Cover Snark: Front or Back?

Susan P. found a cover that was so fantastic, she took a picture of it and emailed it to me. YOU GUYS. This cover was so complete in every aspect of its WTFery that I had to buy a copy for my very own….so I could scan the cover into a huge, mondo-big epic-sized JPG of wonderment. 

When it arrived, and I performed the embiggening scanning actions to my satisfaction, I called upon the posse to ask the crucial (and trick question):  Front or Back? Which is Worse?

Let's start with the back: 

Keeper - back cover copy: CLEESE STARRETT: A businessman, cattleman and expert fisherman who thought the way to a good woman's heart was through an extra rod, dry flies and a ideal spot on the river.


Amanda: My immediate instinct is to go with the back since I read the entire thing with the hero's name being Cheese.

Elyse: Also I thought his name was Cheese.

RedHeadedGirl: …Cleese.  His name is Cleese

I also read Cheese.  Women are fish?  What is happening. 

(I'm on a LOT of Sudafed right now)

Susan: “extra rod!” Hee hee.


Silhouette Intimate Moments - Keeper by Patricia Gardner Evans with a typo on the cover - that reads still wasters. plus the hero has no shirt, his shoulder looks dislocated, and he's got Mom Jeans on.



Amanda: But then I saw the front…and those pants.


What is this -- animated gif

What is this creepy business? animated gif


He's got the red, shiny face of a cartoon drunkard. Or maybe he's sunburned. BUT THOSE PANTS!! He better be packing something to make up for the unnecessary length in that denim crotch region.

Nice touch with the gold watch by the way. He's got enough money to wear a Rolex while doing yard work, but not enough to find pants that fit him apparently.


Elyse: I realize I'm going to hell for this, but when I saw his face I immediately thought of one of those “bad touch” PSAs we had to see in grade school.


Carrie: Which is worse? The front.  The fishing metaphors on the back are dreadful, but they pass in comparison to the smarm on the front.  Why is there cowboy gear and no fishing gear if it's all about fishing?  Why do his arms look glued on?  Why is his hair glued on like one of those Lego hair pieces?  Why is he looking at me like that?  Can I hit him?  Is “He looked at me in a smarmy and patronizing way” legal grounds for assault?


Sarah: Y'all have missed the best part! Check out the white text on the cover! 

Carrie: Still wasters?  What?  I thought I had a copyright on those kinds of typos.  It is a typo, right?  Or am I just not intellectual enough to comprehend this?

Amanda: I'll be honest, I have no clue what that meant. I assumed it had something to do with the uncomfortable fishing analogy on the back.

Susan: I'm guessing that because the cover painting dealt solely with the cattleman aspect of his life,  the front cover blurb was supposed to handle the fisherman part.

Elyse: What if “still wasters” is some kind of code? Like how in movies spies communicated through personal ads?

Carrie: Shhh you're not supposed to tell everyone!  It's a secret code!  I mean it was, until you TOLD EVERYONE.

RedHeadedGirl: That's like, the slowest, most inefficient code ever. 

Which is why I totally believe it.


Sarah: I have the cover of this book sitting upright on my desk so he's looking at me. I keep thinking his right arm is attached incorrectly. LIke one of those He-Man dolls where you could rip their arms off and reattach them?

Or wait. Maybe he IS MADE OF CHEESE.

RedHeadedGirl: I have a really good chiropractor that can fix that.  (his arm, I mean, not the made of cheese part.)

Carrie: No, I think he's plastic.  Like a Barbie, but one of those where sadistic children keep removing the limbs and sticking them back on until the limbs don't attach right.

Sarah: I feel like “still wasters” should be a useful phrase (aside from spy coded messages of course). Like, there should be some sort of regular internet event that could be described as “Still Wasters.” 


So, what's your best idea for the true meaning of Still Wasters? Does it involve cheese? (We hope so.) 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Melonie says:

    C’mon now ladies, we all know still wasters run beep.

    Wait… still wasters fun deep. Fun dip?

