Sunday, July 03, 2005

Literary small furry animals

Lately the twin obsessions of this blog seem to be 1) the Toronto cultural scene, and 2) small furry animals. In this post, those two worlds collide. Squirrels have invaded the Coach House!

On Friday I went on the literary walking tour of the Annex presented by the Scream Festival. It was fun -- Sharon and Stephen had pulled together a lot of interesting local trivia and relevant poetry, and I enjoyed Emily's anecdote about living next to Lee's Palace, watching the Magnetic Fields from her balcony as they unloaded their gear there one afternoon, and wanting to invite them up for toast but being too shy.

The walk ended at the Coach House, and Alana gave a tour of the building. I'd been on the tour before, but the squirrels had really been busy since the last time I was there. We actually saw a squirrel in the bindery, but it hid behind boxes of paper and it kept running dementedly back and forth -- RUNNING! RUNNING! RUNNING! RUNNING! -- so I was unable to get a photo of it. However, the squirrel and its compadres had left traces throughout the Coach House.

Exhibit A: Nutshells on the Polar Paper Cutter.
Nutshells on the Polar Paper Cutter
This is the machine used to trim books to size after they have been bound. Note the walnut shells scattered all over it -- my favourite is the one that has been tucked carefully above the control panel.

Exhibit B: Footprints on the Original Heidelbergs:
Footprints on the printer
All the printing at the Coach House is done on these splendid German offset presses, built in the '60s and still going strong. Note the squirrel footprints on this one. You can see a close-up here.

Should you find peanut crumbs in the spine of your copy of Nellcott Is My Darling, or should fluffy clumps of shed black fur make you sneeze upon opening American Standard/Canada Dry, you'll know who is responsible.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe Coach House press has squirrels running around in it. Maybe it's time to do a fur covered book.


12:59 a.m., July 04, 2005  
Blogger carl said...

omigosh - think of the poor people with allergies out there who might inadvertantly consume a Coach House book!

The codicil should include a warning:

CAUTION: This book may contain trace nuts or peanuts, as well as residue of 'pataphysics.

5:39 p.m., July 08, 2005  

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