Monday, August 27, 2007

Kaptain Kris and the Rapscallions of Riverview Round 2: Electric Bugaloo

I've been back to Riverview a few times since my epic encounter with Lexie and Major League Baseball, but none have been all that memorable or interesting. Until today.

Today I was lucky enough to gain witness to a whole new classification of weirdo. And let me just say, the place was swarming with them. When I came in for my shift, I noticed a lot of jurorish people hanging around the periodicals. This is a trifle strange because for the most part, the homeless have claimed that territory for themselves, allowing the jurors limited usage of computers and restrooms. It's kinda like the Jets vs. the Sharks minus the dancing and inter-factional romances. Seeing a bunch of well dressed individuals in staunchly homeless lands was shocking. Had I really been gone so long that major lands had shifted ownership? Were the jurors really that far along in the neverending battle against the homeless? Had they actually succeeded in pushing the tide of the homeless back unto the second floor. Flabberghasted by what my eyes were seeing, I manned my station behind the desk and prepared myself for a dullfully draining day.

But then I started noticing the behavior of what I percieved as jurors. Upon further inspection, I found that the group only numbered 3 or 4. Judging by the ease in which a homeless person sat next to them, they were not jurors, rendering my turf war hypothesis useless. The pieces continued to click together by noticing that they were all women, young for the most part, and had on buisness suits. Not only that, they were looking through the classified ads of the paper. This was not unusual. The branch has an excellent career center and a lot of people come in looking for jobs. Thinking it was just a bunch of girlfriends who'd just graduated from the community college, I paid them little mind, only hushing them a few times when they got too loud.

As I dealt with the usual crowd of smell, mentally unbalanced homeless having problems with their Wal-Mart application. I noticed that the group of job searchers up front wasn't really moving, being content to pass the time talking slightly too loudly about their current work. Intermixed with the random dealings with patrons, I began to piece together a few more little tidbits about them. First off, their skirts were a little leggy, not exactly what you'd wear if you're trying to get an office job. By the same token, their heels were a smiggen too tall for being on the job hunt, or walking for that matter. I heard little bits of their conversation and heard the phrase "Gold Club." My inklings of suspecting something were confirmed when one of them came up and asked if the library was hiring and if she could get an application. This is asked at least once a day, usually by teenagers looking to become a page (I'm sure they heard how much they get paid for so little work). Being well rehearsed in what so say, I launched into my usual speech that she'd have to go on the County's website and fill out the proper forms. In addition, she'd have to take the appropriate section of the civil service test whenever it was next offered. She then asked if the job got good benefits. I honestly replied that any county job has ridiculously cushy government benefits and covers optical and dental. Pulling out a resume, she expressed that her old job didn't offer that many benefits. I refused the resume, since we don't take any, being that the process is all online. But I was able to scan the top and check out her last place of employment. Yep, she was a stripper.

Well, an ex-stripper to be fair. Her hair was two-toned between a bottled platinium blonde and her natural darker color. The manner in which her coat was cut allowed a glimpse (I don't know if it was intentional or not) of a flower tattoo of her chest. She then pulled out a few DVDs she wanted to check out and gave me her library card. I proceed to check out the stuff and noticed that her birthdate was only a few years before mine. Impressive, only 25 and already washed up as a stripper. She certainly didn't look 25. The caked-on make up and lines on her face from hard living made her look in her late 30s, maybe even early 40s. I'm not going to make judgements on her life based on her appearance regarding drug usage, but I wouldn't be surprised if she had engaged in such activities. After she got her 2nd Season of "24" checked out, one of her other ex-stripper buddies also came up with a few magazines checked out. This one was obviously younger, a quite a deal better looking. However, she was easily in her 2nd trimester, and I'm willing to bet that stripping gets a lot less lucrative when you're pregnant. A lot less make up and she had her natural hair color. After she got her things together, the two of them left with a third friend, who I never got a decent look at, but was dressed in simular attire, barely skanky clothes. I watched the three of them leave, all the while wondering how a pregnant woman waddles around in four-inch heels.

I thought nothing more of the situtation until 15 mintues later, when another ex-stripper type came in. She was joined by another, who entered in from a seperate door. Both of them presented applications and asked if the library was hiring. After giving my speech again, the two of them asked for a computer reservation and proceeded to get on

Now I know what you're probably thinking, "Um, it's downtown. It's not the nicest area. Those weren't strippers. Dude, those were hookers." And I'd have to tell you that no, those weren't prostitues. That's one of the interesting things about working around the very general public, you can pick out hookers. I've been around long enough to pick out the real "sex industry workers" from those who just take off their clothes for money.

Anyway, the "Strippers looking for work" is a new catagory of patron I'll have to learn how to deal with when I'm at Riverview. They seem nice enough and don't cause much trouble other than being ogled by all the homeless dudes. But then again, I'm sure they're used to being ogled at their old jobs.

But all this pales in comparison to the galant return of our old friend, smelly homeless person trying to get a library card. But here's a shocker, he actually had an ID. With a real address. That wasn't a shelter. He actually fit ALL the critera and got to finally get his hands on that plastic little card which had alluded him for presumably years. After finally getting it, he feigned asking if the library was open on Saturdays, which he already knew it was since he's hung out here all day for geographical eras. I told him that it indeed was open on Saturdays and he makes this memorable comment: "Really? That's neat. I was just noticing how nice and air conditioned this place was and it seems like a great place to get out of the heat. I may have to come by and just hang out here for an afternoon. Maybe even get on a computer." Okay, never mind the fact that he's advertising that he's going to loiter, and that most buildings are air conditioned; he just pretended to plan to do something for the first time that he's been doing everytime I come by this library. It'd be like me saying "You know what might be fun? I've heard about this iPod thing. Maybe I'll put some headphones on and listen to it. Who knows, I might even listen to rap music for the very first time when I do so." HE'S A REPEAT OFFENDER!!! Dude, nobody has ever said anything about you hanging out in the library before so don't even bother making up a story that it's going to be your first time.

On a sadder note, one of the more interesting patrons, if not the most interesting patron, I've ever had to deal with came by today. Yes, I'm talking about "Major League Baseball." What's sad about her little visit was that she wasn't crazy. In the least. She just returned a pencil (which is shocking at any branch. Pencils never get returned by anyone. Ever.) and thanked us for letting her borrow it. She then walked out the door. She wasn't wearing her goggles or ranting about how she was being poisoned. Even though I was kinda relieved to have her not cause a scene, it made me wonder what happened to her. Did MLB finally get to her? Or was it Oschner that beat them too it? She didn't seem overly medicated. But I am certain it was her. Alas, we can only hope craziness is like a hydra, and that two more will take her place.


Why do I invite myself to insane people by openly asking for another crazy person to entertain me? Not even ten minutes after I posted this note, a woman comes in with a more impressive 5 o'clock shadow then I could grow in 3 months and goes "Inquiriy. Where is the State Capital and the book on witchcraft? I don't know who I am." Of course I am struck silent by the question and just kind of stare. Once again, she goes, "Inquiriy. Where is the State Capital and the book on witchcraft? I forgot who I am." She repeat this several times as if after she 10 times of repeating the same question, I could finally be able to translate the crazy talk and inform her exactly who she is. Finally one of the regulars notices what's going on and goes "Well, the State Captial is right outside those doors." And then crazy lady goes "Can you believe I forgot who I was?" And then just walks out, happy as a clam.

Frightening yet kinda sad.

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