I Left My Pillow in Prince Rupert
I Left My Pillow in Prince Rupert, the Dog’s Antlers are Slipping, There’s a Christian Swim Team on my Airplane, and Other Semi-Human Semi-Tragedies.
by Mark Driver
I’m no dummy. I can read between the lines. I know that when someone says something, it’s to hide something else. Everyone is lying. Well, most everyone. Not me, of course. But everyone else is. I continue with statements:
1. “The bad news is that we have seized your car and are detaining you.”
2. “We’re a Christian swim team. We’re called the Aquapostles. We compete in foreign countries and teach about Jesus. Hey, since we’re going to be on this plane for a while, do you mind if I ask you a question?”
3. “The Air Force’s Fatigue Management System does occasionally rely on anti-fatigue medication.”
4. “Iraq is in material breach of UN Resolution 777ARF.”
5. “The President has taken the small-pox vaccine to prove its safety.”
6. “We are attempting to ban the horrible practice of partial-birth abortion.”
7. “In this time of crisis, we must all make sacrifices.”
8. “I am dedicated to ending corporate corruption in America.”
1. “Open your wallet, the border guard wants some poutine.”
2. “This plane is definitely crashing.”
3. “Our bomber pilots smoke crack.”
4. “Get those spreadsheets ready, boys. Your campaign contributions are coming back in spades!”
5. “HELLOOOO SUGARWATER!”
6. “The elderly, infertile, and impotent are that much closer to taking their revenge on your beautiful vagina.”
7. “The sacrifices YOU will make are as follows …”
8. “Ha! I told you I could say that with a straight face twice in a row! Now where’s my pharmaceutical helicopter?”
Nope. No fool am I. I know what people are actually saying. I’m no dummy. But most of you are; I’ve seen the polls. You believe in dragons, saviors, Americas, horoscopes, economic systems, commuting, angels, trickle-down, careers, justice, spaceships, flags, stock markets, ghosts, wars, miracles, and off-road vehicles. You’ve been cultivated to accept messages from certain sectors without proof. You’ve been standardized and stamped out like assembly-line sausage patties. That’s fine. We live in a nation of sausage patties. Very nice and sexy until you pull back the covers and realize there’s a withered body beneath the smiling head. Fine, fine, fine. It’s an effortless cycle. It’s comfortable. Living a thoughtful life takes too much effort, especially after a hard day at work. I’m no fool. I know America. Our bodies work hard, our minds are lazy, lazy, lazy. Despite pretending to be rugged individualists, Americans enjoy taking orders. But only orders that are disguised as choices. To carefully consider between Coke and Pepsi when we should be outside drinking the rain. Hmm. Election time. Which plutocrat should I put in charge of ruining my life? The ridiculous thirty-ton aqua truck or the veal-flavored Pizza Bags? The patriotic law that repeals my right to privacy or the patriotic law that turns my tax dollars into landmines? War in Iraq this spring or war in Iraq this summer? Simple deportation of vocal Muslims or indefinite detainment of vocal Muslims?
It’s all about the clever framing. A good way to exclude troublesome viewpoints. You get two guys on your news show. One argues that we should be bold and nail Iraq alone, and, quoting a truck commercial, “show the neighborhood who really has the power.” The second guy says we should first attempt to make our case to the world, and then we can start our desert barbecue. The third guy who was going to question going to war altogether was locked in the bathroom by one of the producers and unable to attend. Or maybe they could only find two chairs. Or maybe, since his viewpoint is obviously insane, he wasn’t invited at all. If you can control the “debate,” there’s no debate at all. If you only hire conservatives, you can let them practice their freedom of speech all they want, because you already know what they’re going to say. Which is a perfect way for getting lazy-brains to support an imperialist war dressed up as a way to keep third-graders from getting small pox.
OK, cue the footage of the pregnant newlywed waving goodbye to the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Could we get a pro-life gynecologist to put a tiny flag in the fetus’s hand? That would be one patriotic ultrasound, boys.
1. Shouldn’t you have to pass an IQ test before you’re allowed to deploy the army?
Answer: Our president needs the unified support of the entire country in this time of crisis.
