The Mystery Letter Saga Continues

The Mystery Letter Saga Continues

Again, apologies for the delay. We posted last week about receiving a package that contained two mysterious letters, but then we left you hanging, and several of you have been rather vocal in sharing your displeasure. Frankly, we’re touched that you care. But we will not squander that good will by torturing you further.

After several days of wanting to open the first envelope, we finally did, eager for clarity. But almost instantly, we were stopped in our tracks, having been trained since early childhood to pay extra attention to the word “stop,” especially when it is presented in all caps, and especially when it is red.

Apparently, we were only to stop so long as it took to read the first line of instructions, which suggested that our task was to complete a crossword puzzle.

Alas, crosswords are not our strong suit. Robbi tried really, really hard.

And I tried really, really hard to help Robbi.

As of the last update, Robbi had worked through three of 14 clues. Which is to say, I’m not going to hold up publishing this post while we wait for her to finish. We’ll hack away at this thing over the next couple of days and will do our best to finish by the end of the week, lest you have to spend another weekend in agony.

I can tell you what, apparently, happens when we complete the crossword. It’s rather complicated, but perhaps you’re more clever than we.

More soon, friends. More soon. And if I don’t post soon enough, I trust that you will feel no qualms about reminding me.


Box the Third

Box the Third

Loyal, stalwart Idiots’Books subscriber (and Bobbledy club member, in spite of her adult status) Holly K recently sent us a letter of complaint. Along with this lovely photo.


Read below Holly’s unfiltered outrage (note that she uses some language that might not be appropriate for people who object to the word “Damn.”

In other news, your insistence on still churning out Idiotic books has forced me to invest in a third receptacle for my collection; as you can see I couldn’t find one to match the other two so INSTEAD had to reshuffle the whole system to maintain symmetry.  Damn you.

If Holly aimed to wound us with her vitriol, she did not succeed. In fact, we are delighted to have caused the occasion for a third box. And what lovely boxes. In spite of being an angry person, Holly has exquisite taste.

The lesson here: if you are determined to have sufficient matching boxes to contain your entire Idiots’Books collection from now until death do us part, we’d recommend investing in at least ten boxes now. Because, you see, we do not aim to stop any time soon.

Sorry, Holly.

And, thank you.

NOTE: In addition to being angry and tasteful, Holly is the creator of a delightful Web comic (http://www NULL.leagueoflostcauses, which you will now investigate. 

Mysterious Package

Mysterious Package

Yesterday we received a mysterious package in the mail.

Well, the package itself wasn’t mysterious. It just looked like a regular Priority Mail envelope.

Ok, just a regular priority mail envelope

But once Matthew opened it, the mystery became evident.


You see, there was an envelope inside.

Envelope #1

In fact, there were two envelopes inside. Envelope #1:


with the very specific instructions “OPEN THIS ONE FIRST” (in case you don’t care to take the time to read it for yourself).

And then, Envelope #2:


with the equally specific instructions “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL INSTRUCTED.”

Matthew, overcome by curiosity, started to rip into the envelopes.

Ripping in



It was clear Matthew was not taking any of this very seriously. I have banned him from touching the envelopes. And because the best way to punish an impatient person is to make them wait, we will not be opening either of them until tomorrow. We will keep you posted.

All About the Benjamin

All About the Benjamin

We got a box in the mail the other day. From our friend Richard.

There seemed to be nothing inside. Which is to say, it was extremely light.

I opened it with curiosity.

The results were not unsatisfying. What is that you say?

Let’s take a closer look. Yes, it was a $100 bill carefully folded into the shape of a men’s short-sleeve polo shirt and clipped onto a bright red wire by tiny wooden clothespins.

Amazing. Marvelous. Maddening.

Maddening because we cannot possibly spend it.

The $100 was meant to pay for two subscriptions, one to Bobbledy and the other to Idiots’Books. But here’s the rub. In thus folding the bill, Richard transformed currency into art, which, being priceless, cannot be turned back into currency without a corresponding loss of value.

