Thursday, August 27, 2015

We Haven't Done A Library Post In A While

If I had to choose one picture - and one picture only - to summarise the last week or two or three..... or five.... or maybe, the last few months at the library, this one would be it. It ias been crazy...... craaaaazy.... And if coconuts truly are the epitome of craziness, I would have to say that the library is full to the roof of crazy-as-a-coconut people. 

There are all the usual suspects, of course: shady and somewhat mentally diminutive elderly fellows, who suddenly feel obliged to say weird things your's truly, in such a tone and with such a look, that I cannot tell if they have mistaken me for someone else - someone with whom they have an intimate relationship, or if they are attempting to be sexy and pick up a cute young thing, or if there is a bit of genuine 'interest in you as a person' going on. There are the year-round, semi-indigents, who have been such regular customers, that there are times when we (the legitimate library staff) must remind them that they are guests, not branch managers.There are the poor folk whose mental state is shaky at best, who hang about all day long, for days on days, and with whom one has a motherly relationship. ("Have you taken your medication today? No? Well maybe you shouldn't drink any more of that 16 litre Coco-Cola until you've done that. You're going home to do that now?  Splendid!") 

And then, there are people who tell you stories like this:

"Hey... I got a sea story  to tell you!"

Boss and self, finding that we are cornered, assume looks of polite interest. "Oh, yes?" we say.

"Yeah! It was is a story about the Atlantic! I was in Louisiana, near the coast... "

(Self becomes distracted, trying to come up with anyway for Louisiana to be on the Atlantic Ocean.)

".... You know, the coast around New Jersey..."

(Self begins to feel unequal to the task of maintaining a politely interested expression. Self also biting tongue, so as not to correct a lunatic's geography.)

"Yeah, so I am sitting there on a beach, you know, watching the waves and the sand. Livin' the moment, you know...."

An expectant pause... Boss and self nod in complete understanding.

"And then, you know, there's this hole. Just like that. Right in front of me. A hole. And as I'm sitting there, livin' the moment, I start to notice that it's spurting water out. And then it goes all quiet again and I forget about about... and then there is water spurting out again."

"Tide coming in?" Self inquires, in an effort to speed this story along. (If Pippin, from the movie version of The Two Towers had heard me, he would have told me, "Don't talk tae it, Mahri, don't encourage it!")

"So then, this totally hot babe goes by. Dressed in high heels... Fur coat. Classy babe. And I say, 'Hey! Look at that hole! There's water shooting out! Do you have a watch? I want to time how often it happens.' And so she sits next to me, and holds out her diamond encrusted Rolex, and we time it together... and... and it is five minutes apart....."

A prolonged silence. Storyteller's face convulses. Boss and self remain polite for a few more moments. Denouement not forthcoming, boss says, "Yes?"

"And that's all I got." He turned on his heels and left without another word.

Well, the library being the library, and the sort of clientèle we serve, being what it is, we were soon up to our ears with other curious incidents, nor overly bothered at being left in suspense as to the nature of the water-spouting hole, in Louisiana... or New Jersey, as the case may be. The next couple days were spent in waking up people who had fallen asleep at the computer and drooled all over the keyboard. Or in telling the human snail with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that he cannot store the entirety of his possession in our meeting room. Or listening to stories about the increase in fairy abductions. Also, there is the fielding of inappropriate inquiries -  "do you know what I am thinking now?" with a leer. "I choose not to delve too deep into a strangers' mind", self says, cleverly extricating herself... And let us not forget the woman who had scribbled tattoos all over both arms with a Sharpie, who came charging up to unsuspecting people, placed her face uncomfortably close to their, and demanded that they sell her a cigarette. When they, fearing for their lives, back up, averring that they had no cigarettes, she answered, mysteriously, "Well, then, you're not him." Then she stalk away muttering, "Did you see that? Something's wrong.... People are getting annihilated all over the place here. She was, quite frankly, rather terrifying, and as none of the Mental Health services were available, we called the cops on her. She obligingly lunged at the officer and was taken away in handcuffs...

Indeed, so much drama occurred in the time between the cliffhanger, and the return of the storyteller, that he had quite nearly been forgotten.... He was not the forgetting type, however. A couple days later, he marched in and without preamble announced: "One word: think sand crabs" before walking back out again.... and that was the end of that story.

At present, I am rather tired of people. All people. Crazy people in particular. I feel that if I have to be around them much longer, I too will be crazy as a coconut.

At least my car still runs.

1 comment:

Jack said...

I don't know if I feel safe coming back to the library unarmed anymore. I'd bring a sword for back up but then I might be one of the crazy people. Maybe I shall just continue to slink in and out without making eye contact. Usually works to remain out of everyone's range of interest.