2. Fine. That was a cheap shot. Pedestrian, I admit. How about this? Much was made of Clinton’s dodging of military service during the Vietnam War. How come Bush’s weaseling into the non-fighting Texas National Guard during that conflict, and the strings his daddy pulled to get him in there aren’t being discussed? How can a president who shirked his own military service possibly justify sending others to do what he himself would not?
Answer: See Answer to Question #1.
3. If you attack a nation because it supposedly possesses weapons of mass destruction, isn’t there a chance that your own soldiers will fall victim to those terrible weapons, if they do in fact exist?
Answer: If they bust out the nerve gas, we get to nuke Baghdad. Mom said.
4. How can ending rural and urban starvation in America be “unrealistic” when we hold the capability to deploy hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the other side of the world and provide them hundreds of tanks and helicopters to kill people with?
Answer: Starving people? In America? That’s ridiculous. There’s plenty of food. Just look at a grocery store if you don’t believe me. If anyone is hungry, it’s because they’re not working hard enough. Now here is your “Support Our Troops!” button. Please wear it over your heart.
5. Doesn’t the concept of “Supporting Our Troops” really just give tacit support to a situation that keeps them in great risk of dismemberment? When you support a troop, aren’t you actually just lazily pushing him or her towards death because your government has made you completely chickenshit? Shouldn’t a president who is taking our citizens, exposing them to danger, and putting them through situations that will have long-term psychological effects, have to first justify what he’s doing beyond something more than acting on “top-secret information” that may or may not even exist? Wouldn’t “Supporting Our Troops” actually require an in-depth analysis of what it is exactly that their deaths are going toward instead of immediately getting in lockstep with press releases from the Pentagon and heartbreaking propaganda pieces from Fox News at Ten (because at 11 it’s still bullshit)? Don’t you owe it to a soldier—who’s there to “die for your freedom” and “protect you”—to perform the due diligence and make sure that a war is just and actually is in the interest of our communities, families, and future generations before sending them into the combat zone? Are we not a democratic society? Is the American War machine not built on the backs of our labor, and the souls of our citizens? Where the fuck is our voice here? And furthermore—
Answer: Two much words is boring! Look! A salute to Marines at the Super Bowl! Go funny beer commercials! Go Marines! Go Raiders!
Fuck the Raiders and the Bucs that rode in on them. I’ve been a bit sour since my Cleveland Browns lost to the Shittsburg Peelers in the Wild Card Playoff. The Browns fucking had them! And what was it, 45 penalty yards in the last two minutes? I mean it was actually like 4th and 14 for the Steelers, and this Browns idiot facemasks someone? And the clock management at the end! If they would’ve saved one measly second, they totally could’ve nailed that field goal and won. I mean they woulda hand their hands full with Tennessee the following week, but no more so than Pittsburgh, who played well against the Titans, but you take that that team’s fourth quarter away and you have—uh, I mean … I don’t watch football.
Where was I? Oh yeah. War stupid. Me smart.
Carlos says I’m ranting again. I can’t beat Carlos at chess, but he stops our game to snort more oxycodone and pauses his lecture on the inherent weakness of Popper’s falsification theory to tell me the War in Iraq is all a bluff. That the folks who control Bush know exactly what they’re doing. One bullet won’t be fired. It’s all a big act to stabilize the region. Good cop bad cop. And we’re the bad cop.
“That’s a hell of a big bluff.”
“I’ve seen bigger. Checkmate in five.”
But I’m repeating myself. Repetition. Habit. Things that make me feel human. Yet, as hard as I try to adapt, there are tendrilous tendencies wrapped intricately within my nature that isolate me from the rest of humanity.
Example: I would certainly sleep with Martha Stewart.
Even though I have it on good word from two separate people that she is a horrible person. Two people? An old lover, a best friend. An old lover? Lover is a stupid word. This girl who had me hot and confused in college. I specifically remember three instances of sex with this woman. We screwed in a rainy cemetery in the middle of a sprawling Indiana campus. We did it in a rented tent in the backwoods of Door County Wisconsin; I was covered in fly bites, she was covered in nostalgia for a boy who wasn’t me. Another time in another graveyard that contained the noble dead of Westport, Connecticut. Girl had a thing for graveyards. Oh America, why are your Gothic children always so hot?
