Tuesday, January 13, 2004

'Cause I get a kick out of you
Often while working the night shift at the library I do feel like I'm in an elegant Cole Porter musical. No wait - I meant Night of the Living Dead.
One night shift not too long ago a homeless man bearing a striking resemblance to Nick Nolte in this mugshot (but not so festively dressed) shuffled in and stood menacingly in the new books section. One of our friendly semi-homeless regulars, who dropped about a thousand hits of acid in the sixties that fried his brain but apparently bestowed on him the gift of precognition, approached me and said, "Watch that man. He's crazy, and he's going to do something crazy." Of course there was nothing I could do but watch since he as a patron has his rights and all, including the right to stand menacingly in the new books section. Then a municipal bus driver fresh off his night shift went to the new books section and bent over to get a book on the bottom shelf and the homeless man ran up and kicked him hard right in the ass. The bus driver whipped around and shouted, "What the fuck?" The homeless man responded, "Sorry, I thought you were someone else." That wasn't an adequate enough apology for the bus driver, and they began to pummel each other with their fists and scream the word fuck until the busdriver chased the kicker out into the night. I had to call 911 and everything, shrieking in the phone like an hysterical ninny.

Fortunately the victim was a city bus driver, who have to deal with all types and many of whom are hardened felons themselves, so he handled the situation with remarkable equanimity. After he made sure the homeless man wasn't returning, he returned to browsing the new books section, picked a few, checked them out and left.

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