Pushers? In Berkeley? Mooooo…

We’re just back from an afternoon in the Peoples’ Republic of Berkeley (which has been colonized by Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Eddie Bauer, and Blockbuster Video, to name but a few corporate presences we saw along Shattuck Avenue). The goal of our trip was to see the new Flying Karamazov Brothers show at Berkeley Rep [no link, because their domain seems to have been stolen], L’Universe, about which more anon, but we planned our day to allow for traffic problems which, fortunately, didn’t happen, and so we found ourselves with a couple of spare hours in Berkeley.

After finding a parking place, we wandered over to the University of California to enjoy the open space and relative lack of cars for a while (especially since it was too early to pick up our tickets). After collecting the tickets, we wandered down Shattuck, looking for The Other Change of Hobbit, a science fiction bookstore owned by fellow fans (who we haven’t seen in many years, but what of that?). We didn’t find it; Jeffrey wanted to visit Barnes and Noble in search of the fifth volume in the Essential Spiderman series (as far as I can tell, it hasn’t been published yet — if you know differently, write me), but I thought that was a dangerous idea, and so we turned back towards the theatre.

Suddenly, Diane called out, “there it is!”. She’d spotted The Other Change of Hobbit (I guess I should have looked it up before leaving home…). We only had twenty minutes before showtime, but Jeffrey really wanted to see if they had the book they wanted, and I kinda wanted to look around, too, so in we went.

It turns out that they don’t carry much in the way of comics (which was fine with me). The guy behind the counter didn’t want us to leave empty-handed, though, so he asked Jeffrey how old he was and then ran over, grabbed a book, and told him he had to buy it and read it. Pure pusher behavior, except that the first one wasn’t even free!

The book? Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy, which, strangely enough, I’d been thinking about a few days ago. I agreed that it was a good book and happily bought it for Jeffrey (suspecting all the time that I had a copy at home, which I did — the copy I bought today cost $6, while the one I already owned was ninety-five cents!), and he’s already started to read it. As is well known, the Golden Age of Science Fiction is 12, and I didn’t want Jeffrey to wind up doomed to Star Trek books, so this was a good purchase.

Now, about L’Universe…if you have a chance, go see it. It’s nearly two hours of Karamazov comedy, juggling, and music, wrapped in a bit of science (mostly accurate). I was surprised that the theatre was half-empty, but I haven’t seen much publicity for the show, either (I just happened to notice it mentioned in teeny print in last week’s Merc). The juggling is limited to balls and clubs — for the fancy stuff, we’ll have to wait for Catch to come around…it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Terror Trick!