Purple marker on a brown bag doesn’t look right. Pull the cap – pop! Crayola champagne – juicy grape tip, scented if you’re lucky, and press a circle to paper. Draw a line. Zig-zag. Tornadic scribbles. Hold that sucker like a dagger! Go crazy. But you see quickly here: this color is not as it should be. Murky. Violent violet becomes river water over a brown bag canvas. You could never draw Irises. Lilacs. African Violets. Your paper puppet will never have the right tattoos you want. Reach for the glitter glue.
I have this memory: the disappointment of purple. This was something I noticed young and decided to remember forever. A craft table with googly eyes and yarn and infinite other forms of God’s clay to create life – but the markers fail.
Paper stars on string down from the ceiling. Twirling. 5 points and sunshine colors. Stars in the sky are not actually yellow.
And notice the “blackboard”, too. It’s green. Notice the wood-grain on the bookshelf. It’s not wood. Notice books, the line of spines, slim and shiny. Pick one. Slick cover, fluorescent lights in the surface like sun on the ocean – a conch shell doesn’t sound like waves no matter what Papa says.
And open the book now – big book bigger than your lap – chaos of color and lines and page after page of bright pandemonium. Now you must ignore everything you’ve ever noticed and face the ultimate challenge of childhood: Where is that blasted bespectacled jerk? Where is Waldo?
Well – at the moment – he happens to be in Louisville, actually. During the month of July, the fine folks at Carmichael’s Bookstore invite youngins’ to find Waldo around town while visiting our excellent local businesses. Running through the 31st, the “Find Waldo Local” contest offers the sharp-eyed of the city a chance to win prizes – as well as score free ice cream – as the favorite wayfaring character encourages the next generation to shop small.
The deal is simple and sweet: pick up a Find Waldo Local Passport at either location of Carmichael’s Bookstore, stop by the listed businesses and start seeking. Find Waldo? Great! Have your Passport stamped and soldier on. 12 collected stamps will earn wee intrepid travelers a coupon for a ice cream cone at The Comfy Cow and entry into a grand prize drawing scheduled to top off the contest at the “Where’s Waldo” party on August 3rd. Keep your eyes peeled for Louisville’s ultimate tourist while Keeping Louisville Weird.
You’ll notice the difference when you shop local – because it looks and feels precisely as it should. It’s the exact shade of purple you’d imagine.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue.
Image: Courtesy of Amazon www.amazon.com
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