The Book Sale and the Bindery

The sign is up and the Bindery is rapidly approaching full operational capability. We’re still waiting to resolve one issue, and to confirm the apparently successful resolution of two others, before we can seriously contemplate getting started on The Iliad and The Odyssey for the backers. But we are getting very close to full E-F-F-E-C-T otherwise known as EFFECT.

In the meantime, in case the announcement somehow escaped you, there are four Library and four Libraria books on sale for $69.99 and $199.99 respectively, including what may be the best value ever offered by Castalia Library, which is both THE LAWDOG FILES and THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES bound together in a single hilarious edition. Based on our experience in listening to the audiobook on a long trip in a car full of children, THE LAWDOG FILES would make for an excellent Christmas gift for any teenage or precocious reader with a sense of humor.


Many, MANY moons ago—and don’t even ask, ’cause I won’t tell you—when I was still a pup, the family lived in Nigeria. We had a bungalow at the Odibo Estates, out near the Biafran border. Every evening peddlers, called traders, used to walk up and down the main road, offering various knick-knacks and merchandise for sale or trade.

Ali Cheap-Cheap was one of the busier traders, and he spent a lot of time on our front porch haggling with Mom. Now, Ali Cheap-Cheap was very proud of his ability to acquire just about anything you might want or need.

One evening, Mom was visiting on the front porch with the visiting wife of one of the English engineers. Said wife had never been outside of London before, and as a consequence, she loathed Africa. She and Mom were chattering and griping when along came Ali Cheap-Cheap. Old Ali Cheap-Cheap didn’t have anything that Mom or the English lady wanted, so, before he wandered off, he asked if, “Madams want for anything?”

The English lady got a funny look in her eye, tapped her snake-hide purse and said, “I want one of these.” “Yes, madam,” replied Ali, and off he trotted.

About three weeks later, Mom and her new English friend were on the front porch again, when along came Ali Cheap-Cheap. With a friend. Ali and friend had a cane pole slung over their shoulders, and there was a burlap bag hanging from said pole.

Now, at this point I should mention that also on the front porch, in addition to the two ladies, was a Mongoose-a-minium, in which lived our pet kusimanse, or as it is known to science, Helogale parvula, the pygmy mongoose. This Mongoose-a-minium had a Plexiglas ceiling which Dad had assured us was unbreakable.


Up to the porch came Ali Cheap-Cheap and his buddy.

Mom was eyeing the burlap bag with some trepidation, having had some nasty experiences with what the locals tended to store in burlap bags, when Ali and buddy proudly lifted the burlap bag and announced to the English lady, “Oh, madam! We have your beef!”

I should interject here that “Beef” is bush slang for any animal.

Wait for it.

Mom had risen to her full height, and was about to order Ali to get his beef away from her house, when Squeaker, our pygmy mongoose, wandered out of his apartment, and screamed in sheer outrage. It was always amazing how much sheer volume that little hairball could put out. Ali and his buddy were startled by the shriek and dropped the burlap sack onto the Plexiglass roof of Squeaker’s residence.

The unbreakable glass promptly shattered and caused the burlap sack and its contents to fall into the Mongoose-a-minium. It turned out that inside said sack was one observably scared 15-foot python.

Squeaker, who was about the size and girth of a tennis ball, offered up a brief prayer to the Mongoose God for the meal he was about to partake of, and latched onto the snake’s tail with tooth and claw.

The snake discovered that he has been dumped into a place which reeks of mongoose, panicked and attempted to slide up the side of the Mongoose-a-minium and down onto the porch, but was hindered in doing so by Squeaker, who was not only still firmly attached to the python’s tail, but was bracing all four legs against the wall to prevent his meal from getting away.

Did I mention that the snake was approximately fifteen feet long?

Squeaker didn’t even slow him down.