Saturday, January 29, 2005


An older man, casually but very neatly dressed, approached the reference desk. He was wearing good walking shoes and looked like he had just wandered away from an upscale tour group. I expected him to ask for directions or to use the internet, but instead he asked if I could print out the contact number for the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and the Office of Consumer Affairs for some cities. I asked what cities he would like the information for and he presented a long scroll of paper filled with columns and columns of miniscule writing, a list of cities as long as the Southern casualties at the Battle of Gettsyburg. As I squinted at the tiny, migraine inducing script I noticed a pattern, that all of the cities had the word White in the them: White Settlement, Texas; White Fish, Montana; White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

He then wrote a note on a scrap piece of paper and showed it to me:

"Old administrator here, VERY CORRUPT"

As he handed the note to me his eyes darted around shiftily like spies were everywhere. After he was sure that I read the his note he destroyed it by tearing it into tiny pieces. I almost expected him then to start swallowing them out of paranoia that someone else might be able to piece the note back together and read it. I examined the list of cities again and told him that I would do 5 of them for him but if he wanted all of the cities he would to look them up himself, which I would be happy to show him how to do. I started at the top of the list and looked up the information for the first five cities for him. As I was finishing he asked,

“Does that thing,” pointing to the monitor, “have white lines that jump out you?”

“Wha-? Uh, no, it’s a very good monitor," I replied.

What about those cords,” gesturing toward the cables circled around the base of the monitor. “Do they ever try to come out and wrap themselves around your wrists and neck?”

As he waited for my answer, which wasn't exactly tripping off my tongue, he pulled out a roll of Mentos from his pocket and offered me one, just as if we were at the end of a really creepy Mentos commercial. He then muttered to himself, “No, those cords, they’re just playthings, I guess.”

I declined the Mentos and handed him the list back. I told him that my manager would be happy to show him how to look up the list, but I was needed in the back - a lie, of course. He said not today and then wandered off to the stacks. A few minutes later he went to the circulation desk and told the page, who was wearing a black sweater,

“Shame on you for wearing so much black.”

He then left the library.

I hate it when my cables do that. The day I discovered the joy of cable ties heralded the dawn of a new era in this boy's life...an era where man was no longer slave to the cackling whimsy of malevolent wiring, but instead claimed his rightful place back at the top of the technological food chain. Hallelujah. I'll never leave home without at least a couple a rubber bands again.

grey kid
Okay, this is just one of the reasons I'm studying to be a cataloger with little connection to the actual public.

And I wear a *lot* of black. So he wouldn't have liked me anyway.
I'm so glad you are back. Your blogs make my day. Here is a little fun thing I found on the web:
Warm fuzzies,

(Rae's friend from Texas)
Shame on you for wearing so much blackGod, tell him to not ever visit Wellington then. The whole city wears black, all the time.
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