Friday, May 26, 2017

A Man Walks Into A Library

A man came up to the desk.

"Sir!" he boomed at me. He was from Africa, very dark skinned, his name like D'gongo. "Can I bring bosses?"

"I'm sorry? Bosses?"

"Yes. Bosses. May I bring in bosses?"


"Bosses. On top?"

"I'm sorry. One more time. Bosses?"


"This is embarrassing. Bosses?"


"Buh..... Buh.... OHHH! Boxes??"

"Yes! Ha ha!"

"Ohhh! Boxes of potatoes!"

Then some guy covered in grease strangled us haha.


A man came up to the desk. "Where do you sell your calendars?" He looked about with a confident air. "Are the calendars here, or around the corner?"

"We don't sell calendars," I said.

"You don't??" His look: WTF

"No. We don't sell anything here. This is a library."


He walked away, stunned. Then he came back.

"Do you sell boxes?"

"Get out."


One of our regulars came up to the desk. He was President of the Duluth Origami Society. I sat up straight in my chair.

"Yes, sir? How may I help you?"

"Can I put up a poster downstairs? To promote the wonders of folding shit?"

"Sorry. No. We had to take down all the posters and get rid of the fliers. By order of the fire department."

The President stared at me in shock. He held his poster. He looked at the poster, and then at me.

"The fire department?"

"Yes. Sorry."

"Well, how about if I make the poster flame retardant?"

I chuckled. He didn't join me in merriment. He was serious.

"Well, can I?"


Maybe it was time for impeachment?


A man came over to the desk. He was grimy, had on a large, heavy backpack.

"Hey," he said. "I'm undercover, following someone. Pretend I'm checking this out."

He flipped a DVD at me.


I placed the DVD on the pad. Tore off a blank piece of paper as his receipt. He thanked me and walked out.

Ten minutes later he came back, handed me the DVD with the piece of paper. "Thanks," he said.


A man... I mean, a woman came up to me. She was the one who had asked if anyone on the staff could put her up for the night--she was starting a new job at the mall the next day. A lady of Columbian extraction, she wore bright red lipstick around and around her cray mouth and carried baskets of cake. 

"Here you go," she said, and handed me a floral gift bag filled with guest shampoos and travel size soaps. It was clearly a regift--maybe something she'd found in a hotel dumpster.

"Happy Halloween!" she shouted as she left.


Pam, our substitute librarian, came over. She was concerned. Did we know that, uh, man? S/he had walked into the children's section. Obviously transitioning, he sported hot boobs and an angora sweater draped over his hunky shoulders. His platinum hair made her look like Caitlyn Jenner's better-looking sister.

"He won't be a problem, will he?" Pam said fuddyduddily.

"Just ask him if he needs help," Todd said. "And ask what pronoun he wants to be called."

We watched her as he looked through the children's DVDs.

"Maybe he's wondering where her fishy did go?"

Later the womyn checked out Finding Nemo. I gave herm a blank piece of paper.


A man, me, walked into the back room. Something smelled hellaciously atrocious. Like garbage water from a hobo's coffin, dipped in diarrhea.

I called our facility department. "Yes, I think raw sewage is coming in through our vents," I said to the facility guy downtown. "We've had this happen before. It's this terrible smell and we, uh--"

Jonah stopped me. Made a thumb jerk. "It's coming from the break room."

Our shelver Linda was cooking broccoli in the microwave.

"Never mind," I said. "Someone is just cooking their lunch."

Take a bow, everyone!!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Blog Lady

Mom was in the parking lot at my apartment complex. It was rare for her to be at my place. She was here for the drugs. She really needed the drugs.

"Give me the drugs," Mom said. "I just need the drugs."

I fetched my bottle of percocet and a glass of water. Mom sat in her car, her face just peeping out over the lower edge of the window. She looked up at me.

"He really did a number on me today."

I handed her the drugs.

"What did they do to you?"

"You know that split tooth, how it's twisted and bent, the one back here...?"

"No need to show and tell, Mom."

"Anyway..." Mom popped the pill and took a drink. "The dentist drilled for hours. It was worse than a root canal! And now my right eye hurts." Mom stretched the skin under her eye. "I don't know if it's the novocaine, or what, but I feel like I have a big stone in my eye. I can't see out of it!"

"Okay, so you just took a percocet, you can't see out of one eye, you can't feel your feet because of your diabetes... Do you want a police escort to get home?"

Mom reached up and gripped the steering wheel. "I'll be fine. Can I keep all of these? The drugs?"

"Those drugs weren't easy for me to get. I had to get them from Leo Johnson, and then they were smuggled over the border--the Canadian border--by Jacques Renault."

"What are you blathering about now??"

"Shhh. Did you hear that? The owls! The OWLS!"


