Coda: A Play in One Act
(a post vaguely in the style of Acephalous *)
[A MAN and A WOMAN are at the science fiction section of a Barnes & Noble. A MAN is 45-ish and is dressed in the drabbest possible outfit of undecorated T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, A WOMAN is apparently in her 50s and is in a dress and sandals. They have just done that strange social interaction in which two people who don't know each other happen to slowly walk through the section, peering at the titles, more or less at the same speed and in the same direction. Although they are 3/4 of the way through, neither of them is holding a book.]
A MAN: Whoever's been buying science fiction for this store hasn't been doing a very good job.
A WOMAN: [looks displeased, makes hand motion to encompass shelves] Yes. It's ... too many vampires. There shouldn't be so many things with vampires, you know?
There should be, well, real SF... I like Neil Stephenson.
A MAN: [slightly encouraged] You know who you might like? Adam Roberts. He's a British writer. He's pretty good ... um, his day job is as an English professor. So, you know, he knows how to write. **
A WOMAN: [nods] Robert Adams you said?
A MAN: Adam Roberts.
[A MAN realizes that this Barnes & Noble has no books by Adam Roberts.]
A WOMAN: Robert Jordan. I really, really like Robert Jordan.
A MAN: Mmm-hmm!
[Both turn back to the shelves. Boggled, A MAN covertly glances to see if a liking for Robert Jordan means that she's wearing anything that might indicate that she likes to be spanked. She's leaning forward to see the books with her hands behind her waist, wearing many fake-gold bracelets. Hmm.]
* If this really were an Acephalous post, it would be better written and would include not only a claim that this really happened, but would also be followed by a claim that there is some kind of ill-defined documentary evidence that it really happened. This did really happen, although I of course have no documentary evidence.
** I am fully aware that being an English professor does not mean that one knows how to write.