I’ve been compiling a list of what I call “modern vanities” – basic rules that govern the world. At least my world. I don’t know about yours. Take, for example, Modern Vanity™ No. 4: “There’s always a bigger fish.”
As in the cliché. There’s always a bigger, badder, more horriblerier boss in a video game, or bad guy in a comic book.
Or quest item in Moscow. Earlier I wrote about my quest and eventual success in finding a teapot.
Life continued for our hero in the land of the snow and troikas, until one day:
I want index cards! All I want. They are so ubiquitous in America that I’m suffering pretty horrible culture shock that there are NONE in the city. I’ve gone to different book stores, office supply stores, etc. Here’s what happens:
[/action: Frozen Icarus searches.
…You find nothing.
Frozen Icarus: Do you have any index cards? (Russ: kartotechnye kartochki)
Frozen Icarus: Kartotechnye kartochki.
Saleswoman: I understood. No. Why would you want them? Like a library? No.
[/show item: post-it notes
Frozen Icarus: Do you have any Post-its that don’t have adhesive? (Russ: bes kleia)
Saleswoman: …No. Everything we have is on display, here.
Frozen Icarus: Do you know –
Saleswoman: I have no idea where you could buy karty dlia kartoteki v gorode (cards for a card catalogue in this city).
I’ve never thought I’d say it – and Paddles, you should turn your eyes away, this will burn you** - I long for Staples.
(** - He worked for Staples and it his personal anti-Christ.)
Seriously! I can’t believe I have taken index cards for granted all these years of my life. All of those cards I wasted as flash cards…le sigh. Is ok. I will buy a couple thousand when I get to American shores in a week.
I’m surprised at how much Post-it notes have caught on here, comparatively. The display is like a rabbit cage of neon paper. Before my very eyes they propogate. POOF! (This is the noise of Post-its-women giving birth.) POOF! Green. POOF! Yellow. POOF! A-color-the-name-of-which-I-don’t-know. Is this puce?
The one good thing out of this situation is that I’ve finally solved the question: “Is Nabokov an American or a Russian author?” If you ever encounter this question in your life, readers dear, you need respond with just one statement to prove, once and for all, that he completely nationalized:
Nabokov wrote his novels on index cards.
3 months ago