There is no a in concrete, just cement, water, and aggregate, I don't actually say.
c o n c r e t e
I do not say, "Hey, my dad was a structural engineer. My sons knew the recipe for concrete at age three."
The blond kid at the computer hollers to his mom across the library, "How do you spell engine?"
She answers from far away
I N D I A N
"Mom, come here!," the kid demands, "big red engine!"
I N D I A N
"Anchor," Spelling Man asks, "like anchoring something to the floor, not like a boat." In that case, it is
a n c h o r
"I wasn't even close," he says. He was away, my boys, anchors aweigh.
Like bolting out the door, sir? Making a break for it? Just strike me down now, Zeus!
"No, like using bolts to put something in the wall."
Oh, I say, b o l t i n g."
"O B O L T I N G?"
"No, sorry. Just b o l t i n g ."
"And building is b u i l d i n g ?, " Spelling Man asks last.
Right, you got it, but what are you building, sir?
"I'm writing how to anchor my safe to the concrete floor with bolts."
Hmmm, thank you for calling.
No, thank U.
A handsome, polite young father explains, "Last week my wife checked out a book for me. I want to get another one like it."
Hmmm. Who was the author?
"Can't you just see what she had checked out?"
No, the system doesn't save that information for your protection. You really wouldn't want the library testifying in court about your book-borrowing habits. We could try to look it up by the title. Do you remember the title? Well, who was the main character? Was it fiction or nonfiction?
"It was good. My wife said she got it by the columns."
The display books on the shelf-ends change all the time.
"It was about the C.I.A."
What color was the cover? This is a silly question because all novels about the C.I.A. have jacket designs in red, black, and silver.
We send the young man away with six books. Maybe next time he will jot down the title on a piece of paper, put it in his pocket, and promptly put his pants in the laundry basket. That would be a concrete step in the right direction.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder