Michael Moore's Stupid White Men, describes "Mad Cow" disease as the biggest threat to the human race -- bigger than AIDS. Like little zombies, the mad cow pathogens "cannot be killed, because they're already dead." So how can science cure Mad Cow?

Moore's passage itself did not shake me to the bone. But the dramatic reading of it by the narrator of an audiobook, a.k.a. book-on-tape, did. You see, while I was at work listening to my cow-orkers shared iTunes music selections, I stumbled upon this recording, and, in effect, "read" over half the book. Hey, I thought, what a great way to get some reading done. So last night, off I went to the local library to find some books on CD. Yes, I assumed there are books on CD. "Books on Tape" is just a term handed down from the days when cassettes roamed the Earth like Ptyranydons... so I thought.

My assumption explains why the librarian seemed baffled by my request. Why would anyone under forty still have a cassette player? This is the conversation that transpired:

Me: Hi, where are you audiobooks?

Librarian: They're right over there... you mean books on tape?

Me: Yup.

Librarian: Books on tape?

Me: Yup.

Librarian: I'll show you... [leads me to section clearly marked "Audiobooks"] You mean these?

Me: Yup.

Librarian: Books on tape?

Me: Yes, thanks.

Librarian: Okay...

Of course, I don't have a tape deck. Not one currently connected to my stereo, anyway. So, I borrowed some books that are actually compatible with my bio-technology: paper books that I can read with my eyeballs. Hooray for libraries!

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