Today, we go to the Rye Free Reading Room (that's the fancy name for our precious library, which is so essential in every way to our community that it should not have to give up a penny of funding in the 2011 City budget) to renew the boys' library cards. They're fascinated that even the well-stocked and practically perfect children's section has freely available computers. Of course, I have to remind the young gentlemen that their purpose is scholarly research, and that fellow readers doing their homework might not appreciate the soundtrack of a lively game of Pinball, no matter how close you are to a record score. (Currently held by Secundus, with his grandmother in second place.)
Tertius says he wants to use the computer to see what Edgar Allen Poe looks like.
"Is he still alive?" he asks.
"No," I inform him, "he's long gone. He was born about two hundred years ago." (Lucky guess, but I was right, although I should have remembered anyway, because I contributed to the Rye Arts Center's celebration of his bicentenary.)
"But was he alive when you were younger?" is the sincere response.
"Just how old . . .?" Ah, never mind. Regular readers know how these things go by now.