Initially we were smitten, but by Westport the sex was very cynical, almost sarcastic. She was still in love with the guy before me, and I must not have cared too much about her, because that fact didn’t really bother me. What did bother me was that she took herself seriously. Her mind was so full of pouty little girl games that there wasn’t any room left for conversation or jokes and, aside from picking fights over a well-spread table of manufactured drama, we had less and less to say to each other. A classic collapse of a long-distance dream. I was staying with her family for six entire days. Six entire days! The conversation went away completely, and the sex became absolutely pointless. In fact, anti-male thoughts were rattling chains in the basement of my brain: the risk of impregnating her was gradually overwhelming any pleasure her twenty-year-old body was dishing out. Those Connecticut days were long days. She had a nanny job with a baby named Preston or Wesley. It was not out of necessity. It was good experience. The sort of thing rich kids need. She was rich, the family she nannied for was rich. Shit, the baby had nicer shoes than I did. Connecticut seemed a long way from my folk’s Atlanta home, further than other places I’d been. Further than Montreal, further than Pittsburgh, further than Wisconsin. Nineteen years old, for six entire days, among the sensitive rich. Old money. Tasteful class. Used Volvos. Cappacola ham.
On two days I worked with her mom in a Hartford soup kitchen. The soup kitchen was a good experience for her mom. Her mom was a chef. Her mom had written cookbooks. Her mom had lived a very fortunate life and admitted it readily. Working in a soup kitchen twice a week was how she gave back to the community. I was indifferent to the experience. I would have rather been reading in the hydrangea shade of their modest backyard, sucking on a bottle of High Life. We were allowed to drink beer at her house, like we could at mine. “We have always treated Audrey like an adult,” her mother told me, making a special point to touch Audrey on the arm, a touch Audrey shirked away from distastefully. Some adult. But at least we could drink beer. With my fake ID and her car, we gave the illusion that we were drinking less than a case of beer a day.
Her father asked if my parents drank. If they let me drink at home. Yes and yes. I paraphrased my own father’s words, “eighteen to die in a to war, eighteen to drink a damn beer.” Her father gave the barest acknowledgement of anything I said for those six days, unless I was answering a question he asked me directly, the answers which were things like “he’s an engineer at a chemical plant” and “I’m on a partial scholarship” and “yes, I’m serious, an academic scholarship” and “actually, I’ve been to New York City twice before.” He was twenty pounds too fat, but handsome. Short and shaggy hair, like a LL Bean ad. He worked in The City. He took the train every day. Like someone in a movie. He was a bully. Charming, subtle. He was using techniques of intimidation that polite men use on each other. Interruptions. Corrections. Asking me to speak more clearly. By night five, he was the only reason I kept fucking the family daughter. Eating his food, drinking his scotch, drying my ass with his bathtowels, and fucking his daughter. By day six, I had decided I would not be seeing this family again. I wanted to broach the subject of sex with his daughter. Mention it in the car on the way to the airport. Perhaps then she would describe why her sex was cynical.
It turns out that her my-ancestors-came-over-on-the-Mayflower ass was lined with painful polyps and she was on massive medicine that gave her chronic diarrhea.
Someone should have told me.
Anyways, Martha Stewart and her mother were friends in the 1970s. Martha supposedly stole their collective recipes and became famous, leaving her mom to the ravages of anonymous affluence. Her mom told me about this as she prepared a salad of arugala. I had never even heard of the stuff, but I was hooked instantly. I still love arugula, I still think of that salad. I didn’t know if I believed her Stewart story, but she also told me the Frugal Gourmet was into young boys. That his kitchens were full of shirtless ten-year-old Joaquin Phoenixes. That his sauciers made Vaseline gravies. That his brown wrists were not a genetic condition. She told me this way before PBS had him “disappeared,” CIA style. Maybe she was telling the truth.
And then Andy Rooney showed up at a barbecue. Famous friends! I shook his hand. He seemed a little cranky. Can’t really understand how such a mediocre humorist can make such a good living and still be cranky. Sure, he’s funnier than that other guy on 60 Minutes, but so are you. I don’t see you getting all cranky on me. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he couldn’t think of any more jokes concerning human behavior on escalators. “Some people walk up the escalators, while some people just stand there and let the machine do all the work, and then again, some people just take the stairs … “
So that girl. She’s one person who would dissuade me against having sex with Martha Stewart. Or maybe she’d insist on it, just to be mean. Or because she still hates her mom.