I rushed back to my apartment. Some little fellow stood in my way, but I shoved him aside as I climbed the stairs. Just as I thought I had a visitor in my living room.

"AIIGHH! Get out! Shoo! Get on, boy, come on...!"

But the horse wouldn't leave!

At least I had dinner waiting for me in the kitchen.

Just then Mom stepped out of the refrigerator. She carried a log.

"My log wants drugs. Ask my log if percocet is right for you. My log has many secrets."

I turned to the audience. "Look, don't blame me for how stupid this is. Someone else wrote it..."


Friday, May 12, 2017

Spitting Image

"Spit, Mom. COME ON!"

Mom made a face at the test tube. "Euh. I don't like this."

"Just a few little spits. And then we'll be on our way to tracking down your birth mom. Who knows, you might be related to Debbie Reynolds. Or Swoosie Kurtz."

I had wished Sara X a happy birthday a few days before and told her I was getting Mom's DNA tested. Sara said we'll probably find out that Mom is related to Richard Nixon. I decided not to pass that on.

"I think I still have some hamburger in my teeth."

"I suppose if they get burger in your spit they can also trace the lineage of the cow you ate."

"Ugh. Okay. That's enough."

Mom handed me the tube. I held it up to the light.

"Nope. You have to get it up to the wavy line there. Come on, just a few more spits."

"I hate this! Why are you making me do this?"

"Because I'm awful."

Mom sighed over the tube. She gave me a narrow look. "I suppose you wished Sara a happy birthday?"

"Yes. That's what awful people do."

"And what did she have to say for herself? Did she tell you she's sorry for all the horrible things she did to you?"

"Yes. In fact, she wants to beg forgiveness in person. Groveling, wheedling, sobbing. That's definitely Sara."

"I saw her on Facebook. It must be because you wished her a happy birthday."

"What? No, Mom, I sent her an email through Yahoo. I don't think Facebook..."

"I saw some pictures of her. With that person she's married to. He's ugly! You are much better looking than he is."


"And pictures with those kids. She never wanted children! Oh, I just wanted to spit at her. Just spit!" Mom mimed spitting, jerking her head forward, lips pursed.

"Now you've got it! Just think of Sara and that should fire up the ol' salivary glands."

Mom scowled and spit at the tube's funnel. Pwuh, pwuh! 

"Okay, that's it. No more."

I took the tube, saw it was more or less close to the line, and then went into the kitchen with it. I had touched the funnel and got a bit of Mom's warm spittle on my thumb. (GROSS GROSS GROSS) I maniacally washed my hands. There was also a bit of cow on the funnel. I threw it out and screwed on the stabilizer.

"I think I'll write a testimonial for Having problems spitting for your test? Just think of someone you hate!"

"Before you go, Greg--and I know you can't wait to get away from me--I have the TV Guide for you. It has the Twin Peaks article in it. I know you wanted it..."

"They still have TV Guides?"

"Wait." Mom took a pair of scissors and cut out the article about Twin Peaks. "Here you go."

I took the scissored sheets with BOB and Agent Cooper in the Red Lodge. Maybe this season will feature Cooper getting the Log Lady to spit into a test tube? *Shudder*

Friday, May 5, 2017

Sartor ReFartus

Blessing looked me up and down. "You are the worst dressed person I have ever met."

"Hey! I'm not that bad. What about Hitler?"

"What about him?"

"Wait, did you say worst person ever?"

"No! I said you're the worst dressed ever."

"Oh. That'll fly."

Blessing plucked at my shirt sleeve.

"You look like a bum who just washed himself in burrito sauce."


"That shirt, what is it, polyester?"

"My mommy bought it for me."

"And those pants. You should be dressing better than this!"

"Target is having a sale on fine washables."

Todd came over.

"Plastic death," he whispered in his beard. Then, like a ghost, he left.

Blessing was still shaking her head. "And those shoes...!"

Tears trembled in my eye sockets. "Look, I'm not married anymore. I don't have anyone dressing me. And that valet I hired quit because of all those crimes he had to cover up for me."

"Well, just don't blog about me. I have very delicate feelings."

"Don't worry, I won't." (Smirk.)

Just then Vignette, Karen's daughter, sailed past the circulation desk. She wore a baseball cap and hoodie and baggy jeans. Karen later told me that Vignette was trying to be as "ugly" as possible. She didn't want men looking at her.

"I understand," I said. "See, and that's why I dress this way. I don't want too much attention from the ladies. Can you tell Blessing that?"

Karen laughed. "Oh, that shirt! That shirt! It should be run up on charges at The Hague!"

Sometimes life goes in circles, yo. Blessing's fusillade of lampoon brought to mind the old days when I had another coworker tease me unlovingly for my fashion sense. In fact, she drew a delightful picture that I used to keep over my desk.

image courtesy of Malaise Industries

Jonah came over. "Don't listen to them, Greg. Hegel would want you in a dialectic of clothing, not strict materialism."

