Thursday, May 15, 2008

Those pesky camels

Once upon a time, in the days when Aunty Mame** lived among us, she ordered a book for our monthly discussion. Time for discussion arrived, but the book didn't. AuntyMame decided the delivery system must be using camels, and slow camels at that. Thereafter, anytime something was slow in arriving, AuntyMame would send out her own cyber camel to investigate the delays. Eventually, we had camels running all over the world, attempting to get books from one book buddy to another and from a bookseller to any of us. I seem to remember that some of our camels may have had names, but what they might have been I cannot say.

Came the time when we got curious about our camel delivery service and investigated camels and their habits. Camels, we learned, come in two varieties: one-hump camels and two-hump camels. I don't know about the rest of the buddies, but I decided the two-hump variety (bactrian camel, shown here) looked slower ... ha ... THAT must be the reason we weren't getting our books on time! Detouring by their home in the Gobi Desert didn't speed things up, either. (AuntyMame, if you read this, please correct mistakes caused by my faulty memory.)

** AuntyMame was the colorful character who usually arrived at our parties via flying carpet. The trouble was that AuntyMame could not always control her carpet and would arrive with a loud THUMP, shouting "Ouch!" as the carpet swerved into the side of ... say ... the Tuscan villa where we partied after reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. Does anybuddy remember that? Our descriptions of meeting in the huge library room of that (cyber) house, complete with a table big enough for all book buddies to sit around it, was so convincing that someone who discovered our posts a few weeks later mentioned she probably couldn't afford to fly to Italy with us to party! Woo-hoo! Neither could we! Our transportation was mostly by magic carpets, imaginations, and slow camels.