Could it be be? Are you…?
BAV: Yes, it is I, James Patterson.*
Me: Mr. Patterson, I can’t believe you’re taking time out of your busy schedule to interrupt my post. I’m so flattered – I might even finally read one of your books.
And yet, I still can’t see me trying to sneak a Jackie Collins by St. Peter.
St.P.: What’s that you’ve got there?
Me: Oh nothing much, just a book by J.C.
St.P.: Liar! Your filthy book is dropping nasty words all over the freshly cut grass. Either go downstairs to read that or take this old Dean Koontz
A lot of us like to hoard our books. We read a good one and then put it in our own personal library, because there is a miniscule chance that we will want to read it again someday. Possibly, we just want people to see what we have on our shelves, so that we look smarter than we are. “Like wow, John has Anna Karenina on his bookshelf and it’s in the original Russian. Yes, it’s right there next to Green Eggs and Ham.”
A few years ago, after having moved my bunch of books from home to home and really never reading a single one over again, I decided to make a clean sweep of it. I made four or five trips down to the parking level of our condo and left all my beautiful hard covers on a shelf that people use for just this purpose. When I was done, my arms hurt and I was tired, but I felt good. I was doing my part in sharing my love of the written word.
An hour or so later, there was a knock at the door. Franco answered and there stood our super, loaded down with all the books I had painstakingly transferred downstairs. He said “Look what I found! I know your wife likes to read, so I picked them all up for her.” It was all I could do not to take them back.
* Any reference to James Patterson interrupting my blog is complete fiction. Also, I have read a few of his books.
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