Hello there.

No, not there. Look over here.

Yes. You’re perusing this Barnes & Noble display very carefully, aren’t you? Looking for just the right thing.

Ah. It’s her birthday, isn’t it? You’re thinking of something that would be perfect for your niece. Let me guess: 21? Barnard student? Appears edgy at holidays, but how edgy? You wouldn’t know. You don’t want to overshoot it, but falling short would be even worse. I understand. I’m sorry to hear about your troubles.

You know, perhaps I can help. See, I’m a funny, funny book. And a cheeky one to boot. Everyone says so. I’m quirky, I have a little bite, and I’m certainly of-the-moment. Your niece, for all you know, may be those things, too.

I sense that perhaps you never really connected with your niece. Maybe you missed one too many family reunions while working for that non-profit. Maybe you found her Tumblr kind of sinister and gave up on her after that. Maybe your sister kept her from you out of spite.

I could be your chance to fix that. I was written by the host of a cult podcast your niece may well listen to or at least know about. The marketing campaign for me includes media platforms you didn’t even know were possible. I’ve been written up in online magazines you thought were just blogs. I could be your tether to the world of the young.

You feel out of touch. I can smell it on you. I can feeeeel your feeeearrr.

Pick me up. Go ahead. Inside I have a lot of wry graphs about coffee consumption and a personal essay about a theme party gone… awry. Yes. Yes. Buy me. Wrap me up. Pull her aside at her mom’s wine and cheese thing, and while you try not to let it be weird that you’re both getting drunk now, say “I thought this might be your kind of thing, there’s a gift receipt in there if you don’t like it.” And when she says “oh, thanks,” you’ll be so glad you listened to me, the Funny, Funny Boo—

No. Do not walk away. Don’t you walk away from me, you non-profit scum! You can’t kill me, you know!? Not with anything other than a basilisk fang! There are 645 Barnes & Noble locations nationwide! The free market might one day dismiss them, but I’m a snarky lifestyle book written by a millennial podcast host! I thrive on dismissal! You’ll never escape me. I’ll be right here. Waiting. Waiting for graduation. When I’ll be half-priced and only lightly damaged. Then you’ll be back.

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