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Missing the Mark: An Auntie Obvious Adventure

By Auntie Obvious (Who is very grateful to Brady The Book Sailor for giving her some space on this website!)

Auntie Obvious loved to read. Now, if you are wondering how Auntie Obvious got her name, well…that’s kind of a long story. One for a different day.

On this day, Auntie Obvious was looking for her special bookmark. On the bookmark was a drawing of two happy dolphins playing in the ocean. The best part was the teeeeeny ceramic dolphin that hung from a light blue tassel that was looped around the top.

Auntie Obvious looked everywhere, and she found a lot of OTHER bookmarks that she was kind of embarrassed to admit she’d forgotten about – but her special bookmark was nowhere to be found.Just as Auntie Obvious was peeking underneath her refrigerator (where she found several dust bunnies, but no dolphin bookmarks), her cell phone started ringing. She stood up, brushed the dust bunnies off her sweatpants (she would have to deal with them later), and picked up the phone. It was an unknown number, which Auntie Obvious always found really annoying. She usually let those calls go to voice mail, but she picked up anyway. “Hello?”

“Oh, finally noticed I was gone, did you?”

Auntie Obvious was puzzled. “Who is this?”

“Duh,” said the voice on the other end of the line. “It’s your special bookmark, Marky.”

Auntie Obvious laughed nervously. She wondered what people would think if they knew she was having a phone conversation with a bookmark. “Your…name is Marky?”

“OH, YOU THINK MY NAME IS FUNNY?”

“No, no…that’s…um…an excellent name. So…uh, Marky…where are you?”

“Where are you?” Marky repeated in a mocking tone. “Don’t you care HOW I am?”

Apparently, Auntie Obvious had breached some sort of bookmark etiquette.  “Um…yes! Of course! So…uh…Marky…HOW are you?”

“Actually, I’m terrible. Thanks for finally asking. Took you long enough.”

Auntie Obvious thought very carefully about her next question. She wanted to ask, “How did you get a cell phone?” Or, “How did you dial my number with no fingers?” But she didn’t want to breach bookmark etiquette again, so she took a deep breath, and said, “I’m really sorry to hear that, Marky. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Why yes,” said Marky, “there is.” “You can stop spending so much time with Doo Doo Head.”

Auntie Obvious was shocked. Even more shocked than she was to find herself talking on the phone to a bookmark. “You take that back RIGHT NOW, or I’m hanging up the phone,” she said sternly. “How DARE you talk about my nephew, Brady, that way?”

For a moment, there was silence on the other end of the line. Then Marky said, “Wait, what? I love Brady! He’s totally awesome! Why do you think he’s a Doo Doo Head?”

Auntie Obvious screamed into the phone: “I don’t! He’s NOT a Doo Doo Head! YOU said he was a Doo Doo Head!”

“I DID NOT SAY BRADY WAS A DOO DOO HEAD!”

Auntie Obvious took a deep breath. Now she wasn’t just talking on the phone to a bookmark. She was having a shouting match with one that involved using the word “Doo Doo Head”. A lot. She probably needed to lie down. Instead, she said, “OK, Marky, you clearly called *someone* a Doo Doo Head. So can you please tell me WHO the Doo Doo Head is?

“Oh, like you don’t KNOW.”

Auntie Obvious’ right eyebrow began to twitch. “Can you give me a hint? I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. It’s not like I’ve been hanging out with very many people.”

“OK, fine. Since you clearly NEED A CLUE, I’ll give you four. ONE: Doo Doo Head is rectangular. TWO: Doo Doo Head has a purple cover. THREE: Doo Doo Head holds loads of books. Four: Doo Doo Head turns into a useless hunk of scrap metal and plastic when his battery runs out.”

Two clues in, Auntie Obvious was pretty sure she understood. “We’re…um…talking about my e-reader, aren’t we?”

“Took you long enough.”

“But…I…really LOVE my e-reader,” Auntie Obvious wailed. “I can take it on trips, and it hardly takes up any space in my suitcase!”

“Oh,” said Marky. “So you’ve done a lot of travelling in 2020?”

“I…well…I mean…no,” Auntie Obvious sputtered. “But…but…I can ALSO use it to highlight important passages while I’m reading a book!”

“Wow, that is impressive,” said Marky sarcastically. “If only there was something you could use to highlight important passages in regular books. You could call it…oh, I don’t know…a HIGHLIGHTER??? 

Auntie Obvious plopped down on the couch and sighed. She was not only having a loud argument over the phone with a bookmark, but the bookmark was actually making some excellent points. “Look, she said. Can’t I love you both? Maybe you could think of Libby as your annoying little sister?”

“Who’s Libby?”

“My e-reader! Because it sounds kind of like “Library”! Ha, ha!”

“Oh, THAT’s super original,” Marky scoffed.

Auntie Obvious started to point out to Marky that bookmarks who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but she needed to get the conversation back on track. “Come on, wouldn’t it be great if we were all a big, happy, book reading family?”

“Fine,” said Marky. “But I have two conditions.”

“OK, what’s the first one?”

“You have to promise that my next job will be holding your place in a book from an independent, locally owned bookstore.”

“OK, that’s super reasonable,” said Auntie Obvious. What’s the other condition?”

“Your nephew’s website, BradyTheBookSailor.com, is doing a great job helping to get kids interested in reading. You should get him some promotional merch that will remind people to visit the website, so even MORE people will learn to love reading.”

“Wow, that’s actually a great idea,” said Auntie Obvious. “What do you think I should get? Drink koozies?”

“Meh.”

“How about paper clip holders?”

“Meh.”

“Toilet paper?”

“Ewwwwww. Gross. And probably really expensive”

“Yeah, that’s true. Hey! What about…bookmarks?”

“Took you long enough.”

So Auntie Obvious hung up the phone and ordered some promotional bookmarks for BradyTheBookSailor.com. Then she went online and ordered a book from her local, independently-owned bookstore.

Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Auntie Obvious saw a flash of movement. Right there, on the top of her “to be read” bookcase – where she was sure she had already looked a dozen times – was a teeny ceramic blue dolphin swinging on a light blue tassel…attached to a bookmark. It was Marky!

Auntie Obvious was super excited to find her special bookmark. And even though Marky and Libby were always a teeeeeensy bit jealous of each other, they all lived happily ever after as a big, happy, book reading – and book sailing – family.

The End.

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