22 February 2021

Your Tax Dollars at Work

I may have mentioned, once or three hundred times, that until I retired I was a government information librarian. One of my hobbies back then was collecting interesting government titles.  Now you get to benefit from my dedicated time-killing.

All of these are real and I include links to prove it. Some of these titles no doubt made sense when they were published. Some make sense now if you look them from the right point of view. Some – like the terrorism one  – are just a garbled mess. And some are artifacts of one of the most tragic impulses that can occur to a government author – the desire to be clever or “hip.”

Dullness is your friend, Mr. Bureaucrat. Embrace it. If you are putting an exclamation point in a government title, you are on the wrong track.


  1. Mud & Guts. The Golden Age of Bathing? What did I wake up to this morning?

  2. Fun Activities for your Fallout Shelter.
    Twenty Techniques for Tapioca.

  3. Do You Know Oatmeal? My life is now complete. Thank you, Rob.

  4. The only one I felt compelled to click on was:
    Getting a job on the moon

    Discovered it's available in 4 libraries in Indiana (including my undergrad school--DePauw).

    Probably a lower risk of coronavirus there than here...

  5. Government authors--why am I not surprised?

    Now I'll be humming Sprocketman all day . . .

  6. Oh! THOSE kind of aliens.

    There went a chunk of my afternoon, and I don’t regret it. I actually downloaded one booklet. No, not the one about shipping high-level nuclear waste! I grabbed Water Witching for a story I’m working on.

    Hey, folks are not messing around. The publication on prisoners and horses was tagged ‘Best Title Ever’.

    I remember the magic bean. I didn’t realize it had a laser update, but why not? And speaking of lasers, Sprocketman’s reviewers need a spelling lesson.

    Index of Blank Forms… I love it. Kinda goes with state-of-the-art dummy selection. Clearly they’re fans of Proposed Idea Regulations.

    Rob, this was a lot of fun.

  7. Thanks for the comments, all. Eve, you have a definite future in government publications.

  8. LOL! I saw a documentary on the horses and inmates program; the famous program went bust but there are others around the country that seem to work!


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