And the best friend. He’d say no. Absolutely not. Good Sir Rodney. Chops. The man with me when I lost my favorite pillow in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Who had stood beside me as I was arrested at the Canadian border. Who shook his head solemnly as my car was impounded.
It happened somewhat recently. Thanksgiving 2002. Who goes to Canada? In November? On Thanksgiving? Without snowboards? Drug dealers, of course. That’s why my car was searched. Oh, if only we would have had women around! They would have kept us out of trouble. Foolishly, the girlfriends had recognized the holiday and gone south to homes containing family. Family? Family is a log-sized cheeseburger in a town of twenty people. Family is a dog-eared cooler of Labatts and Os Mutantes’ cranked to ten. Family is a tummy full of ephedrine and a Gatorade bottle full of urine. We didn’t have time to grow Civil War beards. We forgot to pack the potato cannon. Neither of us spoke Mandarin Chinese. But he knew Martha Stewart. He had been her steward. A road manager of sorts. A go-ahead man. A per-diem lackey. She ran that boy ragged, she did.
Sorry for the interruption, but it’s Christmas Eve. Well, it’s not really Christmas Eve, it’s a Driver Family Christmas Eve in January because I won’t fly during the holidays and the folks usually have the Airstream in the parking lot of some Sons of Norway Winter Polka Festival in Lacrosse, WI anyway, but my father, in the other room, has just announced, rather loudly, that “the French are a lovely race and we’re moving to Paris.” My mother, while certainly holding nothing against the French, prefers the Italian countryside, and is attempting to move the aging Driver household to Tuscany. My dad’s certainly doing his side justice, arguing loudly for a material retreat to a studio apartment overlooking the Champs-Elysees so he can eat unpasteurized cheese for breakfast. He likes drinking wine on the street, and likes the outdoor urinals as well. He even mentioned them in the slew of “we’re retired” postcards he and my mom have been torturing me with over the past two years. They’re seeing the world while I’m clipping coupons for baked beans. Has Jupiter shifted its rotational axis? Has the life expectancy of a snowball in hell increased significantly while I wasn’t looking? Is there actually something good behind the whole “wear a suit and try not to get fired” thing?
My folks. Two hard-partying Wisconsinites (Americanus bratwurstandbeerius) who I’ve fought for years on their kneejerk jingoism, who nearly disowned me in 1991 after I compared Hussein’s Kuwaiti invasion to Jackson’s annexation of Florida in the school newspaper—they hit retirement a few years back and have been trekking all over Europe ever since. They routinely come home, and spend countless long-distance dollars complaining about the lack of Louvres in Green Bay. Despite their new worldliness, the word “shit” is being thrown around a lot this Christmas Eve, even for the Driver household. My dad is now shouting about Monet, Manet, Boudin, Renoir, Seurat. “Mark my words,” I tell my little brother, who now outweighs me by 80 pounds, outstands me by five inches, and outearns me by $2000 a month, “when the dog dies, Christmas will move to Europe.” Our old springer spaniel sighs in agreement underneath sloping felt antlers as my parents announce, at the bottom of a bottle of Baileys, that the Euro is fucking great. “No more goddamn lira,” my dad says. He’s digging for Gewürztraminer in the vegetable crisper now. “40,000. 100,000. 1,000,000 lira for goddamn sakes! They’re all millionaires over there. Whose goddamn idea was that?”
Not Martha Stewart’s. That’s for sure. Just the mention of her name and Sir Rodney is more agitated than I’ve ever seen him, as if I’ve vomited into his lap. As if I threw his favorite guitar into a wood chipper. As if he walked in on me with my finger up his ex-wife’s asshole, which, due to a sundry of misdiagnoses and mitigating circumstances, would be quite a feat in itself. We’re stuck at the border, waiting to cross into Canada.
“No way dude. If you saw her up close without all the TV make-up you’d run the other way.”
“Are you kidding? She’s gorgeous!”
“No, no she’s not. And she treats people like shit.”