It’s a conundrum we’ll have to live with, I suppose. Perhaps some day, we’ll be down to our final dime and will decide that the best kind of art is that which can be easily unfolded and traded for a warm supper.

Resubscribing with Flair

Resubscribing with Flair

Of course, we welcome any resubscription. The point of making books is, after all, to share them with people when you’re done. So we are grateful to all of you who continue to support our Idiots’ and Bobbledy efforts year after year.

But we are particularly pleased when you take a creative approach to submitting payment. And by “you” we are referring to one Jed Falby of Devon, England, whose annual payment always comes bundled with one of a kind artwork. This year was no exception. In fact, Jed upped the ante by sending us what can only be described as a poster featuring nude drawings of us! Yes, I use exclamation points but rarely, but today seems like one of those occasions on which they are surely called for.

The red and blue versions of ourselves are engaged in conversation. Here’s a closer look.

Jed’s drawings are never without an affirming sign-off. He is an artist supporting an artist. And we are grateful for it.

Perhaps Jed’s remarkable mailing will inspire some flattering imitation? If the bar has been raised, we cannot wait to see what comes leaping over it in days to come.

Thanks, Jed! But thanks also to everyone who helps to make this little enterprise a reality.

New Tunes

New Tunes

For seven years now, we have been publishing books in this barn. We just sent out our 46th title, in fact.

It’s true that some of these books have not actually been books. We’ve created posters and broadsides. We’ve made boxes of illustrated tiles and two albums. But even when we’ve ventured into the realm of audible art in the past, we’ve been collaborating with musicians whose projects were already under way.

Now, however, with Bobbledy Books (http://www NULL.bobbledybooks, we have assumed the mantle of music producers (sort of). The sixth and final item in this first year of Bobbledy Books will be an album by our dear friend (and certified musical genius) Drew Bunting (http://drewbunting NULL.html).

If you went to college with us (or have known us for a long time), you probably remember Drew. He is tall and riddled with charisma. He sings like a choir boy and writes lyrics like a man who has made a pact with the devil (in the almost-too-good-to-be-true Robert Johnson sense). He plays several instruments well, several others plausibly, and he hollers real good. And in less than a week, we’ll be releasing his first album for kids, I Don’t Wanna Brush My Teeth, and sending it out to the Bobbledy membership.

Drew has been working on the album for about a year now, sending us demos recorded on his phone, asking for input, making adjustments, laying down many tracks, and gradually building lush walls of smack-you-where-it-feels-good sound. Drew’s songs are funny and smart and beautiful and imaginative and revealing and sometimes weird and ultimately oh so true. There are eight tracks on this disk, including an epic journey down the toilet bowl, a tribute to the underloved dust bunny, a Spanish-style ode to Godzilla’s pal Mothra, a joyful romp on the pleasures of disobedience, a spirited paean to the groundhog, and a beautiful tribute to the imagination.

And…in case you missed it over on the Bobbledy Blog (http://www NULL.bobbledybooks (and are somewhere with powerful speakers), here is a sneak preview of the first track of the album.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here (http://www NULL.adobe NULL.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash&promoid=BIOW). You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In addition to being the official Bobbledy Books theme song, it is a spirited homage to all things fun and joyful in life. It is also our new driving music. Kato demands that it be played the moment we get into the car.

If you don’t know Drew’s music, you should. If you’ve been meaning to sign up for Bobbledy Books (http://bobbledyshop, there might be no more perfect moment. The album ships within the week.

Here is drew rocking with his boys. It is good to have a built in backup band.

And if you are an adult who loves music, Drew, or Robbi’s drawing of a bird on a watermelon and does not own a copy of Drew’s album The New South (http://store NULL.idiotsbooks NULL.asp?ProductCode=IB024-01), then your life is far from complete.

This, too, can be easily remedied (http://store NULL.idiotsbooks NULL.asp?ProductCode=IB024-01).