Friday, February 29, 2008

I Suppose I Have to Thank Gabe and Tycho for This One

At Antietam, when I have this uber cute exchange:

Two boys come in with their grandmother. The youngest, who's like 3 or 4, looks up at me (I'm quite tall, probably mind-blowingly so for a little kid) and this look of awe comes over him.

Little Kid: (Still awe-struck) "Are you a policeman?"

Grandma: (Kinda laughing at her grandchild) ", he's not a policeman"

Me: (Realizing my great, and probably only, chance to use a line out of "Penny Arcade" in real life) "That's right, I'm a Libraryman." (Note: it's pronounced mostly like "Librarian," just fudge on the last syllable.)

LK: (As if this explanation makes all the sense in the world, and even more spellbound) "OOOOooooohhhhhhh!"

Yeah, it was beyond precious. So it looks that my reading of that webcomic actually paid off.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Fond Memory of Taylor

So I've been at the Taylor branch a whole lot lately. It's been fairly quiet, but there's also the possiblity for some randomly wacky thing to happen at a moment's notice. That being said, I think now's a good time to relive a happening that occurred during my first visit to Taylor.

So it's my first day of working at Taylor. I'd been in the system a couple of months before being sent on my first shift out in the booines. I make the 35 minute drive and everything's okay. This kid of about 13 or so comes in with his momma, and I can tell right away they're uber countrified. But hey, the library is a government agency, we serve all types and nothing really shocks me anymore. So this kid asks me if we have newspapers, to which I respond that we do and point him in the area of the periodicals. I don't think anything of it.

He comes back a few minutes later and asks if we have the WWE magazine. Once again, not an unusual request, we get a lot of kids who like wrestling, so I tell him they're in the Teen area. He rushes over and finds the latest issue and all the sudden goes "DAGNABIT! Ma! It's from last month! Now how are we going to find out about Vince?" So the mom comes to the desk and asks me in an incredibly thick hick dialect,

Country Mom: "Souhisvincehere?"

Me: (Quite confused and unable to put seemingly obvious facts together) "Um...I don't think we have a Vince that works in the library."

Country Mom: "What? NAW! Man, do you have anything on Vince McMahon? He died the other night! His limo done blang blew up!" (Imaginative huge hand gestures)

Now I'm taken aback. I'm sure you've been keeping up with wrestling story lines and are well aware of what's going on, but I sure wasn't. I'm thinking it's another Owen Hart, Eddie Gurerro or something. (Also, at this time, Chris Benoit hadn't happened yet) So of course I inquired more. The son answered my questions

Country Son: "Yeah! They said that he might have even committed suicide. Suicide!"

Country Mom: (Chiming in) "That man owns a million dollar company. There's no reason for him to commit suicide, it just doesn't make sense. A million dollar company!"

So while I'm giving them a reservation for a computer to get on the internet, I check CNN and other news websites for info. Cause every other time a wrestler died, mention was made of it on the real news. Nothing. Then I overhear the mom tell her son kinda loudly.

Country Mom: "You gotta go to! The liberal media ain't gonna talk about this!"

I check the WWE webpage and it's pretty obvious that it's a storyline thing since if he had really died, there's no way that they'd be showing the explosion on the front page. But man, they are entranced by it. They watch some video of the "Vice President of WWE" say that RAW or whatever will continue on in spite of his death and they are almost on the verge of tears. After about half an hour, I guess they saw all that the website had to offer and they began to leave.

I asked if they found out anything and they started going on about "Somebody might know who did it" and "Million Dollar Company." I resist the urge to tell them that it's almost certainly fake and let them leave the library, talking loudly about what's gonna happen to the company.

So yeah, I guess there are still true believers out there.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Again With the Shellfish

Personally embarrassing story but hey, that's why I'm anonymous.

Working at Redwell Waters when a patron comes to check out. She's got about 3 cookbooks and must have been staring at a screen too long because all of the titles came up "Low-Crab cooking" and "preparing a no-crab diet." I had never heard of such a thing. (One would think that not putting crabs would not require the usage of a cookbook. I mean, is it that hard to keep crabs away?) So of course, I had this very embarrasing exchange in an attempt to find out about this new cooking method:

Me: "So, is this for Lent or something?"

Crab Lady: "Excuse me?"

Me: "All this no-crab stuff. I've never heard of such. Is it new?"

CL: (Realizing my mistake WAY before me) "Oh sweetie, you must have had a long day." (She shows me the cover, which reads, of course "Low-CARB cooking)

I feel like a doofus for the rest of the day along with my coworkers continually ribbing me about my mistake.

