Thursday, December 6, 2007

Book Cart Art

The good folks at the library comic strip site, Unshelved recently announced winners of its second annual "Pimp My Bookcart" contest and there are some attractive champions. My favorite is the Yellow Submarine entry and the woolly mammoth "Oloch". The grand prize winner was an electronically-wired UPS delivery van fashioned by the creative students of Missouri's Timberland High School. While perhaps not the most interesting book cart cocoction, the winner got kudos for the breadth and quality of its pimping. Certainly they also get points for creative product placement, and I hope UPS is giving the school library some book cash instead of a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Perhaps it is time to "pimp" our four overworked bargain book carts. We bought these red enameled beauties unassembled at a local hardware store at least 8 or 9 years ago, and they have been flogging our 50 cent (3 for $1!) books on the sidewalk from broiling August afternoons through sub-zero January twilight. The wheels don't work quite right on two of the carts anymore so we leave them parked inside. Pricing jumbo-sized replacement wheels made me gasp, so they will remain hobbled. The other carts are a tad unnavigable, like most supermarket carts I end up with, after hauling so much biblio-avoirdupois. They are not as rectangular as they used to be, in fact, they are quite definitely parallelograms. Perhaps it is time to consult a welding book from the how-to section.

The Unshelved Cart contest reminds me of a great book I have in the home library, "Meat, Metal & Fire: The Legendary Australian Barbecue", by Mark Thomson (Sydney: HarperCollins, 1999) which features photographs of the creative ways these Southern Hempishere blokes (and a couple of token sheilas) have fashioned their barbies. Here's a fire-breathing dragon and rocket launcher to feed your eyes.

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