Friday, December 4, 2009

The Kris Is....


Boom! After a year off, Tony Kris is returning to explore the horrors of library life and working!

A word about my absence. Yes, I am now the owner of an MA in History (pending graduation in 2 weeks) and even better, I'll be going for my Ph. D! Yup, my wacky Thesis was approved. Not only that, I'll be working for the Big City library for another 6 months at the very least. So they'll be tons of stories. Here's some recent ones:

At New Belfast, a girl of about 7 comes up to the desk to ask for a computer. Whilst waiting, she digs in her butt, and then SMELLS HER FINGER!!!

At Buffalo, a patron asks me if we have "Girls Gone Wild" videos to check out. And then my good friend Petey Pedaphile shows up for the first time in over a year.

So get ready. It's gonna be fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Sad Confession

So for all both of my fans, I have this saddening development...

Next semester, I, Tony Kris, will be embarking on my Thesis at UBC. As such, my free time will be severely diminished. In addition, pending an assistanceship, there is a very real possibility I might not be working for the Big City library system much longer.

In that vein, I believe F&LL will be going in a sabbatical for the Spring. If I manage to continue to work for the library, then of course I'll update as much as I can. But to be honest, I think all free time I might have will be spend researching or writing my behemoth of a paper.

(For the record, my topic is the Economic Rammifications of Rap Music. I have an interest in cultural History and the scholarship for that particular field is wide open. Call me nothing if not an oppurtunist.)

However, I can't NOT give you a wacky story, so here comes a quick one.

At the Middletown Branch, when a hairy farmer type comes in. He's wearing overalls without a shirt, and approaches the circ desk with several Wal-Mart bags overflowing with some sort of plant life. Along with Boner Leroy (the politican with the profane name) and white flight, the people of Middletown love their Wal-Mart.

Old McYeti: "Hey! YOU'RE new!"

Me: (Not wanting to go into the whole song and dance about different libraries everyday) "Something like that. Can I help you?"

OM: (Hoisting the bag so I can see) "Yeah, is Marian the Librarian (not her real name) in? I've got something for her."

Me: "I don't think so."

OM: "Well, don't that beat all? I've got 5 pounds here of Mustard Greens and I was wanting to give them to Miss Marian. (now yelling) HEY! WHO HERE WANTS SOME FREE MUSTARD GREENS!?"

Okay, I should fully describe the sequence of events that went on within a spilt second. I was convinced I was going to have to call the police to deal with a crazed bigfoot. However, just as I was about to go for the phone, another one of the librarians came out. Assuming she was going to give me moral support, I let her take point. But this was not meant to be.

Other Librarian Lady: "You got Mustard Greens?"

OM: "Yup. You want 'em"

OLL: (verbatium, I swear) "Hells yeah I want some mustard greens!!! I'm gonna shove these in the croc-pot with some bacon and have them for supper."

Neddless to say, hearing "Hells yeah" uttered by a rather prim individual was surprising enough, let alone taking Old McYeti's greens. Does anyone else accept food of plastic bagged origin at their work?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You Honestly Need Lessons? (An Actual Phone Call to a Library)

At Paradise Plaza, where we get an interesting call.

Wannabe Pick-up Artist: "Do you have any books about how to be a womanizer?"

Response: "Please hold."

(Entire circulation staff dies of laughter for a solid two minutes)

Answer: "No. I'm sorry. We don't"

WPA: "Dang."

Monday, October 20, 2008

The World is a Much More Complicated Place than I Realized

At the Washington Branch. Woman comes up to the desk and returns a couple of DVDs and some books on the Ancient Greeks. (I SWEAR I am not making this up!!! On the grave of my unborn child)

Geographical Marvel Girl: "Umm...yeah...I got a problem with these books. They weren't good enough."

Me: "What seems to be the problem?"

GMG: (Holding up one of the offending volumes) "I needed books on Ancient Greece. This is Greek"

Me: (Not understanding the problem) "You need books on Ancient Greece?"

GMG: "And the people who lived there."

Me: "So Greeks."

GMG: (Getting angry and looking at me like I'm stupid) "Not Greeks. Greece! The teacher said this book wasn't good enough."

Me: (Thinking it's for a college assignment or something. Not like she'd ever make it far in college. The books are YA, so maybe the reading level was too basic) "So what type of school is this for?"

GMG: "Middle School. My son's teacher said he needed books on Greece. This about Greek."

Me: (Trying oh so desperately to understand) "Ma'am, Greeks lived in Greece. The name of the people who lived in Greece was Greek. It's like how Americans live in America."

GMG: (Her brain straining to comprehend) "Look at this title. It says Greek. I need books on Greece"

Finally, another librarian came in for the assist and helped her find more books. But this brings up some problematic points. Is my brother-in-law half-Greek, or half-Greece? How close in proximity are the two countries? Are Greece/Greek international relations heated?

Friday, October 3, 2008

They Do Both Share a Last Name

So I feel I should reveal a bit more about one of the system's continual, but not exactly problematic patrons.

