“I was in the Navy 30 years, 26 days and 2 hours. Retired as a Rear Admiral. I was an American history major at UCLA. Since I knew I was going into the Navy I thought I ought to know a lot about the country. Then during night-watch I read up on what we were trying to do internationally and how it was influenced by history. I eventually received a Master’s in International Relations from American University. I have been reading non-fiction for 60 years. They don’t teach that sh*t any more. Instead they teach American Studies. Kids nowadays know nothing about their history; it is blended with sociology and American Studies.
I am more like James Guild than Twain. I’m the crotchety old geezer inundated with books. People say I should be nicer to people but the people are just trying to get books from me on the cheap. As you know, I have notes posted throughout the shop.
Rule number 1: The customer is not always right, I am.
I tell these kids who come in my shop saying, ‘Like this,’ and ‘Like that,’ ‘Life is not a simile.’ I give away copies of the thesaurus for free.”