It was Saturday at 4:59, just a minute until closing time. All the customers were gone, though our shelver Lisette was making the last rounds through the building. We started to gather at the back door. It was unusual for us to make such good time. Two weeks before I had to stay until 5:15 because some guy had locked himself into the unisex bathroom upstairs (I had timidly knocked on the door and the guy shouted "IN A MINUTE!!" Twenty minutes later he had finished carpet bombing ISIS, if you catch my meaning). There was some awkwardness and a bit of tension since Ed was near Todd--two people who intensely disliked each other. To defuse it, being a gentleman, I brought up what I was going to do that Saturday night.
Jenny, the other librarian that day, asked me if I had seen the SNL skit starring Dooneese.
Which I had, being a connoisseur of all things Welk.
As we continued talking the Welk, I noticed that Ed was irritatingly binding some books on the counter. This was odd, since he was a librarian and that was clerk work. Ed was quite punctilious about what he would and would not do as a librarian. Shelving piling up? Nope. That's for shelvers to do. Routing materials? Nosirree. That's clerk crap. He spent most of his time engaged in higher level thinking like, when was naptime?
After binding the book, Ed tossed it at the crates. Todd, standing nearby with his beard and his hands tucked in his jacket, pointed out Ed's mistake.
"Those go in the central crate, Ed." With infinite, scabrous, flame-broiled hatred.
"You know what?" Ed said, red. "This isn't my job! YOU do it!!"
That's when, as I was discussing the finer points of Dooneese, I saw the shadow of a book fly by. It hit Todd in the chest. He didn't move. Just stood and smiled. As the book bounced off him and fell on the ground.
Uh. Did Ed just throw a book at Todd?
It seems like he did.
I interrupted my Welkgasm and picked up the projectile, putting it in the central crate.
A little stunned, we all filed out.
"Oh, Lisette! She's still..."
She hurried out from the break room, swinging backpack and bags.
"Come on," Ed bellowed. "We're ready to leave!"
Security armed, door locked, we all went out into the parking lot. I continued to talk about The Welk but the bubbles had popped.
Jonah on Monday wanted to know what had happened Saturday. He'd heard the rumors because what else are we going to do?
"Come with me..."
We went back to the crates. I then acted out the drama.
"The book flew! Todd smiled! His head went back and to the left...!"
"Wait. How did that go again?"
I carried the book through the air to demonstrate its precise trajectory.
"Ah," Jonah said. He nodded.
We went over it again and again. I acted out the morality play to others on the staff. I donned a cowboy hat, threw a book, and then hurriedly took off the hat and put on a beard, bouncing the flying book off my chest...
"There it flew! There it bounced! Smiles! Burning, burning hatred...!"
On Wednesday, Todd came in on his day off to file formal charges against Ed. Now Ed has been put on "investigatory leave." Today I'm going to be interviewed by the head of HR as to what happened. I'll try to keep the talk about The Welk to a minimum. It won't be easy.