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February 7, 2007


Today's theme is the word catalog.

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Jim: Making Do

Pa tramped into the cabin. “What’s going on?” he asked.

“We just got the new Sears and Roebuck catalog,” Ma replied from the huddle around the table.

Justin pointed down at the open book. “I want me some of them lace-up shoes.”

Ma nodded and flipped the pages. “Oh look! A rocking chair!”

“Look at these pretty dresses,” Opal sighed. “I just love catalogs.”

“Me, too,” Pa declared. “The Sears and Roebuck sure is a handy item.” Then he scooped up the book and stomped away to the outhouse. It had been a long time since they’d had any paper.

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David: Indistinguished

The protests started small. A library in Spokane had its card catalog picketed one Saturday. Alternative radio stations were pressured to switch to Top 40.

Then, the movement started to spread and grow. Newspapers were hounded for putting sports and financial news in their own sections. Corporations suffered boycotts for the crime of making their products’ packaging too distinctive.

Someone broke into the Library of Congress and randomly rearranged all the books. Gregor Mendel’s Taxonomy of Life was burned in effigy in Times Square, now called That One Intersection Not Unlike Any Other.

The anti-discrimination movement had gone too far.

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Tanya: Untitled

The women crowded around the coffee table, as Marjorie unwrapped the next gift, removing a lovely purple crocheted blanket.

“Missy! Did you make this yourself? It’s beautiful!”

Missy teasingly chided her, “I can’t believe you didn’t find out the sex of the baby. Then I could have made it blue or pink.”

“The purple’s gorgeous, and we wanted it to be a surprise. We’re old fashioned that way.”

All the women nodded. Many of them had done likewise.

“But what color eyes and hair did you get?”

“We picked blue and brown,” Marjorie replied. “With my chin and Ben’s nose.”

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Jeff R.:A Price For Everything

When spoken of at all, it's called 'The Black Catalog', an, unassuming text published intermittently since 1920 and mailed to a select list of the hundred wealthiest people alive. Wealthy enough to buy anonymity; wealthier by far than anyone you've heard of.

Within its slick pages are things to buy. Lost works of art, assassin's services, love-slaves exquisitely surgically crafted into perfection. Nuclear devices have appeared four times, once including an entire missile delivery system. As have the secret reins of power to countries far larger than you'd imagine, trips to the moon and mars, whatever the subscribers want enough.

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Ted: 3:28 A.M.

The door chimed as the mercury sang "Delivery!"

I was awake of course. If this lady expected me to either be sleep-fuddled or out, she had just made a mistake. I hadn't ordered anything.

So I opened the door with the remote and stood out of sight, my auto tracking her.

She really was a mercury, only she was working for Ariel instead. Us stiffs hardly ever see a real Ariel, wings on her feet and everything.

"Do I need to sign?"

"No. I always deliver. They want you to have the catalogue before you go any further. Good night."

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