Monday, August 27, 2007

Actual Questions to the Reference Desk #1

(This actually happened today. Not a reposting of older stuff)

I'm at the Middletown branch, manning the reference desk and an older gentleman comes in with his equally elderly wife. It is clear that they are both in their mid to late 80s. In addition, they are both incredibly country. The wife is wearing an actual nightgown, even though it's around 6 in the evening. She seems a little out of it, maybe just a bad case of old age or senility. Anyway, the guy comes up to the desk.

Old dude: Hello there son! I was wondering if you could help me.

Me: Well, I'll see what I can do.

OD: That's what I like to hear! I was hoping that you had a map of the area.

(This is not an uncommon request in Middletown. Most of the area lies on a flood plain for some of the rivers and people always want to check out the flood maps. Plus, since the area is growing and land values are at a premium, a lot of people come in to check out the Zoning.)

Me: Sure! What map are you looking for? Flood? Zoning? Census?

OD: I'm not exactly sure what exactly it would be labeled under.

Me: Well, what are you wanting to find out.

OD: You see, me and the wife have been bothered by the past couple of nights by the internet. It's so loud under the house that neither of us can sleep.

Me: (Baffled) What?

OD: You know, the internet. I can hear them all night long downloading pictures of nekkid women and lord knows what all else.

Me: (Very confused) So what kind of sound has it been making?

OD: I'm not a Gad-Dang spring pup that was just hatched under the turnip tree. I know what the internet sounds like. It sounds like the internet. The Internet! (Motioning to me like shaking his hands and repeating the phrase will make me remember the sound of the internet.)

OD's wife: (kinda absent-mindedly) we can't sleep. it's so loud.

Me: And you're sure it's under the house, not a neighbor or something?

OD: I know for a fact it's the internet. And I just wanted to see if you had a map of where all the internet is laid down in Middletown, cause I'm certain it's right underneath the house, but I don't remember them laying it down.

Me: (Slowly beginning to realize that he thinks the internet is laid underground like sewage or something) And you want a map of where all the internet was laid down?

OD: It couldn't of been too long ago. I know Middletown's a growing place, but people need to sleep. That internet's a distraction

Me: (Trying to think of a way to appease him) Well, I don't think we carry those kind of maps. I'm sorry.

OD: (Resigned himself to the fact that the internet will rob him of sleep) Well, come on mama (I'm fairly certain he meant that in the kind of way country folk do. No way on earth that was his mother. Or that his mother was still alive) They don't have a map of the internet here.

I took my break shortly afterwards.

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