Another message to book thieves: ‘Who steals this book, the devil shall cook’!

Today’s helpful hint
Cursed Book Thieves Division (IV)

Here again, continuing her series, is Gammafaye: “If you have been wondering how small the ‘Small Book of Book Curses’ is, here is a selfie of said book:


“And here is book curse No. 4. An early-20th-century American rhyme is the only credit for this one:

“Who folds a leaf down,

“the devil toast brown:

“who makes mark or blot,

“the devil toast hot:

“who steals this book,

“the devil shall cook.

“The next book curse tags a book thief as an object of loathing.  I know I said this of the first curse, but I really do not think, when it comes to a book thief, that these curses are unreasonable.”

The Permanent Daughterly Record
Or: Oh, and was her face red!

The Gram With a Thousand Rules writes: “Many years ago, a neighbor asked me if I would please take care of her little girl one afternoon for six weeks. She wanted to pay me, but I declined. I told her I would be happy to help her out as a favor.

Continue reading “Another message to book thieves: ‘Who steals this book, the devil shall cook’!”

Even in the land of palm trees and sunshine, is life in November ‘merely a memory, a fleeting mist of a passing spirit’?


Our theater of seasons

The Man from Milaca — “In the land of palm trees and sunshine” — reports: “Subject: The change of seasons.

“Towards sunset, yesterday, I went for a ride. First stop: the cemetery — appropriate at Halloween. Passed some decorated homes, but not many. The cemetery was quiet, rather unkempt, weeds along the fence. I can’t help wondering why it is not maintained more meticulously.

Continue reading “Even in the land of palm trees and sunshine, is life in November ‘merely a memory, a fleeting mist of a passing spirit’?”

Every time he writes a check, he remembers good old Miss Drain — ‘tough old bird, single, no-nonsense.’


One for the books
Leading to: Our times

Mounds View Swede: “My seventh-grade Civics teacher, Miss Drain (in Illinois), was a tough old bird, single, no-nonsense. We boys joked about her being an ex-Marine sergeant.

“She insisted I learn to write legibly or she would not accept my homework. I tried typing it, which was a learning experience in itself, but she would not accept it. On my first report card that year, I got a ‘D’ in Civics due to the unaccepted homework. What excuse could I offer to my parents? She wasn’t asking anything unreasonable.

Continue reading “Every time he writes a check, he remembers good old Miss Drain — ‘tough old bird, single, no-nonsense.’”

Halloween EXTRA!

Our theater of seasons

Halloween (pronounced with a short “a” … please!) email from our Official Attorney, Mr. Tulkinghorn: “I was thinking I’d wait until tomorrow to send the dreary November poem from Thomas Hood, but then I thought: ‘Today is such a beautiful autumn day, with the yellow-red-green palette of leaves below and the cloudless azure sky above, I should celebrate this rather than moan and groan about the coming months.’

“So, here’s to celebrating Halloween — and to hell with November. To brighten the day, check out this Jerry Seinfeld Halloween riff:

“All the best to the new BB!”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Thanks. And, if you don’t mind,  counselor, you’ll keep that November poem to yourself!

Winter is too long already!

Our pets, ourselves

161031bbcut-halloweendogHappy Halloween from Little Canada!
Darth ‘Norman’ Vader

Book thieves, beware! Let you be struck with palsy, & all your members blasted.

Today’s helpful hint
Cursed Book Thieves Division (cont.)
Gammafaye: “I am hoping to share all 12 of the curses from ‘The Small Book of Book Curses.’ Just so you all know, there are a few that do not involve fire, hell or the devil. Here is today’s offering, from the monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona: ‘For him that stealeth or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand & rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, & all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sink to dissolution. Let book worms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, & when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of hell consume him for ever.’ What a fun bunch of guys at that monastery!”

Continue reading “Book thieves, beware! Let you be struck with palsy, & all your members blasted.”

Nine thousand Bulletin Boards later: You did stop by for a few minutes each day. Thank you!

That is the headline on today’s final everyday installment of Bulletin Board in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. (We’ll be back on newsprint each Sunday.)

If we have any newcomers here (and we certainly hope we will, soon), you might like to read it, as background.

Here it is: Number 9,000 (give or take a few).

Next time: New stories. New photographs.

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Welcome! Or: Welcome back!

Welcome to the new home of Bulletin Board — “our community of strangers,” which has been publishing readers’ stories and observations in the St. Paul Pioneer Press every day of the year since March 26, 1990.

If you have been a Bulletin Boarder, for days or for decades, we don’t need to tell you what it’s all about. You know that it’s about … Life As We Know It.

It’s about EVERYTHING — everything, that is, except public policy and partisan politics. (Plenty of other places to argue about those things.)

It’s about birth and death, marriage and family, work and play, high culture and low, profundity and foolishness, our living and/or dying language, the past and the future.

It’s about those next-door neighbors Comedy and Tragedy.

If you are new to Bulletin Board, there’s an easy way to get acquainted with it: Please go to, where you will find links to all of the recent Bulletin Boards. Read a handful of them, in chronological order, and you’ll get the idea.

One thing leads to another, and to another, and to another….

We plan to post a new Bulletin Board more or less daily — sometimes more, sometimes less. Please subscribe (free of charge!), to be notified when a new BB has been posted.

Your stories and photographs are always welcome here. Send them to

Onward … and upward!