“The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” arrived via truck this afternoon. The book looks great. I, however, look like a boiled hobo and am on my second set of clothes this afternoon. Here’s the story:
The books left the Michigan printing plant on Tuesday – one-third of the press run went directly to wholesale customers. The other two-thirds came to my house.
Getting a semi-trailer – even a small one – into a dead-end street in a residential neighborhood is always a game of chicken. Literally. But I’ve unloaded more trucks than I care to remember, starting with my days in a liquor warehouse and up to my current job at Popular Woodworking Magazine. I can’t drive a forklift, but I can do everything else.
Today, my truck driver was having a bad day. I was the last delivery, and someone had pooped in his All Bran (not that you can tell the difference when someone voids in that stuff). He drove down the street and he didn’t like what he saw. Cursed a blue streak. Drove away.
He called me from a nearby grocery store and told me to come pick the books up there.
I told him he would be the first driver in 15 years who failed me. He hung up.
About 15 minutes later he pulled up and we made nice. We pulled the three pallets off his truck and deposited them on my driveway.
“I hope you have a lot of tarps,” he said as he walked back to his cab.
The sky was suddenly dark. I grabbed a knife, ripped through the plastic around the pallets and began humping boxes into my sunroom. Ten minutes later, the sky opened up. Stupid rain.
I covered what I could with tarps and then brought what I could inside – more than 140 boxes. After getting two pallets in the house, the rain was too strong to fight. I covered the third pallet as best I could and peeled off my clothes. While I waited, I cut the wet cardboard off the books and surveyed the damage.
So far, it looks like none of the moisture got into the books. Only one book and one box was damaged in transit. That’s not bad.
Tomorrow we’ll set up a shipping station in my sunroom and start signing and signing and mailing the books. Right now, I’m going to drink a beer (Pliny the Elder – thanks Nate!) and take a close look at the printing job.
— Christopher Schwarz