TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NEW MEXICO: A terrifying phenomenon is sweeping the nation: books everywhere, when opened, spill their guts - literally. That is, literature-ally - after a book is opened, the words actually float off the pages and scatter into the air, never to be retrieved again.
The anomalous book behavior seems to have begun sometime in waning hours yesterday evening. "I didn't know what was happening!" said 9-year-old Timothy Sassypants of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. "I opened my history text book, and nearly choked on the words as they sprang into my mouth and everywhere!"
Sassypants eventually managed to spit out the offending words, but, tragically, they were gonners. Chapters of his history reader were left completely blank. "I don't think Mr. Sideeye is going to believe me when I tell him why I couldn't finish my homework." Until, that is, Mr. Sideeye opens a book for himself.
Everything from classics to trashy fodder to dictionaries is susceptible to this text loss disease - except, interestingly, user manuals and the Bible. Textualists and librarians have begun experimentation to see how they might replicate this immunity and inject it into susceptible books.
Librarian Ms. N. O. Sinabuk of Cripple Creek, Colorado, has locked the doors of the town's library in an effort to save the books from the curious and the devious. "They'll not have the chance to witness the text-floaty-craze from our precious books," she said. "Someone's got to protect the books until they can get this thing under control."
Some theorize that this text-annihilation book disease was developed by an underground book-banning organization. Others speculate a higher power is at the heart of this "letter flood."
Whatever the cause, dear readers, if you care about books, keep them closed for now. "Experts" hope to have this issue resolved in the near future. Some even say it is likely similar to the 24-hour flu, and we can expect book life to return to normal by tomorrow.