    And oh yes – the snazzy gold watch sans shirt look. I want to scour covers for more of these, it’s like a cousin of the open but still tucked shirt look.

    I think his shoulder placement bothers me the most (maybe because I can’t look higher, the patronizing perv stare is too much) – but really, his shoulder look like they’ve been pinned on with those doo-dad things used in kids crafts… brads?

    But his name isn’t Brad, it’s Cheese.

  2. 2
    Dancing_Angel says:

    In addition to the excellent points made above, his arm proportions look weird to me.  Also, that pose looks really uncomfortable.  I mean, he’s leaning and twisting and staring all at the same time, while clutching a pair of leather gloves in his other hand.  Because, of course, it’s only natural to have to protect your hands while running around shirtless, right? 

    But, oh, the stare.  THE STARE!  I’m probably wrong for wishing that horseshoe would fall off the wall and get him on the shoulder, thus wiping the smirk off of his face.

    However, I must thank you for the hilarious read.  This week has gotten off to kind of a tough start, and getting to read stuff like this:

    Why is he looking at me like that?  Can I hit him?  Is “He looked at me in a smarmy and patronizing way” legal grounds for assault?

    … really helped.

  3. 3
    Melonie says:

    I really should go to bed, but something about that back cover kept nibbling at my brain like one of Cheese’s fishies and I couldn’t figure it out… when suddenly I recalled this little gem of juvenile humor:
    “He was an expert fisherman, and a master baiter.”

  4. 4
    Kaetrin says:

    Was it supposed to be “still waters…”??  Because: fishing?  But there’s no fishing stuff on the front! So… *throws hands up in the air*.

    Also, why is it called “Keeper”?  Isn’t that a soccer thing? What does that have to do with fishing?  Or cattle? Ohhh –  is he some creepy dude who’s going to lock her up in a cage and do domestic discipline things with her (most probably without her consent)?  I woudn’t trust him.  Run Laurel!  Run away from Cheese!!

  5. 5
    2paw says:

    “Still waisters”, that’s what it is meant to say: it’s all about those jeans. He has to keep the waist still to keep the cheese he is smuggling from escaping.

  6. 6
    Diane says:

    This is why I come to this site, what a great dialogue.  The snark and the book reviews/suggestions, I couldn’t live without them!

  7. 7
    LovellofTheWolves says:


    Can we take a moment to ignore melting-plastic-man and focus on an egregious graphic design error? What, and I mean, WUT is up with the blue blocks behind the text? Not a single one of them line up. NOT. A. SINGLE. ONE. I suppose its because I spend most my days lining things up in photoshop but…! THAT COLOR BLOCKING. COULD BE ONE. 

    (Also? I think its supposed to be still waters? But… I dont… I dont know… Who let this get to print??? Its like the 1970s/80s version of Poser models – except its collegiate level painting skillz – slapped together by someone who had less than the basic grasp of photoshop but decided that this tenuous grasp made them de-facto graphic designer)

  8. 8
    LauraL says:

    I don’t like to swim in water where I can’t see the bottom, but now I have to worry about the local murky river being full of sharks? Or maybe a weird cattleman guy with an extra rod. (shiver)

    @ LovelloTheWolves – that effect with the blue blocks with type was common back in the 1970s/80s on books and catalogs. The typesetting was manually prepared and pasted up, and then prepped for printing by “strippers” who prepared the printing plates. I used to be that kind of stripper back in my single days….

  9. 9
    pet says:

    I think the back is the winner
    All this fishing analogies
    I think I’ve seen worse fronts

  10. 10
    Sandra says:

    Since I read that back blurb and immediately thought John Cleese, I’m not so sure that Cleese is a better hero name than Cheese. Not that I don’t adore him, but as a romance hero?

  11. 11
    Sarina Bowen says:

    I thought CHEESE too! Note to self: avoid character names which resemble dairy products.

    But it didn’t scare me that Mr. Cheese compared catching a woman to catching a fish. That’s probably the only true-to-life thing here.

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    Here’s a question: can you catch fish with cheese? I think my sister once caught a mammoth flounder using Chicken McNuggets as bait, but I’ve never tried fishing with cheese.

