Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Heartwarming Tales from the Wholesome Heartland

I'm really laboring to keep this blog as negative and bile-filled as possible. Nevertheless, I can't deny that certain happy and fun events occasionally happen within this library. In other words, I don't just work here for the the fabulous wealth, amazing glamour, and undeniable sex appeal that accompany the library business.

For instance, not all of our elderly visitors are card-carrying members of the Ku Klux Klan. (In fact, I've only met the one so far). I just issued a brand new library card to an excited older gentleman who proudly mentioned that he's always read so much that he was the youngest person in the history of Emporia, Kansas, to receive an adult library card. By the looks of him, this record of his was apparently set in the 1890s. While the winds of time may have erased his name and record from the granite walls of the Emporia Library, it's always cool to meet people who are so enthusiastic and appreciative about being able to use a halfway decent public library.

On the other end of the age spectrum, I helped a little girl find some books of jokes the other day. For the next hour or so, she came up to my desk and told me a series of these horrifically un-funny one-liners. I mean, her delivery and timing left a lot to be desired, and the material she was working with was decidedly sub-par. This first-grader was definitely no Sarah Silverman. Somehow it was all still completely hilarious.

On this note I'm also reminded of one of our every-day visitors who is reliably loud, obnoxious, and unwashed. He has incurred several complaints from staff members who apparently do not appreciate his over-familiarity and vigorous bear-hugs that leave a residue of nasty-old-guy-smell for up to four hours. He also may be about to singlehandedly inspire a new policy of limiting the number of inter-library loans a single patron can request. Apparently he's a devoted film-lover who long ago went through every video we have in our collection and has had to branch out with inter-library, inter-continental, and inter-galactic library loan requests to find obscure movies he hasn't seen yet.

Despite this gentleman's many, MANY flaws, he does have at least one endearing quality that usually keeps me from losing my religion with him. Every time we get a new security guard (and as I've mentioned, we seem to go through more security guards than Murphy Brown had secretaries), he introduces himself with smelly effusion and then gestures over to my desk. By the time he's done telling the new guard how much my colleagues and I enrich his life and how hard we work to find him movies from all over the Western Hemisphere, I have that warm feeling that allows me to overlook the rest of the day's indignities and frustrations. I've even thought about taking up a collection to buy this dude a DVD player, but I'm afraid my co-workers would respond by braining me with the sharp-cornered metal file box that's already stuffed to overflowing with this patron's hundreds of inter-library loan requests.


Blogger Adjective Queen said...

I wonder if you'd have such fond feelings for him if you'd been subjected to one of his vigorous armpit hugs? My advice -- Keep the circ desk between you!

1:50 PM  

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