I've been working in customer service for a loong time, but sometimes a customer/patron will say something that will stop me cold. An elderly fella came up to me with a grave visage and said,
"You know anything about book jackets?"
A full five seconds passed as I stared at him.
"Book... jackets?" I said finally.
"Yeah. Book jackets."
"You mean... what are they?"
The man whipped out his first edition of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. "No, how to put one on. I bought this book jacket for my book, and it... does it fold around here? Do you slip it around the back?"
Luckily I had taken Book Jacket Heuristics 101 back in the day. I explained that you just rolled it down to the base and then... Wait, I mean, taped the thing on, and voila your book was now clap resistant.
"Ahh, thanks! By the way, do you have the solar eclipse glasses?"
"No, we're all out."
I then told him to read something better, which he appreciated!
Then came Jeff. We haven't talked about our mutual friend Jeff F., have we?? Well, we're going to GOD DAMN IT
He came up to me and we starting talking about sleep habits. I told him I had misperceived my clock radio and wound up getting up an hour earlier than usual. (Yes, conversations at the library really do run this hot.) So: ha ha. But Jeff had to top my sizzle.
"I sleep with a blinder on. I'm out like a baby at ten after ten, every night. And then I get up at six. I sleep all night. Well, usually I get up at four to go pee."
"Uh-mm." I looked at my monitor, trying to seem super busy.
"But I don't mess with going to the bathroom. I've got a container right by the bed I pee into! Yeah, it was a 32 oz tub of yogurt that I now use to pee into."
"That's very eighteen century of you. I will now make like it's the twenty-fifth and dematerialize."
"It works great." Jeff proceeded to act out having a night mask on as he pissed into a yogurt tub, his hands erotically fumbling at his groin. "Just do my thing, and then snap the lid on. The lid really holds it in! I had a friend over the other day with his one-year-old kid. The kid was playing on the carpet and he went over to my piss tub and pushed it over. Good thing the lid was on--there was a full load in there!"
"Is there anyone next in line? Hello? Anyone...?"
"By the way, do you have those eclipse glasses?"
The very skinny lady came in. Veins stuck out on her twig arms. Heart pulsed in her translucent chest. She grinned her death skull at me.
"Here are my DVD returns. I love What About Bob," she said. "That's my favorite movie. I'm like Bob. That's me."
"Who's that? Oh! You mean that one guy? Yeah. Hey, do you have solar eclipse glasses?"
"No. And they'd be too heavy for you to put on anyway."
Then came a lady who wanted to use a computer. She gave me a Duluth County library card.
"You can't use that card for our computers."
"What? Why not??"
"Because we're Duluth City, not County."
"But... but..." The woman spluttered. "I'm an executive!!"
She walked off. Then circled back.
"Do you have the solar eclipse glasses?"
Jonah came in. "You're stealing my story," he said. "And that's not how it went."
"Right. Just trying to fill out the post. Heh heh."
"Anyway... do you have any solar eclipse glasses?"
Enjoy your box factory, nerds!!
NEXT WEEK: Five Year Anniversary Post!!!