"Uh, right."

Then I remembered a dream. A voice was hectoring me and I defended myself by saying that I knew my dark navy shirt didn't go with my black pants. Just then I passed by Jonah who was wearing the same ensemble, but the black pants were corduroy. Then Jonah's abundant hair started to sprout like the Challenger explosion, and I realized he was growing dreadlocks.

But I was embarrassed to point out the phenomenon, being a white guy, and I flubbed my line, saying, "You're growing gredlocks, Jonah!"

Another memory: when I worked at Barnes & Noble I dimwittedly realized that I worked with a lot of homosexual men. When I once asked one of them, why didn't they think I was also gay? my fabulous friend looked me up and down.

"The way you dress?"

Fashion incompetence--the best way to prove one's extreme manhood! (R-right....?)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Of Love Bomb

An elderly man (about my age) wanted to use a library computer.

"I need to write something on my blog, and then have no one read it! Ha, ha!"

I looked at him, stunned. How did he know?

Of the known universe, Pat is also one of those sentient creatures who will not read these words in interstellar space. I visited him on Sunday, Latin lesson deliciously prepared.

"I need a surrogate to have sex with me," he said in the midst of conjugating the passive periphrastic.

"I'm sorry?"

"I need a sex surrogate. Someone to have sex with me so I can overcome my negative associations with the sex act. Whenever I do karate and someone tries to mount me, I freeze up. My instructor is getting frustrated with me. For me to get to the next level I have to be able to clench with my opponent, but he doesn't understand that I just can't. I was raped when I was little and that memory is deep in me. I know in my conscious mind that I'm not having sex with my karate opponent, but my body can't forget that easily. So I thought if I had sex with a surrogate I can tell my body that it's okay to have karate sex."

"Interesting," I said.

"Yeah. But no surrogate will do it when they learn I've had trauma. They won't help you when you've had that kind of trauma because they're afraid they'll set it off again."


"Beside, I don't have the equipment yet. They'll get my pants off and see my vagina and that will probably be it."

"I'm going to stop you there-- Wait, I should have said that ten minutes ago. Anyway, I was having lunch with my mom and I was getting out my library card for her, as I'm wont to do, and some of my other cards came out of my wallet. Mom stared at one of them. 'Is that for a gentleman's club??' she said, aghast. For a second I had no idea what she meant--then I realized it was my Bad Daddy's burger punch card. Apparently all those little burgers looked like sexy sex parts. 'Yes, Mom, that's my gentleman's club card. Five lap dances and the checkup at the sex clinic is free.' Mom grabbed the card, convinced she had found proof that I was a dirty birdie all along, and looked at it closely, and then she relaxed. She flipped the card back at me. 'That's a smart deal...'"

Pat laughed hard. "Your mom is crazy! She really thought you had a gentleman's club card?? Haw, haw, haw...!"

"Yeah. Anyway, the ablative case is..."

"And now my sports therapist is love bombing me."

"I'm sorry?"

"He's love bombing me. I know the tactic. It's what they do when they try to get you to join a cult. He lives on a commune up by Longmont, and he couldn't see me last week because it was his turn to buy food for the whole commune. But he's supposed to help me with my crippling fear of being touched and instead he's love bombing me with unconditional support and all this jazz about his leader being pure energy and light. He wants me to meet the guru. This is the third time someone has tried to get me to join a cult!"

"Maybe you should get a punch card for cult joining."

"I'll tell him off, and he'll figure out real fast that I have no interest in gurus or communes."

"Then again, love bombing may not be such a bad thing. In fact, maybe the whole damn planet could use a giant love bomb."

image courtesy of Drew Industries

"That's a dumb way to end this blog post."

"I know--and imagine that ending a story!"

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Power Of Yes

Yes. Just say YES. And all the world will come rushing in. Like a broken sewer main.


An elderly lady came to the desk, someone I've helped before.

"I can't find my hold."

I looked up her account. In the holds field I saw "SEXUAL..." with the rest of the title cut off. But it was an inter-library hold, so we kept it behind the desk. Just as I was turning to get it, she said,

"Oh! Is that where you keep the pornography?"

"Yes! Porno, Porno, Porno is the library's new motto, Ma'am. But since we're classy, we keep the porno discreetly behind the circulation desk. This section is for the Lactating Wombats and the Anal Swizzling. The library: we make you think AND make you jizz."

The book was actually SEXUAL PERSONAE by Camille Paglia. Uh, if she was expecting some porno in that, she was going to be sorely, jizzlessly disappointed.


At dinner with Dad the other night. I brought him some info about our illustrious dirt farmer ancestors, along with head shots of B. F. Thuma and his lovely wife Nevada Miller.

