Monday, September 26, 2005

A clown who actually did something funny 

Before I transferred to the Main and became blessed with full time security, the burden of enforcing the rules at the branch often fell on me. Like many in my profession I don't particularly enjoy confrontation, so having to ask someone to leave because, say, their odor was making other patrons gag and faint filled me with dread. I especially disliked waking patrons, since people can be dangerously unpredictable and surly when they're coming to. At the branches I often looked the other way when seniors drifted off doing a cross word puzzle, but had little tolerance for habitual offenders, especially our 'overserved' patrons who came into the library to sleep it off.

One day after helping a patron with an involved reference question I looked around and noticed that almost every patron in the library was slumped over asleep, as if they had all been struck with darts dipped in curare. As I steeled my resolve to go deal with them a children's performance began on the upper level. A maniacally cheerful clown yelled at the audience of children, "OK, everybody! You all look sleepy to me! On the count of three, I want each and every one of you to scream, ‘Wake up!’ Are you ready now? One-Two-Three!" All the children, about 3 classes worth of 4th graders, then screamed with all of their might, "WAKE UP!" The vibration of the sound waves, carried on the frequency of the piercing, prepubescent children's voices, made a pencil roll off of my desk. The sound also jolted all of our sleepers awake, and it was comical in a kind of mean way to see them jerk out of their chairs and look about in panic. Usually clowns completely repulse and creep me out, and nothing they do amuses me in the least, so it was nice to finally get a good laugh from one.

That's fab!! I'm not a big fan of clowns, myself, but hoorah for him.

Before we got our guard, your curare description would've fit our branch, too. I know they'll be toddling back in now that it's getting cold, but at least I don't have to wake them up anymore.
Clowns really creep me out, too. I think I have clorophobia.
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