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January 15th, 2006 - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2006-01-15 01:28
Subject: Looking for things
Security: Public
The best way of finding something, it is said, is to be looking for something else. I would like to submit to my assembled audience a second strategy - for someone else to have been looking for it, and to have given up.

I've recently been wanting to reread Diane Duane's first Raetian Tales novel, A Wind From The South. Some ten or so years ago, I bought two copies, one for me, and one for the lass whom I was courting (and who has since become my wife). dduane, whom we had met but didn't really know at that stage, flew over from Ireland and delivered them to our hotel in Glasgow, which must count as excellent customer service. (The simultaneous Worldcon, at which she and her other half were Toastmasters, was surely a mere though happy coincidence.)

Being books, they're most likely in the room we now use for storing them - our library. Now, it can be difficult to find some of the C J Cherryh novels, for example, as we've not yet sorted them all, and many of the shelves are double stacked. But the two copies for aWftS shouldn't be, for they were self-published, run off on a hard-working laser printer, and as a result they are A4 in size.

A pair of A4 books, each a couple of hundred sheets thick, comb-bound. How hard can that be. But I could not see them.

This evening, I asked bellinghwoman where they were. She replied "Why, prithee sir, they would be in the library. Where else, you idiot?". Or words to that effect. Down we went, and this time, she looked. She knew what we were looking for, she knew what they should look like. There are a few comb-bound manuals on the shelves, and she indicated the spine of one to check with me that it was for something like that that we were looking.

So she looked. And she looked. And she looked. She couldn't find either of them either. After a while, she gave up in puzzlement.

It was then that I pointed at the pair of comb-bound volumes, pulled them out, and showed her that indeed, not only was the comb-binding like that, it was that.

Not until she'd given up had I spotted them.
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