It was a religious-oriented local lawn service business, and since I didn't need the service, I politely said so. We were polite and cordial in our conversation, and then he turned to go.
As I was closing the door, he turned back to me.
"Is that a good book?"
"What?" I'd forgotten that I had the book in my hand.
"Is that a good book to read?"
"Yes. It's a book of literary criticism," I said, and shut the door.
Why on earth would he ask about the book? I thought at first maybe it was one of those salesmen's ploys--you know, where they ask for a glass of water to keep you talking to them. That hadn't seemed to be the case here, though.
Then I looked at the book in my hand. Like so many cultural studies books by a prominent publisher that rhymes with Luke Luniversity Fress, it had a provocative image on the cover--an image of a naked woman swathed in gloomy draperies, in fact. I'm sure the naked woman was performing gender or destabilizing gender identity or representing the hegemonic forces of history, but whatever she was doing, she sure was naked enough that the lawn guy noticed--and, to judge by his peculiar parting expression, didn't approve.