Monday, June 27, 2005

We Had A Bad Experience At The Library And I'm Sure As Hell Going To Tell You About It

Today was the first official day of summer vacation. I decided to take the girls to the library, which we haven't done for at least two years. Everyone knows that books should only be obtained in places where a coffee can be bought and consumed, hence the millions of dollars this family spends annually at Borders and Barnes & Noble. But the library called out, because well, it's FREE, and I felt a pull to perform my civic duty and support these venerable institutions, which offer knowledge and adventure to the people! The library card is your passport to fun and learning, boys and girls! Or so I thought.

The girls were giddy with the sight of the bounty of books before them, but our joy, it would be shortlived. As we walked through the glass doors and into the cool interior, I guess I failed to see the sign warning 'DEM SOME BITTER ANGRY BITCHES HERE!' The first thing we did when we got inside was to walk up to the desk and bother the first of the Bitter Angry Bitches (BAB) sitting at her desk. We didn't mean to interrupt her intense internet surfing, but well, the big eight foot sign above her desk, it said 'INFORMATION' and we took it at its word. Silly us! Kira wanted to know if there were any Manga books to be found here in this hall of learning, so she politely asked her, "Do you have a Manga section?" whereby the BAB replied with a thoughtful, helpful "No." NO. Not, "Well, no, ladies, but maybe, seeing as it's my job, I'll look up from my 'Hot Lickity Librarians!' porn site and help you!" but just "No," then a quick stare and back to her computer screen. By now I had time to examine this unhelpful lump before me, this Bea Arthur incarnate (no offense to Bea, I swear. I love you, Bea!) and noticed she had hair. On her chest. Peeking out from her V-necked dress.

But I digress.

I decided to press her further for information, figuring that she must have more words for me, more insightful words perhaps, FOR THE CHILDREN, for heavens sake! So I dared to ask her another question. "Can you look it up? On the computer?" And then I felt sad. Maybe it wasn't hair. Maybe it was just some fancy, furry lingerie, put on this morning in a moment of daring, now emerging to express her Secret Self, and who was I to judge her? Me, here, with my offspring, one yuppie hand discreetly in my purse, searching frantically for my Readers Advantage card, ready to bolt for the comfort and pleasantness of the nearest Barnes & Noble, while her job and that of millions of librarians all over the land hung in peril. I should stay, and try and understand these wide divides between us.

Without looking at us she sighed a heavy sigh and pressed a few keys with her heavy fingers. "We've got one." she replied. Then she scribbled some numbers on a piece of paper and, still not ever looking up, motioned us dismissively away.

Whereby I said to myself, (or maybe not to myself, maybe just loudly enough for the few people in line behind me to hear) "Goddamnit, it's HAIR!" A whole tuft of it, snaking up from between her bosoms and leading up to that cold, angry, UNHELPFUL visage! Making a coiling, flame-like pattern on her chest that paired nicely with the horns I noticed were now starting to present themselves, curling up from both sides of her imposing (did I mention UNHELPFUL?) head.

But then we found some books, and the girls were so excited to use their own library cards! Because they were on their way to adventure and learning! But then, the two BABs we encountered at the check-out desk, they couldn't stand all the happiness ensuing, this glee which was a foreign and uncomfortable emotion to them, and made sure to CRUSH THEIR JOY! They didn't speak - just held out their craggy hands for the girls' library cards and begrudgingly scanned their books, never cracking a smile and only speaking to bark at Kiyomi when she didn't take her library card back fast enough.

What happened to the cheery librarians of yore, always there to greet you with a smile and willing to spend hours guiding you through the maze of the Dewey decimal system? Eager to come out from behind their desk just to help you find that book on ponies you wanted, or that book on macramé when you were in that weird phase where you thought all your friends actually liked those belts you were making them. (Not that I ever did that. I'm just saying!)

Where are they? I'll tell you where they are - gone, departed, finito, replaced with cold, mean, heartless book schleppers who really just wish all the children would go away and stop asking them questions and checking out all those books that will have to be put away in three weeks. And did I mention how UNHELPFUL they are? And the chest hair? DID I MENTION THE CHEST HAIR?

Archive File: Offspring | This Life

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1 comment:

  1. The librarians are very nice here, they even know my know. hmmm.. maybe thats not a good thing, almost creepy..


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