Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Where’s Africa?

I was happily browsing a small second-hand book shop. It was a delicious musty warren of nooks with tall stuffed bookshelves sorted by subject.
A young man hurried in, turned to the clerk and asked excitedly, “Where’s Africa?”
We customers, perhaps six of us, turned to look. The clerk laughed nervously, then pointed across the store to a shelf near me. “Over there,” he said, “below the books on Asia.”
“No, “said the young man. “I mean the continent!”
“Uh, I think it’s south of the Mediterranean,” offered the clerk.
“Thanks!” said the young man, and he hurried away.

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