April 25, 2006

Love At First Drop

This is the sort of self-indulgent item that I would never post on my blog if I took my blog more seriously: Bone bought a Latin-English dictionary. Fortunately I don't, so here goes.

I've known Ham o' Bone for some 15 years and he still has the capacity to surprise. Case-in-point: he went to a Half-Price Books yesterday because he had a 40% off coupon. (His personal library, by the way, consists of maybe a dozen books since he considers the public library his personal one and far cheaper.) Nothing surprising so far.

But he goes in and spends three or four hours searching the titles, nearly 100% of which he doesn't own, and comes out (drumroll) with a Latin-English dictionary. You have to know Bone to know how deeply illogical this is on so many fronts. His wife, who also presumably knows him well, was similarly dumbstruck.

Bone happens to be an evangelical (not that there's anything wrong with that - am I digging a hole here or what? *grin*) and Latin seems more of a Catholic avocation unless you're a scholar of some sort. (Scholar of beer labels we are.) He will never look at this book again, trust me. It's a most extraordinary non-utilitarian purchase for a utilitarian (at least when it comes to managing his finances) to make.

Ultimately it seems the purchase was made for the purest of Bone-ian motives, a motive so pristinely Bone that I didn't even recognize it: the book was physically well-made. Deeply, to-the-core frugal, Ham likes anything that lasts and won't require expensive maintenance. He accidentally dropped the dictionary from a height of six feet and picked it back up with nary a scratch, thus permanently endearing itself to Ham. As Yogi says, you can look it up.

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