His name is Mr. Butkis. Richard Butkis to be exact. He's a large fellow who used to terrorize offensive linemen back in the day, but has since retired to Big City and has mellowed out considerably. (Note: He's not Dick Butkis, but sure looks like him and has a stored past in football)

Mr. Butkis has a habit of showing up at various libraries throughout the system to check out CDs. I have no idea why he travels around town so much, except for the hypotheses that he's bored in retirement or has a part-time job which allows him to wander around Big City. Regardless, at any given library, on any given day, Mr. Butkis is apt to show up with a large pile of Jamiroquai and Velvet Revolver. He also has really weird and varied tastes, but always feels the need to explain to me his choices, as well as random trivia about the artists which may or may not be true.

Of course, my connection to Mr. Butkis goes a bit deeper than recongizable mobile patron. I suppose I should share some personal information. You see, not only did I teach Mr. Butkis' younger son for a while, but attended both middle and high school with his daughter, Richette. I was also in the same drama program with Richette for eons, and Mr. Butkis always showed up for preformances.

I also had a massive crush on Richette for a good 5 years.

Of course, it ended poorly. She didn't share my feelings, but I was smitted. I also never made a move because her dad was the size of a muscular refrigerator and could play me like an accordian.

But Mr. Butkis never knew of my unrequited emotions towards Richette, so he just considered me an acting chum who always got cast along side his daughter.

Anyway, I had dealt with Mr. Butkis several times before he asked me where he knew me from. He guessed a football camp, then another classmate, before finally realizing my identity as Tony Kris. He hadn't seen me in a good 5 years or so, and he looked much smaller (combination of him losing mass over the years and me growing to 6'3).

Anytime he comes in, he makes it a point for me to check him out, and feels the need to give me a lengthy update on Richette's recent doings. I seriously think he would destroy me if he ever found out I would have killed somebody for some of his daughter's old bathwater back in the day. (Hyperbole, but you get the idea)

So here's the last conversation we had, at the Longshore branch: (I could do a whole series on Mr. Butkis' exchanges)

Mr. Butkis: "Andy Kris! How goes it today?"

Me: "Not too bad sir. Yourself?"

Mr. Butkis: "Well, I'm feeling some Kanye, REO Speedwagon, and No Doubt today. Get a little bit of a Chi-town flow going down!" (I wasn't aware all of these artists were from Chicago. Also, Mr. Butkis is a white dude in his 60s)

Me: "Oh, is that so?"

Mr. Butkis: "Did you know that Kanye West's biological father is Cornel West? I just found that out."

Me: (Knowing this is pefectly bogus) "Wow"

Mr. Butkis: "It makes sense if you compare Kanye's first album and his dad's second book. Some of the passages overlap" (Stand back "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Wizard of Oz"! Kanye and Cornel have got you beat!)

Me: "I'll have to try it."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things Which Cannot Be Unseen

Working at the Washington Branch, which I usually greatly enjoy. However, due to a massive staffing shortage, everyone working was not a regular. To add to the bizzareness, my supervisor (Ms. Bunny) was also working the desk that day. (Note: Ms. Bunny is aware of my blog.)

Anyway, about 15 minutes prior to closing my supervisor comes up to me and goes:

Ms. Bunny: "So, what's your tolerance to grossness?"

Me: "I'm not sure but I think it's about to be tested"

Ms. Bunny: "Come see"

Someone had returned a bag filled with books. And said books were COVERED in maggots.


Teeny, tiny, itty bitty writhing white grubs. Ms. Bunny and another supervisor spent a great deal of time cleaning and disinfecting the area. Did I mention there were maggots?

Sadly, my immediate exclamation after seeing this disgusting sight?

Me: "Oh man, this is SO getting blogged about!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Timberland and Magoo

This past Friday, I got the pleasure of serving at the Timberland branch. I've never really mentioned them before, mainly because I never go there. Timberland is an affluent area of Big City, and happens to be one of the system's busier branches. And boy did I learn that.

I worked Circ, and the books never stopped coming. Ever...

For hours at a stretch I was dumb-struck by the massive amounts of books coming through the drop box. I asked a page if it was always this busy. To which she replied:

Overworked Page: "Hmph! Just be glad it's the weekend and one of our slow days"

However, my time at the Timberland branch was not just spent underneath piles of books. I also had a very interesting patron come in.

It's about 15 minutes to closing and I'm working the Check-Out station. Things are slowing down, most of the patrons have already left (It is Friday night) and I just got the go ahead from the branch head to shut down the check out desk. Until this ole sourpuss comes up.

I'm not going to say she's one of our "special" patrons, I truly think she was just a mean looking woman with a nasty dispostion. She comes up to the desk, doesn't say a word to me, and slams down a humongous stack of pencils. I didn't even bother trying to talk to her for the sake of my soul.

Without acknowledging me, she reaches for the electric pencil sharpener and begins to sharpen pencils. She's got about 50.

So here's the situation: I'm held hostage by Magoo. (I think the title of my post gives it away, but I'm curious if anyone gets the reference) And the branch head is wondering about my lack of compliance to their direction.

Timberland Branch Head: "Tony! I thought I told you to shut it down. It's almost time to go"

Me: (Wary of Magoo) "Umm...I don't think now's a good time.

Thankfully, my harrowing ordeal was finally at an end once Magoo ran out of pencils.