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It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

Today is the day that my town gains its own center of beatnik culture.

Da da da DA!!!!!!!!!

Barnes & Noble!

I finally got to leave work today for lunch at 2:30 in the freaking afternoon. Good thing I was able to gnaw on that intern for a while or I would have been a bit growly.

The place was packed. I had been thinking that perhaps I was the only person in town, other than the Barnes & Noble employees, who knew of the store’s existence. This was not the case. A news crew blocked the entrance with their tripods. The caf’ was brewing with activity.

I mosied around, lingering only to brush my hand longingly over Michael Ondaatje as he whispered to me promises of long afternoons, just he and I together. Then Oscar Wilde yoo-hooed madly at me from behind another stack, telling me to ignore that Ondaatje loser and have fun with him.

There’s still a bit of strangeness with this new B&N, though. For instance, in the periodicals section, scattered betwixt the issues of Ploughshares, GlimmerTrain, and Paris Review sit the Reader’s Digest with smiling Tim Allen on the cover. That’s like taking a fine souffle and barfing a hairball right in the center. Also, I noticed that they gave Chicken Soup for the Soul books their own sections. I guess I can’t blame them for that one. I’m thinking that all the other sections wouldn’t have anything to do with them.

The people of the city of Green Bay don’t seem to know what to do with a big book store. I saw a man wearing a John Deere cap, wandering around looking for Don DeLillio. That was strange. But then, eventually the people who are just checking out the place will dwindle away and it will be left to those of us who are snobby readers.

I should really find another hobby.

Oh, and I burnt the hell out of my tongue with their Blackberry and Sage tea. I don’t think the baristas really have the hang of it yet.