Searching for an inappropriately appropriate birthday card for my colleague, Dr. Coleen Grissom, turned out to be a real treat recently. The birthday card section at the Trinity bookstore is filled with an uncharacteristic selection of crude, tasteless, offensive, and politically incorrect material. It saved me a trip to "On Main," just down the road.
Was this a move by the bookstore to cater to the whims of the fringe (maybe mainstream?) element on campus? Hardly. No one on the staff there really noticed, apparently, when the vendor introduced the new line... until the complaints came in -- and sales increased.
Dr. Grissom often says "I am of two minds..." and that's where I stand on this. There is something seedy and un-academic about this. I don't feel right browsing these cards without the smell of incense in the air. And I hate waiting for other customers to clear out so I can browse freely. On the other hand, these cards are more entertaining than the ones at Hallmark or HEB, and college isn't really supposed to have a Hallmark-ian feel to it. (You can weigh in on the poll - at right.) When I worked at Syracuse (in the same complex the aforementioned Dr. Grissom worked generations earlier), there was a satellite bookstore operation there that sold "girly"magazines. That seemed odd to me too.
Our bookstore doesn't do that. Nor does it sell condoms. Nor does it sell tobacco and tobacco products. Fret or worry not, depending upon your perspective. The bookstore will be getting a different line of cards in soon. For now though, stock up or stay away. As with birthdays and aging, the clock is ticking.