"Nevada lived to be 97. She seemed like a tough old bird... sort of like this KC steak I'm eating ha ha."

Dad nodded sagely. "Yes, longevity is mostly a matter of genes. Look at Warren Buffett--that guy drinks Cherry Cokes every day and... Wait, do you know who Warren Buffett is?"

Dad leveled a very serious look at me.

"Well, do ya, punk?"

I took a deep breath. "Yes," I said. "I think I've vaguely heard of this... War-ren Buffett."

"Okay. Anyway, he drinks the worst stuff and he's in his eighties, that guy! And then there's Jesus of Nazareth... Wait, do you know who Jesus of Nazareth is?"



At lunch with Mom the other day. I had more info about her adoptive family, but nothing much yet on her actual birth mother. She was going to need to take the DNA test, which she was indifferent about. What she really wanted to talk about was chicken.

"I bought five pounds of chicken wings. I can't eat all that chicken! So I asked Les if he would take my chicken. You know, he can heat them up for football games. They keep for a year. But you know what he did? He was nasty to me. He screamed and yelled at me."

"I'm sure he didn't scream and yell, Mom."

"He did! Why does he have to behave like that? I just wanted him to have some chicken."

In my jackass mind's eye I could see the scenes:


"No, thanks, Mom. We don't need chicken wings at this point in time. Thank you, however, and can I offer you a cold beverage?"


"Ch-chicken wings....?"


"See, Mom, it's really a problem of point of view. From Les's POV, it makes no sense to have a gross tonnage of chicken wings. And if you took time to understand where he was coming from, you never would have asked to begin with."

Mom waved. "Ach, I don't have time for that."

"Okay, and we wonder why the country is divi--"

"Do you want the wings? I'll give them to you. Maybe you can warm them up for football games...?"

Mom looked at me, eyes shining with hope.


"Nnnnn... Yes."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Satan's Double Victory

Sundays are a double shot of doubling down with Pat and my mom. Last Sunday was no different. First I went to Pat's house to toot him some Latin ("et toot?") and his dog, Reuben aka the original dog from hell, jumped all over me. Meanwhile Pat was less than interested in conjugating to the max.

"I'm not going back to my synagogue," Pat said mournfully.

"Oh?" I pulled a paradigm from Reuben's slavering jaws.

"Yeah. They were all trying to hug and be closer with me, and I can't do that. There's only one guy I'm friends with there and he tried to get me to join the prayer circle hug. I went to the bathroom to escape and he followed me. He was pushing through the door, and finally I had to kick him in the shins to get him to leave me alone!"

"I believe shin-kicking is forbidden in Deuteronomy."

"So I'm not going back. I guess I'm done being a Jew!"

"Oldest story in the world: man runs to bathroom, friend gets a kick in the khukas."

I managed to wrestle the topic back to Latin as his dog wrestled me. Then I was off to Mom's, who was busy digging out old pictures and letters from a shoebox.

"Here's a picture of you, from high school."

"Yikes. I didn't hide the fact very well that I was most extremely stoned."

"And here's a letter you wrote to me when you were fifteen. It's when you were confirmed in the church. I'm sure they forced you to write this letter to me."

"No one expects the Spanish Confirmation Letter Writer Forcers. (Hm, doesn't have the same ring.)"

In the letter I told Mom I loved her and thanked her for having me (yep, all forced), and for having me confirmed in the one true faith of Islam (something like that, it was smudged). Then I complained that someone was playing Neil Diamond and I was going to "blow chunks." (HA HA. Too bad Lesley Gore wasn't around so I could start blogging on the internet back then!)

Speaking of churchliness, Mom had gone that morning but was now thinking of never returning.

"What, why? Did the Great Deceiver get you, too?"

"I was saying goodbye to the pastor and telling him how cute his daughter was, and I was standing in the main aisle when I felt this push on my shoulder. Like this... Come over here..."

I got up and Mom punched me in the back.


"Like that! Only harder. I turned around and it was this old woman. She was trying to push me out of the way! Now, can you believe that? In a house of the Lord no less!"

"Don't you know the first rule of Church Club, Mom? Don't talk about Church Club."

Mom snorted. "It doesn't matter. Now I don't know if I want to be in a church where I'm getting shoved by old women."

"What's with all the kicking and punching going on at our local places of worship?"

"She didn't kick me."

"No, I mean, Pat was kicking someone, and now he doesn't want to go back to his synagogue. There seems to be an epidemic of evil going on. Say, are you sure it wasn't the Dark Lord punching you?"

"What are you blabbering about?"

"I mean, maybe the devil was involved in some way. Perhaps, I don't know, he looked like... THIS???"

(420 RULEZ!!!!!!)