Maneuvers!

        "You didn't really read all these books did you?"        "Most of them" John said with a simper.         "Yeah right, so what's this one about then?" Alice pointed to a thick leather bound volume with the quizzical title 'Twenty-forths and One-half the Total'. It was a lucky selection. One of the few books John had actually gotten around to reading.         "Statistics," he said, trying to stifle his now growing smirk, "it's all about how you can use statistics and probabilities to do better in battles and war and the like. It was kind of interesting actually."         "War? You planning an invasion I should know about."         "Maybe." John set his eyebrows askew and gave his best knowing look, but Alice couldn't hold back her giggles when she saw it.         "Oh, I get it." Alice threw herself into a full blown theatrical drama queen affect. She cast her arms over her face and swooned towards John, forcing him to catch her against the bookcase. "These times of war are so trying my love. I thank the heavens that fate has brought such a strong man to see me through the times of strife and confusion that confound the true hearts of men."         John was a little startled by her swoon. He tried to summon a similar act, but all he could come up with was, "Ahh, I ah, well mlady, fear not the, ahh."         Alice righted herself. "'mlady'?"         "Oh come on. 'confound the true hearts of men' and I'm over the top?"         "No, you just didn't sell it. You have to have more confidence in yourself." Alice glanced around the room. "Instead of spending all your time down here with these books."         "I just don't think that fast on my feet. Anyway, the books have only been here since October when we closed on the house. I wish we could have kept it up, you would have liked that place. It looked just like a haunted mansion. Big wrought iron gate, dead scraggly trees. Plus the house was full of stuff. The moving guys said it looked just like something from Scoobie Doo. I was lucky I could save all this stuff from the library."         "If you ask me you’re the one who needs saving." Alice started weaving her way through the stacks and shelves. "You’re practically drowning in here. Where do you sleep? How do you even get around?"         "It'll work out. Plus all the kids on the street think I'm some kind of crazy wizard now. They've been writing magic spells to seal me in the house in chalk on the sidewalk out front."         "You mean all those dogs and hearts and power-rangers?"         "They have limited imaginations. I think it's too much TV."         "You’re actually enjoying this aren't you?"         "Why shouldn't I? They don't ask me to buy their cookie and magazine subscriptions anymore, I don't have to shell out for Halloween candy. It's great."         Alice crossed her arms. "You don't really mean that do you?"         "Come on, I put the book I found in the kitchen."