John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

I have two part-time jobs, and one of them is working as the school librarian’s research assistant. So I spend a lot of time in the library, and none of that goes towards my studying.

Anyway, one of my favorite spots to work is at a desk in the back corner on the second floor, and every time I walk past those shelves I can’t help casually reading whatever titles I happen to catch. There is one book in particular that always catches my eye, and always makes me smile. It’s a worn, black hardcover with gold lettering. At the top of the spine it reads P.S. and below that in vertical letters says The Autobiography of Paul Simon.

Over the course of the year and a half I’ve been working at this library, I must have seen this book more than a hundred times. And each time I meant to remind myself to stop and look at it when I wasn’t busy, but never had. Until yesterday.

I was on my way to the restroom, and when I saw the book per usual I decided: now’s as good a time as any. So I paused, pulled the book off the shelf, cracked it open to the middle page, and saw a baby picture.

‘Aw,’ I thought, ‘little baby Paul Simon’. Then I read the caption, which said something similar to, “Me, 30 years before I went into politics.” ‘Wait a minute,’ I thought, ‘politics?‘ Turns out the book isn’t the autobiography of Paul Simon, but Paul Simon.

This whole time I thought it was a book by and about the man who made me want to marry a Jew, and when I finally took a step closer I found out it was nothing of the sort.

So this was going to be a lesson in, “Trust not the gilded letters” or “Glance at the title and just keep walking” or “Sometimes you want to judge a book by the cover because what’s inside is not nearly as interesting.” But I’m not going to be sorry that my ideas about that book were dashed. Because, as it turns out, Paul Simon the politician seems like a fun guy. Of course I’m basing this solely on the fact that he liked to wear bowties and hornrimmed glasses, and that he played himself in the movie Dave (which I want to see again, now, just to find him). But it’s not the poor guy’s fault that I’m in love with a different Paul Simon and don’t really care about politics.

And that, my dear Creeter Readers, is all I have to say.



3 thoughts on “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

  1. It is often dangerous to “[take] a step closer” and reveal something’s true identity because of the varying levels of disappointment that could ensue. However, there are times when disappointment can make a sharp turn towards intrigue and happiness, and those times are always worth it.

    Hoorah for Paul Simon.

    And Paul Simon.

  2. I hate politics, too….. And have also had the experience of the book which is mistaken for something it isn’t because of its title. It’s somewhat disconcerting, like taking a bite of a cookie only to realize it’s sugar-free…..

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