Sunday, January 23, 2005

What are you reading? 

When I went to cover for the other branch last week I was relieved to miss my ‘date’ with the Tuesday night vaguely obscene phone caller. He called again the night before I left for Asia, leading me to the conclusion that this was going to become a regular Tuesday night event, just one more thing to look forward to on nights that were plenty creepy enough. I recognized his mysterious European accent immediately and he stuck to his habitual script and began the phone call by asking whether the reference librarian was available. I said that he was talking to one, and he started off innocuously with a question about books that refuted or explained the Da Vinci code. Because of the controversial nature and obscene success of the book there have been a passle of them, and he wanted me to read off each title to him slowly so he could write each one down. After finishing that long list, he dispensed with his version of foreplay and asked for books we had about the Marquis de Sade. I thought, “Here we go.” He wanted to me to list each one and describe them in as much detail as possible. His breathing was starting to get a little heavy so I lied and said that I had a line at the reference desk. He replied that he would call back in about 30 minutes. I told the children’s librarian what was going on and she said,

“Did you look at the caller ID?”

DUH! I forgot our recently installed anonymity destroying feature. When he called again to continue my description of the Marquis de Sade collection I wrote down his number and did a reverse look up. He was calling from some photography studio all the way across town. A frustrated photographer working late and needing to blow off a little steam? Although I am committed to public service, this isn’t one that I am willing to provide, certainly not at my salary. I ended the call by telling him that we were a busy branch and if he needed in depth reference he should call the Main.

Not to criticize, but I much prefer DOH! to DUH!
I cracked up reading how he slipped in Marquis de Sade. I imagine his heart was trip-hammering as his excitement grew.

Thank goodness you now can avoid him!
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