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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Warning: Contains Mustache

Alternate Title: Why You Should Always Open Your Mail in a Timely Fashion

So the new job is going very well indeed, but some of my mail is still going down to the Children’s Center.  No biggie.  I stop down there about once a day anyway to pick up holds and the like.  Stopped by yesterday, in fact, and while I was there my old boss pointed out that there was a package for me.  Not a dinky little nothing of a package, mind you, but an immense package roughly the size of a ping-pong table.

“Did you know that was for you?”

Nope.  We took a gander at it and the mystery only deepened.  Written all over it in big letters were words decrying “DO NOT BEND!!” and “THIS SIDE UP!!”

“Who’s it from?”

“Carl Jones.”

Nope.  No idea.  I gave it a glance and then recognized the name.  Not Carl Jones.  Karl Jones.  Karl Jones of the amazing mustache, as written up in my November 1st librarian preview of Penguin Books.  That guy.  Well, shoot.  He was sending me something?  To quote Ren & Stimpy, “Could be something good.  Could be something bad!”

“I wrote about his mustache on my blog,” I explained as we delicately took a box cutter to the tape.  “Maybe what he’s sending me is mustache-related.”  I was joking, of course.  Nothing as big as this box could possibly be tied into facial hair.

Oh, how wrong I was.

You see that?  Yep.  That is a ginormous mustache signed by, insofar as I can tell, every single person at Grosset & Dunlap.  Folks, I don’t usually blog about the stuff I get in the mail because I get a lot of stuff and it’s not fair to highlight one thing over another.  But, guys, there was some serious work put into this ‘stache and I gotta give old G&D some credit.  Let’s run through the steps of what took place here.

Step One: G&D notices that I’m bowled over by Karl’s near-handlebar.  He tweets his amusement.  I think that’s the end of it.  Instead, someone at G&D (possibly Karl himself, though I am willing to consider other folks had a hand in the initial planning phase) suggests, “Hey!  Let’s send Betsy the World’s Biggest Foam Mustache as a thank you!”

Step Two: Others agree that this is a good idea.

Step Three: Someone goes out, purchases sturdy black foamy papery stuff (I’m not a crafty librarian so I can’t tell you exactly what it is) along with a thick silver marker.  To make the mustache as large as possible they purchase two huge sheet’s o’ foam with the intention of putting them together.  It’s possible that they had these items lying about the office but somehow I doubt it.  Where do you even get foam that large in New York City anyway?

Step Four: Someone cuts out two rather even and symmetrical sides to the ‘stache.  Maybe they mess up and have to redo it on ANOTHER ENTIRELY GIGANTIC PIECE OF BLACK FOAM.  Howsoever they manage it, it works in the end.  Voila.  Two equal halves of the same ‘stache.

Step Five: They walk around the office and get everyone to not only SIGN said ‘stache but to draw their own favorite mustache shapes.

Step Six: They found a way to put the two halves together into a cohesive whole.  It holds together beautifully, even out of the packaging.  What’s more, it traveled through the mail and arrived without a ding or a scratch on it (the same cannot be said, unfortunately, after the moment when I tried to maneuver it into the nearest elevator).

Step Seven: They packed it in cardboard, which they must have customized for the sole purpose of even sending such a gigantic thing through the postal service.  I can only hope that whoever handed it to the mail carriers said, when asked what it was they were sending, “It’s a mustache for a children’s librarian.”

Step Eight:

Needless to say, my brand new cubicle now sports an enormous mustache along one whole side.  Right behind my computer where I can look upon it all day, every day, and sigh with perfect contentment.  My new co-workers may write me off as batty (something they were bound to do at some point anyway) but I care not.  I have the most perfect mustache any gal could ever want.  It is enough.

A big, mustache-sized thank you to the entirely hilarious folks at Grosset & Dunlap.  Now I’m off to write a post about how much I admire some other editorial assistant’s paycheck . . .

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. And now for your mustache viewing pleasure…the mustache ride in austin, texas:

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Aw man. Why can’t Midwinter be in Austin this year? I bet Dallas doesn’t have it’s own mustache ride. And if it did, I bet it wouldn’t be handlebar-based.

  2. Not only is it a great gift, not only did you realize how much went into making that gift for you, but you ended this post with a laugh out loud line, which I really needed today! So thanks to all the mustache makers and thanks, Betsy!