Aneurysm Averted

16 02 2007

A long time ago I had a memory, a vague memory. It was just an impression. It was a fleeting remembrance of a book I had as a child. Sometimes I have memories that I’m not entirely sure are real. Did I really stuff a mailbox full of mud-filled paper? (Turns out I did.) Did I really once see a car full of bees? (Still unconfirmed.) But this book, I knew it was real, I just couldn’t recall all the details. That flash of memory started off innocently enough. It was a curiosity. I thought I’d just hop online, enter some relevant details into Google and find out what that book was. But after awhile on Google, I go no answers and a bitch of a finger cramp from clicking too much. Thing about me is, I can’t let things drop. Well, sometimes I can, but the more elusive something is, the more I need to figure it out. Since I didn’t get a single lead for all my effort, a curiosity was about to become something of an obsession. I went to Amazon and did a search. Nothing. The logical response to this of course was for me to browse through EVERY SINGLE CHILDREN’S BOOK ON AMAZON! Whew, that took awhile! But all I got were finger cramps and bleary eyes.

After that I could be frequently found plugging some search terms into Google as I remembered details. I shot off some e-mails to friends and family asking for their assistance. Everyone was willing to help, but had no answers for me.

One night not too long after I wound up in a very large Barnes and Noble in Rochester. I went to the children’s section and started to browse through all of their books. I guess I stood out in the children’s section and a friendly employee came over to help. I described the book and we went over to their computer and did search after search. She asked every other employee of the department. They all started to help me look. Nothing was resolved by the time I had to leave, but I was VERY impressed with the level of customer service I received.

That was the end of the obsessive phase as I realized there was little else I could really do until I remember something more substantial. The question of that book continued to swirl around my brain and occasionally find its way back to the surface. I simply had to suppress the overwhelming desire to find the answer since it seemed unlikely I’d get one.

I think this is where aneurysms come from. It’s these sort of nagging things that tangle the wires in the background of your brain until the whole mechanism just pops. That’s was this book was going to do to me. It brought joy to me as a child, and possible death as an adult.

Maybe this next bit seems irrelevant, but I love the Magazine Mental Floss. When I discovered they had a blog I just had to subscribe to it.

This turns out to have been a fortuitous decision. Today, they had a blog post about a new free website that answers questions about half-remembered books. I immediately thought of that book and clicked over to the webpage. Not more than an hour or two later an answer had been posted. It was either “Monkey Face” by Frank Asch or the similarly plotted “Bread and Honey” by the same author. Hmm. Monkey Face did sound familiar. I needed a picture, the illustrations were my clearest memories of the book.

No problem, just enter it into google…

And clicking on every hit on seven pages of google I finally found my picture. And Lo, it was my book!

Thank freakin’ goodness. What an exquisite mental release. I’m so glad I found my answer.

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One response

17 02 2007
nova

You found your book! How exciting! I know how it was weighing on you.

(and when did you see a car full of bees??)

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