“So what? That’s hot too. I’m not talking about moving in with the lady. Maybe we meet at some swanky dinner party. And she’s like this superpredator. She can’t keep her eyes off me. I go over to the bar and grab a few more ice cubes, and she’s right behind me, breathing hot on my ear, she says something like-“
“Dude, you’re seriously going to make me ill. She was a nightmare. A demanding, needy nightmare. I’d have to make sure all windows had been cracked for at least thirty minutes in any hotel we’d go to, but I was supposed to adjust the thermostat to compensate, because Martha has a comfort zone of about three degrees. She had a rider that made The Rolling Stones look like The Germs. Fruit she’d never eat, strange brands of bottled water I’d have to drive to thirty stores to find. We’d be at these great hotels, and the chefs would want to cook her their specialty, and I’d have to tell them that ‘no, even though your staff has been working triple-shifts in preparation of her visit, Ms. Stewart’s meals have already been planned for the duration of her stay here, and she does not like to deviate from her plan.'”
“Aw, that’s nothing. My friend in Dallas had Dr. Laura come speak at their church, and they had to take her to like six five-star hotels before she found a room that was suitable. She complained about everything smelling smoky, complained about the food, complained about the car and its driver. By the time she actually took the podium, she had annoyed everyone so much that no one listened to a word she said. They just wanted her the hell out of Texas.”
“Please tell me that you wouldn’t fuck Dr. Laura.”
“Well, I dunno. In a certain way it would be really hot, you know? Like let’s say-“
“Um, definitely Roseanne Barr. Judge Judy. Janet Reno, but just to be weird.”
“You’re killing me.”
“Tipper Gore. Oprah’s totally hot. Like what if-“
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” Sir Rodney is really bothered at this point. “Is there anyone you wouldn’t fuck?”
I thought about it for a second. “David Letterman. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t fuck David Letterman.”
“Well, at least you’ve got some standards.”
“I wouldn’t fuck this border guard either.”
Which was a good first instinct on my part, because he turned out to be a real dickhead. Apparently Canada doesn’t like you aimlessly driving around in a beat-up car without a destination, plan, or avenue of escape. I suppose I was being too hazy about when I had to be back to the US for work, what I did for a living (somehow bartending didn’t go with being a copyeditor for a museum), how many times I’d been to Canada, if I’d ever been arrested, why I had an expired ID in my wallet, etc, because they told us to park and go inside the little border station.
The guy I talked to inside was born to be a cop. Sincere, serious, and fastidiously groomed. Intense. If he had not been wearing a wide-brimmed hat, he would have willed his hair to grow into the shape of one. He looked about twenty-two, and I’ll bet the only thing we had in common was that neither of us would do David Letterman. I was ushered into a side room and interrogated. He took my wallet and made me try to explain every single piece of material in it. It was the business cards of drunks from the bar that seemed to give us the most trouble.
He’d pull out a card that I wouldn’t recognize and ask, “How do you know Mr. Sriviastivani?”
“I don’t know Mr. Whatever you just said.”
“Then why do you have his card in your wallet?”
“I’m a bartender. People give me their cards all the time. I just stick them in my wallet like I care. I haven’t cleaned it out in a while.”
“I thought you said you were a writer.”
“And a bartender. Two part-time jobs.”
“How does someone go from bartender to a writing job?”
“I don’t know. In a Honda Civic?”
“How do you know, Mr. Anderson?”
“I don’t know Mr. Anderson.”
“You have a lot of friends for someone who doesn’t seem to know anybody.”
He photocopied the entire contents of my wallet. Yes, now the Canadian government is fully aware that I am a mere three punches away from a free footlong submarine sandwich at The Sub Machine, that I am certified in the State of Washington to handle food in a commercial environment, and that a woman named Stacy gives away the numbers to her phone after a few melon martinis.
“If you don’t come clean, we’re going to strip search you. And neither of us wants that. Right?”
I dunno. Can we get that cute momma by the video monitors in on this? I have been thinking pretty hot on Martha for a while.
And then he says:
“When is the last time you did cocaine? Are you addicted to heroin? Let me see your arms.”
He thought he had me nailed. It was fucking harassment out the ass. First it was intimidating, and then it was annoying, and then I started getting pissed. Here he is drilling me on some huge shipment of drugs I’m supposedly running north, when he should’ve been saying, “Thank you for coming to my boring-ass province in the middle of fucking winter. Prince George? Smithers? 100 Mile House? New Albany? Vanderhoof? Prince Rupurt? Yes. Come spend your mirth money here. Drink heartily, eat heavily, spend our pretty money, and drive like banshees but keep an eye out for moose in the road. Welcome to Canada. Here’s your free gallon of poutine.”
