Scrap Heap

The first 15 minutes of our prepared childbirth course last summer was devoted to ice-breaking--that peculiar activity group leaders believe helps a room full of strangers bond. We dutifully stated our names, jobs, due dates, hobbies. One particularly stunning response came out of the bow-shaped mouth of a stay-at-home prego who said, "I scrapbook." Deliver me, I muttered, with double entendre. Scrapbook is a noun. It is not and never should be verb-alized. I wanted to slap her silly for this and two more reasons: People who are both crafty and mutilate the English language should not be allowed to have children, and if you really don't do anything for fun except make scrapbooks, you should absolutely lie about it in front of strangers who are making an initial assessment of your worthiness as a human being. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

So, it is with dread and trepidation that we tell you about the sixth annual Art & Rubber Stamp Festival at the Grapevine Convention Center this weekend. There will be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of crafty people there who use rubber stamps to make funny or quaint pictures, or plaster various paper products with clever little sayings in oddly spaced lettering for fun and/or profit. According to Heirloom Productions, which organized the event that runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, customers will be able to buy from their favorite rubber-stamp manufacturers, attend free classes and demonstrations hosted by these same companies, enjoy "a renown" (sic) stamp-art exhibit, and receive free souvenir stickers.

If you're up for encounters with the "scrapbookers" and rubber-stampers of the world who'll be heading to 1209 S. Main St. in Grapevine (with their children) this weekend, resist the urge to make fun of their lingo, their so-called art, and/or their children. These people could not care less what you think about them; the only real impressions they're interested in are made with rubber stamps.

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Annabelle Massey Helber