18 Comments

  1. I can’t read the title on the book cover the little vandal stole to put on the Coelho book, thus messing up the store’s inventory. ‘Good’ something?

  2. Yes, “Cool Lowriders”.

    That is not cool at all. First, as mentioned, now there is a dustjacketless copy of “Cool Lowriders” in the store. They’ll probably never be able to sell it. Or have to put it on deep discount.

    Next issue is that if the books are not the same price, the store was either overpaid or shorted.

    Third, the store is going to order another copy of “Cool Lowriders” now and have it sitting in inventory and not realize they’re missing a copy of “The Alchemist”.

    Finally, it’s just a jerk move and he’s still from that person who I guess is in his family.

  3. So, there’s the spy vs. spy reference, and white spy tricking black spy into buying “The Alchemist”.

    But what’s the joke?

  4. “But what’s the joke?”

    I think you’ve already mentioned it: “white spy tricking black spy into buying “The Alchemist”

    Low-brow, hot-rod lovin’ black spy tricked by more sophisticated white spy, which is why he/she is reading that poncey…er…esteemed novel.

  5. “That is not cool at all. First, as mentioned, now there is a dustjacketless copy of “Cool Lowriders” in the store. They’ll probably never be able to sell it. Or have to put it on deep discount.”

    Your outrage is based on an assumption. So don’t assume that, instead, assume that white spy brought the dust jacket with her into the bookstore/library.

  6. It’s the brainy little sister (white spy) tricking the car-obsessed older brother (black spy) into buying the book. The brother/sister dynamic is the point of the joke (as it frequently is in Baldo)

  7. James Pollock. it seems like a very likely assumption to me. Even if she didn’t steal it from the bookstore, she most likely stole it from somewhere else. The streets are probably not littered with unwanted Cool Lowriders dustcovers.

  8. It’s a joke that doesn’t withstand too much analysis. It’s a pretty natural thing to open up a book and look in it before buying. Even if he’d gone there to get that particular book that would be likely. Even if he didn’t, he’d probably go back to the store and return/exchange it. Also the chances of the jacket from that sort of book fitting a novel aren’t that great.

    It’s best just to go with it and enjoy the homage to Spy vs. Spy. I mean, unreality was the hallmark of those cartoons.

  9. Incidentally, even if she found the dustcover on the street, she effectively used it to steal $20 or so (plus tax) from her brother, so she’s not innocent.
    Reincidentally, why didn’t Baldo take the misdustcovered book back to the store and exchange it for the book he wanted? That was my first reaction.
    Tri-incidentally, I think the white spy’s modus operandi is to ironically turn the black spy’s plot back on him. The pastiche would be more authentic with shades reversed.

  10. “The streets are probably not littered with unwanted Cool Lowriders dustcovers.”

    Her brother’s room, on the other hand, probably has a very high percentage of books that have dustcovers he’d find interesting.

    The point is, the author didn’t tell us where she got it, so you have a choice as to the assumption you make about that question. If you’ve chosen an assumption that makes you angry, unchoose that one and choose again.

  11. Another thought from the weird mind of Meryl – Gracie wanted the alchemist book, but had no money. She switched the covers knowing that Baldo was planning to buy the Lowrider’s book – now she has her book. Although I think she is too honest to do this.

  12. @ James Pollock: If her brother has a copy of “Cool Lowriders” in his room and she took the dustcover off that it wouldn’t help her, would it? He wouldn’t buy another copy of the book he already has. You’re asking us to make an assumption that makes us stupid.

  13. “If her brother has a copy of “Cool Lowriders” in his room and she took the dustcover off that it wouldn’t help her, would it”

    Seeing as how I’m offering it as an assumption built on whole cloth, why would I thin ALSO assume facts counter to it? Maybe she’s SO dedicated to this prank that she ordered the book jacket custom printed.

    ” You’re asking us to make an assumption that makes us stupid.”

    If this assumption makes you aggravated, unchoose it and go back and pick another one. Continue until you get one that doesn’t aggravate you.
    At a certain point, it starts to look like you’re doing it backwards, looking for assumptions that give you an excuse to get aggravated.

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