An Ode to Cliffs Notes

Being a student, I am called upon to read a plethora of books. Now books are cool, but I look at reading a book as watching a baseball game. I would rather play baseball than watch it, and I would rather write a book than read one. I guess you could call me a doer. :)

Anyhow, when I read a book, especially a fiction one, my mind tends to wander away from plot, storyline, and conflicts and into thoughts about the crisis in Bosnia, the Yankees' bull pen troubles, and of course girls. So usually I stare at words and pages until I finish the book and have no clue what it was about. Now when you need to know the book for some test or essay, this is not good.

Luckily, for people like me, a genius by the name of Cliff Hillegas created Cliffs Notes, brief but in-depth summaries of a wide selection of books. Instead Of reading a 250+ page book, you can read the 30 page Cliffs Notes for the book and retain all the information you need to know. The only problem is when you go to buy Cliffs Notes.

Buying Cliffs Notes is kinda like buying condoms. You don't waste time in grabbing what you need. You feel inclined to buy a magazine to draw attention away from the Cliffs Notes. The cashier always gives you a dirty look. You stealthly walk away from the store with your Cliffs Notes hidden in a plain brown bag. And you sneak your Cliffs Notes home and hide them in your underware drawer so your mom or little sister won't find them. I vividly remember one real encounter I had with the cashier of a bookstore, involving the purchase of Cliffs Notes:

Feff: (Walks to counter and puts down the Cliffs Notes for Wuthering Heights)
Cashier: (Shakes her elitist head in dissapproval)
Feff: What?!?
Cashier: You'll never learn.
Feff: What do you mean?
Cashier: You'll never learn anything reading Cliffs Notes.
Feff: I'll learn a helluva lot more than if I read the book.
Cashier: You won't go anywhere with that attitude.
Feff: You mean I won't be able to get a cool job at a book store?
Cashier: You know what I mean.... That will be $3.95
Feff: (Smiling) Uh, I get 10% off with my frequent reader card.
Cashier: (Shakes her head silently in defeat as she rings in the discount)
Book Store Patrons: (Cheer wildly as they carry Feff out of the store on their shoulders)

Well in conclusion, books shouldn't be forced upon a student, Cliff Notes are a gift from God, and America shouldn't get involved in the quagmire in Bosnia.

Now, all joking aside, as an extra bonus I give you the top ten books that Feff actually read:

10. Reggie (The Autobiography) - Reggie Jackson with Mike Lupica
9. The Natural - Bernard Malamud
8. Rendevous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
7. The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
6. Barry Goldwater: Extremist of the Right - Fred J. Cook
5. Alamo Soldiers - Phil Rosenthal
4. None Dare Call it Treason - John Stormer
3. It Didn't Start with Watergate - Victor Lasky
2. Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
1. The Gods of Eden - William Bramley