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Never much of a person for reading, Pa's interest in literature was sparked by a desperate search for cultural alternatives to Ma's periodic to the Theatre Guild. By distracting Ma onto projects closer to home, Pa reasoned, perhaps the still more oppressive Guild meetings could be avoided or at least reduced.

After a recent trip to the library for their most recent acquisition, Pa returned looking downtrodden and considerably annoyed.

"I borrowed a book last week," said he, "but it was the most boring I've ever read. There was no story whatsoever, and there were far too many characters ..."

The librarian studied him for a moment.

"Well, Pa, you must be the person who took our phone book ..."