At the dairy bar last night after supper:

I’d like peanut butter ice cream with chocolate and toffee sauce, please,” I ordered.

Do you want just the ice cream with those sauces, or do you want a sundae?”, the clerk replied.

What’s the difference?”, I asked.

I don’t really know,” the clerk answered.

The best ice cream-related exchange of the summer.

Dave on the Bus

In today’s edition of The Quack, Dave writes about public transit on PEI:

My teens love the bus now. All of them. And mostly because it’s free for them.

We are so lucky in Charlottetown to have this free bus for riders 18 and under. It means the entire city is open to them. Alice wants to take the bus everywhere. When you’re 13 and you can go anywhere in the city you like? That’s a pretty nice feeling.

Even better, the bus network on PEI can now take you around the Island. Want to go to Souris? 2 bucks. Want to go to Tignish? 2 bucks.

One of Jane’s buds is staying with us this summer. Anthony has a job at farm up in Millvale. He takes the bus to Hunter River, and his boss picks him up. Easy peasy. We couldn’t have driven him this summer, but the bus made this job possible.

On Anthony’s day off, I told him about a used book store in Summerside. He didn’t think twice. He jumped on the bus to Summerside to check it out. Because he can.

Anyway. The bus. I love it.

This is exactly the way transit needs to be viewed—as the default way we get around. It’s heartening to learn that at least a slice of the next generation is already there.

I generally prefer blog over newsletter, but Dave’s Sunday morning ruminations on pigeons, cats, and midtown life are a welcome exception. Subscribe.

Orderly Clutter

We all have all sorts of business ideas, never executed, buzzing around in our heads. “Turo, but for dogs,” and the like.

One of mine, long-standing, has been a bookstore that only sells 10 books. I figured that, in this age of infinite choice, curated limitation is attractive.

Overwhelmed by the billion books on Come to Pete’s Bookateria, and free yourself from choice!

But this morning I read Lewis Buzbee, in The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop:

One thing is certain in the aesthetics of bookstore design: if there’s too much space, there’s not enough books, and pretty soon, customers will stop coming, and so the decline begins. Customers are seduced into a bookstore because it seems to thrive; we want to see lots of books. We are much more likely to be drawn to a messy bookstore than a neat one because the mess signifies vitality. We are not drawn to a bookstore because of tasteful, Finnish shelves in gunmetal gray mesh, each one displaying three carefully chosen, color-coordinated covers. Clutter—orderly clutter, if possible—is what we expect. Like a city. It’s not quite a city unless there’s more than enough.

So, right: an integral aspect of bookstores is all the books we don’t want to buy.

Part of the joy of browsing a good bookstore is the knowledge that, in the sea of books that hold no interest, are the two or three books that do—my books, the ones the bookseller secured with me in mind, uniquely.

My idea—let’s relieve the pressure of choice—removes that delight.

So I’m moving it to the rejected-business-idea pile.

But if you’re interested in fractional dog ownership, let’s talk.