This has been compounded by a sign I saw while working in Taylor. It read, and I kid you not: "Not Serving Hot, Delicious Crawfish." That's right, a gas station went out of their way to inform the drivers of Taylor that they didn't have any hot, delicious crawfish. I suppose that if one desired cold, medicore crawfish, they'd have you covered.

So apparently I've got shellfish on my mind

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is 20 Years The "Shellfish" Anniversary?

At the Taylor branch. As previously mentioned, Taylor is quite rural and nature, and fairly stereotypically "redneck." Normally, I don't let such preconceived notions affect my perception of the patronage of Taylor, but today I found out that such persons are alive and well.

A big ole country boy came by the desk and proudly had this discourse with me

Big Country Husband: "HEY! How you doing today, son?"

Me: "I'm doing pretty well, yourself?"

BCH: "Aww, can't complain, can't complain. Today's my wedding anniversary!"

Me: "Well, congratulations!"

BCH: "Yeeeaaaap. Been married to the same girl for 20 years."

Me: "That's an accomplishment in this day and age."

BCH: "HOOO Buddy! You know it!"

Me: "So are you doing anything to mark the occasion?"

BCH: "Welp, I'm taking the little lady over to Lavatown tonight (Lavatown is a podunkier town than Taylor about an hour away) to the Red Lobster. It's Lobsterfest, don't cha know."

Me: (Straining not to laugh. Big City is well known for great dining, I'm surprised that someone would make the trek to Lavatown just to go to Red Lobster. I mean, I'm sure the cheddar biscuits are great, but Big City has much better seafood) "I was not aware that it was already Lobsterfest."

BCH: "Oh yeah it is. Can you believe the closest place to get lobster is all the way in Lavatown? You'd think something as big as Big City would have some lobster." (He then departs before I can formulate a response to the accusation that Big City is lobsterless and furthermore, that Red Lobster is the bastion of great lobster dining.)

Even stranger, the dude didn't drop off any books or use the library resources in any matter. I honestly think he came in to inform the world of his anniversary and his plans to take his woman out to Red Lobster. He was in the library for maybe 30 seconds.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tax Time!

It is just me or has a crazy rumor sprung around the populace that the library would do your taxes for free?

I've gotten calls and walk-ups handing me some W2s, claiming that they heard the library does taxes. Even more surprising, it's almost a defiant disappointment when they find out that not only do we not do taxes for free, we've never done it, ever. I've had people argue with me that not only the library said it'd do taxes, but they've gotten their taxes done by the librarians before. Seriously, if I was able to prep taxes, why do I relgiously have mine done by my CPA? Plus, if the library really did do taxes, why do places like H&R Block exist?

I would write a particular instance, but it's happened so much, no one time sticks out.

Is anyone else out there in library land that has had to deal with this epidemic?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Return of Sticky Stinky

At New Belfast, where I got an unexpected and horrifiying surprise.

Like I mentioned before, I'm now going to school full-time. Thankfully, the Big City Library system has been awesome in working around my class hours. However, in exchange for such flexiblity, I have to work some strange hours and shifts. Case in point, I'm here at New Belfast working 4 to 8. Anyway, just as I walk in, the busy sheep hits the fan. The place is super busy, with several families getting library cards for their children.

I don't mind giving young children library cards, heck it's one of the real pleasures of the job, but the task can take a little while. And it's not very fun when you have a back log of 6 applications to fill out for a gaggle of kids who understandably are getting antsy staying by the circulation desk when Clifford and Junie B. Jones are beckoning them in the children's room.

After using my "jack-rabbit on a date" skills, I finally get my head above water and go help a father who has patently been waiting to get some assistance. It turns out his kid wants to get on the computer. As I start getting the child squared away on the computer, I hear a voice calling for me.

I turn around, and there he is. Stinky Sticky.

He pulls a lollypop out of his mouth and that old aroma fills my nostrils. I don't really understand a word he's saying, due to the fact that I'm keeping myself from retching, but I'd be willing to bet good money that he wants an extension on his computer reservation.

The best way I could compare this sense of impending doom with Sticky Stinky's appearance is like the return of Omar on "The Wire." Every season, you know Omar's going to show up, and bad stuff is going to happen. However, instead of whistling "Famer and the Dell," Sticky Stinky's gonna have his ever-present lollypop and horrific stench.

Needless to say, I gave him extra time on his computer.