When the BNP brain trust first broached the subject of incorporating a seventh issue into FCI’s publishing schedule, I’ll admit to some reservations. Not with content, mind you; there’s nothing in the floor covering installation industry that even comes close. No, my reluctance stemmed from the knowledge that the only absolute in this equation was more work. For me. Absolutely. I expressed as much in the publisher’s office the next day.

“And just who do you think is going to edit this monster?” I thundered.

They say every day is a learning experience. They know a lot. For instance, until that moment, I was unaware that “editor” stands for “edit-or-get-another-job-you-insubordinate-troglodyte.” After weathering a verbal assault of a nature usually reserved for naval vessels and family reunions, I returned to my desk, the desire to write in my heart, and a set of fresh bite marks in my…posterior.

There are other guides in the floor covering industry, to be sure. But when the inaugural FCI Directory & Buying Guide reaches your hands, pay attention: this is the Source, the point of reference from which all that worth discovering may be discovered. No more searching through phone books and instruction manuals for 1-800-HELP hotlines, no more snapping your fingers while mumbling “wait, wait, I know it, I know it…” It’s all right there, at your fingertips: page after page of manufacturers; products; technical assistance numbers; training seminars and schools; associations; and the other sources the professional installation mechanic depends on to get the job done right.

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how the whole thing is going to go over; we haven’t done it before, you haven’t seen it before, and no one’s used it before. History will decide if this is a tome whose pages be a collage of priceless information, a collection of carefully detailed birdcage liners, or something in between. The possibilities are endless.

I’ve got a pretty good idea, though. An hour before I started this column, I received a phone call from an installer in Ohio. He was looking for some information on an adhesive he saw profiled in FCI a few issues back, but he couldn’t remember the name of it. All he knew was the manufacturer. After I gave him the company’s technical-service number, he thanked me and left me with a piece of advice.

“You know, someone should really put something together, an index or some kind of installation directory,” he said.

The FCI Directory & Buying Guide will be making its way into the world this June. As with all prototypes, there will probably be a mistake here and there. No problem. FCI is not a publication to shun its responsibility for errors. Should you encounter one, do not hesitate to contact…Lipman. Dan Lipman. That’s L-I-P-M-A-N.

Would you like his home number?