Dear Women and Gay Men Who Want to Read That Copy of Sex in the Window,

Hello, and thanks in advance for visiting the bookshop where I work! In order to save you five or ten minutes, and myself several hours per month, please read the following as my half of our “conversation”:


Yes, that’s a copy of Madonna’s Sex. Um, I think in the early ‘90s sometime. Sure, I’ll get it for you.

Yes, it is cool-looking. Mm-hmm, spiral-bound. Yes, it does look amazing. Yes, a metal cover. I know. Yes, it’s very amazing. Sorry? Um, yeah, I think she wrote the poems—I’m not sure. Well, I’m going to get back to cataloging, you go ahead and—yes, that page is amazing, too. Yes, another poem. No, you don’t need to read it to—um.

She is amazing, yes. Well, I’ll let you go ahead and read that while I— Oh. A sexy picture of her and a model. Thank you for holding up the book for me to see that. Do me a favor and be a little more careful—OOP! Um, OK, that’s OK, looks like it’s OK, just go ahead and keep it on the counter while you’re reading it, if you don’t mind. Well, we sort of price things partially based on their condition, so obviously we want to keep it in good, uh, shape. Yeah, no problem.

Oh, uh, another photo. Tied up. Yeah, I guess she really knows how to push people’s buttons. I’m sure that ruffled some feathers. Her being tied up in a photo. She sure is a free spirit.

I really don’t know—it looks like Vanilla Ice. I think I remember something about Vanilla Ice being in it. I don’t know who that is. That’s probably Vanilla Ice again. Look, you can read it over there if you’d be more comfortable— Oh, another nude photo.

What? The most amazing artist of the 21st century? I really—I have no idea. I kind of doubt it.

The price? It’s written there at the top of the—yeah. Yes, seriously. Yes. No, I’m not kidding. That’s actually not that much— Well, it’s in good shape, it’s still got the CD in the shrink-wrap there … OK, well, it’ll still be here whenever you decide, I’m sure.

Thank you for visiting our store. Wait—is this your cup of bubble tea?

Justin Dykhouse
Ann Arbor, MI