Weird Prank Calls of the Season

Recently someone has been calling independent bookstores asking for a book that doesn't exist that usually has Aardvark or Baboon in the title or is about country singer Roy Clark.

While the bookseller is on the phone looking up the book, the original caller calls another bookstore or several bookstores and patches them in. As the first bookseller says the book doesn't exist, the other booksellers on the line are confused, with everyone wondering who called whom. "You called me." "No, you called me!" are typical comments. The original caller is silent and soon there all kinds of squeals and warbles and finally very loud static.

The prank calls have been made to stores in Wisconsin and other states. The calls appear to come from California, Oregon and "private" lines. It's happened enough so that some stores greet their fellow booksellers and all hang up.

Many thanks to Daniel Goldin and Chris Lee of Boswell Book Co., Milwaukee, Wis., for bringing this to our attention!

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