  13. 13
    PamG says:


    1. Bert Parks (Gumby edition)
    2. Typo.  It could mean “still waters” or “still waders”—you know, long rubber tubes that protect the nether regions when you wade into those still waters.

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    I’m so glad everyone is on board with this Cheese business.

  15. 15
    Jenn B. says:

    The back is worse, because they put down every one of those words with the intention of it being really bad innuendo. I mean, come on: “…the way to a good woman’s heart was through an extra rod”? You can’t make that sort of analogy by mistake.

    Thank you for the mid-week laugh. I’ll just be over here, wiping tears off my face…

  16. 16
    Amy! says:

    Oh, I think the text on the front is an attempt to fix a typo that went awry.

    Look at his face. “Everybody must get stoned,” right? And it’s afternoon. The artist intended to letter it “Still wasted …” but that was just not on for the editorial team, who looked and said “waters! you mean waters, not wasted!” So the paste-up guy, wincing at the effect of the screams on his own hangover, replaced the ‘d’ with ‘rs’, and everybody agreed it was fine.

    Still wasted after all these hours (and all this fish, and hey … wanna see my new rod? Here, have another drink, take another hit …).

  17. 17

    I’m still crossing my legs at the thought of his ‘dry flies’.. Use some lube, man!

  18. 18
    shawny j says:

    You can catch crabs with cheese. I had a research project in university where I spent a summer baiting crab traps with mould cheddar cheese. If course, in the context of this cover, you can probably catch crabs from Cheese too, although it would be harder for me to write a paper about that.
    Also, does anyone else think Cheese looks like a double jointed Ron Livingstone?

  19. 19
    JCM says:

    I kinda hate to admit it, but I actually read this when it came out, and it was a great book! The “Keeper” reference is to a fish you don’t throw back. He calls the heroine a “keeper.” She’s on the run from an abusive ex, if I recall correctly.

  20. 20
    Todd says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Cheese is a candidate for catch and release … or maybe skip the catch part ….

  21. 21
    Francesca says:

    I didn’t automatically think cheese, but I have an awful vision of the Minister of Silly Walks trying to fish.

  22. 22
    SB Sarah says:

    @JCM: That’s awesome!

    Though I confess, when I first looked at the cover, I thought the title was “American Hero Keeper,” which made me wonder if he was keeping heroes in the barn or something.

  23. 23
    Jess says:

    This cover is GOLD.

    I think “still wasters” is a good explanation for that red face of his. “Sorry, guys, had a little too much bourbon at lunch, I think I’m still wasters, if you know what I mean.”

  24. 24
    Christy says:

    The ‘wasters’ is a reference to the Bette Midler song: “You’re my favourite waste of time”!

  25. 25
    Cat R. says:

    I’m so with the the reading it as Cheese crowd (and once caught crabs with Velveeta growing up). But wow,those *are gloves he’s holding. I thought they were weirdly phallic tent pegs. Which makes about as much sense as leather gloves for fishing. And did anyone else get a mental image of a row of dead and dried house flies laid out for her perusal, or am I the only one that weird?

  26. 26


    Cover Boy there SO wants to be Cary Grant. Seriously you guys, go look up Cary Grant on Wikipedia and tell me that’s not the SAME DAMN STARE. Particularly in the pic of him at the top of his page!

    That said, I’m pretty sure Cary would never have been caught dead in that pose. ;)

  27. 27
    PamG says:

    “Caught Crabs with Velveeta” is the name of my next rock band.

  28. 28

    I, too, immediately thought of John Cleese, and:

    1. A very silly Monty Python skit that involved people dancing and slapping each other with fish.

    2. And, of course, A Fish Called Wanda. Though here I guess she’s called Laurel.

  29. 29
    Tamara Hogan says:

    That back cover copy? Holy extended metaphor, Batman.

  30. 30
    maddbookish says:

    RE: “packing something” … DUH! Says right on the back cover that he’s got an extra rod!! ;)

Comments are closed.

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