Thursday, February 19, 2015
A Brush with the Yeti in Flourish & Blotts
Pushing my way into the crowded store, I perused the display of books by Gilderoy Lockhart. In addition to the titles previously mentioned, Travels With Trolls sounded dangerous and exciting. (Trolls, after all, have a reputation for capturing dwarves and hobbits with the intention of eating them, in addition to attacking the students at Hogwarts in the girls' restrooms). But a sad fact of life is I can't buy, let alone hope to read, every book that intrigues me. Eventually I settled on one title in particular. It was titled Year With The Yeti.
I've long been interested in the Yeti, those hairy sentient relatives of mankind who populate the Himilayas, and may or may not be related to Bigfoot. The Second Doctor (in Doctor Who) even battled the Yeti in two adventures: "The Abominable Snowman" and "The Web of Fear." Well, I say Yeti: they were called Yeti in Doctor Who. But really, those Yeti were robots made to look like Yeti, and controlled by the Great Intelligence. Real Yeti, such as those portrayed in the semi-historical film "The Mummy: Curse of the Dragon Emperor," are more likely to help people than hurt them. Still, they like to keep to themselves. So I was curious as to how the author found the Yeti, and convinced them to let him spend a year with them.
I picked up a copy of Year With the Yeti, and perused the travelogue. Author Gilderoy Lockhart certainly writes with style, and his adventures among those snowy mountain peaks soon captivated me. Clutching a copy to my chest, I waited in a long line to purchase it. But when I reached the counter, the sales staff claimed they didn't take credit cards. Furthermore, they refused to take my "muggle" money.
Muggle-money? Whatever did they mean?
Eventually, they explained that this special region of Florida used its own form of money. They directed me to a currency exchange office, where a short man with sharp features exchanged what little cash we had with unfamiliar bills. But when we returned to Flourish & Botts, the staff had removed all of Mr. Lockhart's books from the shelves. Apparently, they had just learned that Mr. Lockhart's claims were false, and refused to sell us any of his books!
So it seemed I would not get to read Gilderoy Lockhart's book after all, or learn about his (supposed) adventures with the Yeti. Life sometimes thrusts a few hard knocks your way. Right then, this felt like one of them.
Related Dragon Cache entries
Mummies, Yetis, and Zombies, Oh My!