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."