Mini libraries, spotty coverage and mille-fenille

Bill Mann Mann Overboard
Posted 2/20/18

I (HEART) OUR MINI LIBRARIES: They’re all over town. As one might expect in a place that has the highest rate of book borrowing per capita of any Washington public library.

Besides our stately …

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Mini libraries, spotty coverage and mille-fenille


I (HEART) OUR MINI LIBRARIES: They’re all over town. As one might expect in a place that has the highest rate of book borrowing per capita of any Washington public library.

Besides our stately Carnegie library, I also love the ubiquitous, drive-up free mini libraries all around town. Yours truly’s automotive survey of several in PT recently revealed these freebie literary treasures:

“One Thousand White Women” (a Trump rally?)

“Rules of Golf” (only three mulligans per hole, Mr. President)

“Communicating with Orcas” (texting is a nonstarter)

“Win More Sailboat Races” (then you can blow those winnings in the pleasure domes of Ketchikan)

Way too many Danielle Steel potboilers to list here. (OK, just one: “Toxic Bachelors”)

“The Gray Man” (a Canadian?)

“Golfing with God” (absolutely no mulligans!)

“Elvis for Dummies” (Who wouldn’t want to be a hunka, hunka burnin’ love?)

And finally:

A book that I saw sit unclaimed for weeks in one mini library: “Time Flies” by ... Bill Cosby! (That title probably won’t apply during his upcoming second trial – or in jail.)

Now here’s a book that would be popular with the hardworking Carnegie library staff: “Our Bodies, Our Shelves.”

PHONING IT IN? Cell phone service in PeeTee is pretty decent, with a few exceptions. But leave town and it’s a different story. Down south or along Hood Canal, you’ll see fewer bars than you would in Riyadh.

Near Brinnon the other day, my phone consistently read “No Service.” I kinda wish that message had been preceded by “No Shoes, No Shirt.”

CARNEGIE REDUX: The puckish Charles Osgood recently retired from CBS Radio, and I’ll miss his witty commentaries aired on Seattle’s KIRO-FM. One of my favorites involved Carnegie Hall’s renovation a few years back, when famed violinist/conductor Isaac Stern was hired to oversee the acoustic redesign of the famed New York concert hall.

Osgood: “You might say they left no tone un-Sterned.”

WHY, BY GEORGE? Something that remains a mystery to me after a decade living here: Why isn’t there a small grocery out in Cape George? (Or a modest restaurant?)

I can’t imagine anyone wanting/needing to drive 10 miles for, say, a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.

Then again, I used to drive 10 kilometers for a mille-feuille (an addicting, cream-filled, layered French pastry) in Montréal — while, um, under a severe attack by the munchies.

BIG-BOXING DAY: Every couple of months, whenever my wife and I journey west, we always call friends to ask, “Need anything from Costco?”

We’re not big-box people – one of many reasons we like PT – and we go over there only infrequently and somewhat grudgingly. But Sequim’s store is the least-crowded Costco you’ll probably ever see.

And, aside from the free food samples (on weekends, there are enough freebies for a full meal), I ask you: Where else can you see someone with a semitruck tire and a palm tree in their shopping cart?

SUCH A SWEET CARD: David Letterman would display funny, offbeat Valentine’s Day cards annually on his show. He noted that this one, a favorite of mine, “combines tenderness with creepiness”:

The card read: “You’re Beautiful When You’re Asleep, Neighbor.”

Port Townsend resident Bill Mann has written the humor columns for CBS MarketWatch and USA Today. He’s always on the lookout for funny items – and funny people. Email him at


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