Thursday, June 15, 2006

But I Live in a Nice Neighborhood, Damnit! 

While I was on the reference desk I saw a German tourist couple approach one of our regular patrons to ask for directions to a museum. In classic German tourist style, they had identical cropped haircuts and matching fanny packs. The only sexual dimorphism in regards to dress was the male’s sandals and black socks pulled up to his mid-calf. The particular patron looks like an intense, New York intellectual but actually has the mind of a child, although he occassionaly makes some remarkably astute comments to me. My guess would be that he’s bipolar schizophrenic. When he is off his medication he becomes an excitable nuisance, and unfortunately for these Teutonic tourists, this was just such a time.

He began giving them directions, and pointing his arms wildly around to indicate the museum, but then he lost his train of thought and launched into a convoluted story about a soccer match he had been in years before.

“And then I was fullback but the coach sent us way, way up the line. It was much to high up the field! And then the wing on my team, he was this crazy Lebanese guy, he told me that I had to get back. But my coach had told me to go forward! And then the ball was coming toward me, but there was this group of defenders headed right toward me, and it was unbelievable. I then got the ball and ran with it, and then passed it to the Lebanese forward.”

He became increasingly agitated and frequently overcome by giggling. The tourists went from listening intently, trying to make out his words, to confusion, to dawning realization, to a pained, trapped look. They continued listening politely until I waved them over to the desk.

After I had given them the directions and sent them on their way, the patron came to the desk and started repeating the same soccer story to me verbatim. Usually I'm entranced by the speech of schizophrenics. The hair on the back of my neck rises up and I get goose bumps. I am riveted by their schizophrenic flourishes and bizarre flights of fancy. But sports stories are so tediously boring to me me, I can't even abide them from a raving schizophrenic. Aside from the crumbling infrastructure, this is why it would be my nightmare to live in Cuba. Supposedly Castro takes over the radio waves for hours reminiscing about his days as a baseball player, torturing his people with rambling, longwinded stories of his glory days. As I have said before, I suspect this is many an old garrulous man's fantasy, to hold an entire nation captive for this purpose.

On the homefront... Outside of our window this morning on the sidewalk we could see a bum brazenly passed out, face up, lying comfortably in the sun. He awoke, stuck his hand down the front of his pants, and gave himself a nice, leisurely scratch. He then reached into his pocket, pulled out a tin of Altoids and popped one in his mouth - to get ready for a hot date, I suppose? Some idiot do-gooder had placed a Venti Starbucks next to him. He appeared like he was going to spend the rest of the day there basking himself, but Pam and Fisher were home watching the World Cup and called the cops.

These are my favorite kind of posts- containing observations on the lack of sexual dimorphism in Germans and unexpected reasons why one would would be ill-advised to move to Cuba.
On the much missed belated website Blairmag.com there was a game called Lesbian or German Tourist Lady. To play the game, you had to make the call on a series of snapshots of women. It was surprisingly hard.
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