And then he says:
“You seem nervous. Do you have something to be nervous about?”
“I’m in a small room in a foreign country being interrogated by a Mountie. So yes.”
“I am not a Mountie. My department falls within …”
In the end, he tore the car apart completely. His crime-fighting nose was right on target. He confiscated three pieces of evil American firewood and a Winchester collapsible tactical baton, apparently under the assumption that I was coming to British Columbia to begin a violent clubbing campaign, the brutality of which Western Canada had never seen.
“What’s this for?” he asked, holding my shitkicker up with a throat full of glee.
“I worked in a bad bar for a while. Used to carry that to my car. Haven’t touched it since I left that job.”
“Is this legal in the US? Because it’s not in Canada.”
I was arrested me on a weapons violation, and my car was seized.
I paid a fine of $130 US. And then I got unarrested. And then Canada gave me my car back.
When asked if he found Martha Stewart at all attractive, the border guard sniffed a trap, and refused to answer. He attempted to shoot frost rays out of his ice cube eyes, though the overall effect was that of someone who held a great deal of urine in his bladder and had just been informed that the airplane bathroom had just fallen off the back of the plane.
At that point I was not aware that I would be leaving my favorite pillow on the roof of my car in the parking lot of the Moby Dick Inn of lovely Prince Rupert. I had not yet run afoul of the posse of unemployed loggers who banned together in Prince George and took it upon themselves to keep the Indians in line on welfare check day. I had not realized that there are no roads that go to Juneau. I hadn’t seen a moose or a bear yet, or been subjected to eighty straight hours of Canadian Public Radio. But I gotta say. Once you get past the assholes at the border, Canada’s a swell place. Most everyone is friendly as fuck, they have beavers and hockey players on their money, and the flavors of potato chips unique to Canada kick ass. Ketchup? All Dressed? Nigga please. That shit be mad phat.
Guess what happens when you take a vacation to Canada. Nothing. Lots of driving, lots of eating, lots of beer, a few moose, thousands of deer, green mountains, freezing fog, unspoiled fjords, F14-sized eagles. What did I learn? The best bars are the Indian bars, the thrift stores aren’t nearly as interesting as you’d think, and you’re legally required to smile and say hi to people or you’ll be subjected to a full-scale assault of Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits while being tongue-kissed by Geddy Lee. Old folks slow dance to jukeboxes. Do not eat Chinese food north of Vancouver under any circumstances. Do not ask for extra special sauce at The White Dot. The slots at the Billy Barker Casino Hotel are tighter than a Mountie’s underpants. Prince Rupert cover-band Agent 99 can belt out a Cult song like nobody’s business, but don’t flirt with the guitar player’s girlfriend, even if she happens to be one of the three attractive people in British Columbia. Poutine (French fries covered in cheese curds and smothered in gravy) is one of the best foods ever invented, the A&W restaurant chain is alive and well despite having nothing edible on the menu, and oh yeah, Prince George smells like Tacoma.
Coming back to the US was less eventful than our exit. Once the border guard on the American side saw that we didn’t have big beards or Iraqi license plates, he yawned through the standards.
“Where do you guys live?”
He tried to look through the grit of my back window. “You got any fruit in here?”
He yawned again and waved us though. “Welcome home, boys.”
It felt good to be home.
“You think they got back issues of Martha Stewart Living at the library?” I asked Sir Rodney as I dropped him at his door.
“You are a sick man.”
“I’m just a fool in love, Sir Rodney. Just a fool in love.”
“With a woman I hate. I’m glad you lost your favorite pillow.”
“That’s a terrible thing to say.”
“Do YOU have any copies of Martha Stewart Living?”
“I think you’ve spent too much time away from your girlfriend.”
“That little hottie’s not back until Tuesday.”
“Do me a favor. Don’t call me until Wednesday.” Sir Rodney rubbed his eyes and struggled to get his duffle out of the back seat. “Another lousy trip.”
“The displeasure’s been all mine. “
“Please God stop talking.” With that, Sir Rodney slammed the door, I parked the car, and the trip was over.
And it turns out they do have back issues of Martha Stewart Living at the library. How hot is that?