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Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Raisin in the Staff Room 


The patrons of the branch where I'm substituting today lavish the staff with gifts of food. The break room is stocked with boxes of bagles, expensive chocolates, exotic fruits from the Asian markets and homemade cookies and brownies. I don't know if it is an indication of the depressed economy of my regular branch's neighborhood, the place our patrons hold us in their esteem, or some sort of statement that are customer service is not up to par, but the only gift we have received from our patrons lately is a box of raisins dispensed by WIC.

These government issued raisins has been sitting untouched for weeks on the staff room table. The packaging of the box is white and generic, and on the back is a sad little recipe for stewing them, which sounded absolutely disgusting even if you were starving. Not to be unappreciative, and I hate to see food wasted, but I have never been a big raisin fan and I have a feeling that these raisins have hardened into inedibility and are now not even suitable for fruitcake.

I missed the turbaned Norma Desmond today (this is her home branch), but a few days ago she came up to pick up her reserve, On the Down Low. Usually she only orders interlibrary loans of obscure texts on the tribes in New Guinea or nomadic bushmen, but her'research' must have taken a new direction. When she picked up the book she yelled at the tech who was standing 20 feet away, like she was addressing a crowd of hundreds,

"Have you heard of this phenomenon? There are black homosexsuals  masquerading as heterosexuals who are living a DOUBLE LIFE of anonymous GAY SEX!"

She opened the book and the tech just knew she was about to start reading highlights, but then she was mercifully interrupted by a woman with children who need the tech's help with some children's videos. When he finished helping them the coast was clear because she had apparently left to go immerse herself in the study of the hidden lives of black gay men.

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