Friday, September 09, 2005

The Game

Well, I have been away for quite some time and I'm not sure this is the best way to make a comeback but what the heck.

The last two issues of Esquire have played up Neil Strauss's new book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists and because the early lead I got on the Freakonomics craze from here I have decided to try this book out. Once I finish the book I may devote a separate post to the content of the book (for those already champing at the bit the author does make an early effort to cast his exploits in a mature, moral light--jury's still out though) but for now the bizarre experience of buying this book will have to suffice.

Last night I walk into my local Chapters and take a look at the New Release wall--no luck. I head upstairs and query the useful computer terminal and it tells me to look in Community and Culture--Men's Studies. Some sort of pre-congition tells me that this section will be far from monstrous so I ask a staffperson (more on him later) to point the way. As confirmation of my earlier suspicion I find that the Men's Studies section, supposedly located between "Black Studies" and "Women's Studies" is about two books in breadth--both of which, judging from titles akin to Being a Black Man in Contemporary America may have belonged to the former neighbouring section. I guess seeing my confused expression and empty hands the aforementioned staffperson suddenly appears. This gentleman was more than helpful throughout this escape but I kid you not he looked like a normal-sized version of Hagrid from Harry Potter--shaggy hair, posture, beard, the whole nine yards.

So, I tell Hagrid what I'm looking for and he grumbles something about muggles looking for newly-released books and trundles off to the "Staff Only" stockroom. A couple minutes and a phone call later he has determined where the book is and very specifically directs me to the "New Release" wall that I checked on my way in. While I'm patiently re-scanning this display my shaggy new friend re-appears (and for someone of his stature he definitely has a knack for popping out of thin air) and adds his two beady eyes to the search. It turns out that the book was shelved in a different "New Releases" section--way to go Chapters, thanks Hagrid.

I have to say that the publishers have done a good job of producing something that looks like a manual for a secret society. We're talking black (fake) leather covers, embossed gold type on the spine and front, gilded page edges and a crimson ribbon for a bookmark. If nothing else, this book at least looks cool and seems well-suited for some subway reading.

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