An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Valentines Day

It's been a splendid Valentine's Day. In fact, it's been a downright splendid Valentine's weekend.

My wife Ashley and I decided also to forego all the cards and flowers and traditional Valentine's day gifts in favor of just eating whatever the hell we want all weekend long.

See, my best friend in the world, Mr. Joe "Damn" Evans and his girlfriend Lorna Abbigail (not her real name) drove in from Richmond to see the play I'm in and hang with us for the evening. We thought it would be rude to subject them to our monastic diet, so carb-chomping we did go. (In fact, when I finish this sentence, I'll be devouring the final bite of a crazy-tasty peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with genuine Jiff peanut butter on two slices of fresh, heavenly Tuscan bread. Mmm, that's some peanut butter goodness for your ass.)

As far as Liberry-related stuff goes, it's been a phenomonally boring week there. About the most exciting thing that happened was the decision to do not one but TWO Patron Appreciation Days this month.

For the past year or so, we've done an open house PAD the last Friday of every month. This is a day where we the liberry staff bring in home-baked goods and sundry sweets, set it all up on a table with punch or cider and let the patrons have at it all day Friday and, if we're feeling especially generous and have stuff left over, Saturday and Sunday too. (Patrons, though appreciated, are still not allowed to cart their punch back to the computers, thank you VERY much Mr. B-Natural.) Ostensibly we do this because we like our patrons, but I think we secretly just want to make the other libraries in the county look like they're slacking off and hate their patrons, which is quite possibly true in many cases.

The weather being what it's been around here, we didn't do a PAD in January. So Mrs. A and Mrs. C decided that since it was Valentine's weekend, they would do PAD's on Thursday AND Friday of this week.

"Oh, great!" I said when I heard the plan. "Now I'll have TWO days of sheer torture instead of just the one."

See, the trouble with all these PAD's is, I always have to work them and since I've been doing Atkins I can't eat any of the tasty goodies and wind up having to eat low-carb stuff like pepperoni, peanuts and pork rinds just to stave off my cravings for what's on the sweets table. I was able to save myself on Thursday by tucking into some mixed nuts. By Friday, though, I was feeling kind of weak-willed. I decided that since we were going to be cheating later on anyway cause of Joe and Lorna I could go ahead and eat what I wanted and it wouldn't really matter in the end. With that firmly rationalized, I started biting and managed to put away several cookies and a heart-shaped Rice Crispies treat before I could be stopped.

The only other exciting thing that happened during the first PAD was a visit from some of our mentally handicapped friends from down the road. They saw the table of goodies and naturally wanted some. This is cool with us, as they are some of our most faithful, and usually great patrons (Ron the Ripper, excepted). Their aid, who I believe is the same greenhorn who was so appalled at Ron's behavior a few weeks back, didn't seem to think it was a good idea for his two clients to have any food. I guess if I was him I'd live in fear of sugar-rushes too. Finally he relented, though, after his clients completely ignored all of his attempts to verbally draw them away from the table.

"Excuse me," one of the clients said. "Could you come pour some of this for us?" He was pointing to the little crock pot full of hot cider we had set up.

"Sure thing," I told him and came around from behind the counter to help out. Unfortunately, our choice of cups was not ideal. Mrs. A had brought in those thin, clear plastic cups, that do cold drinks great but tend to melt when hot liquid is poured into them. I found this out after pouring a ladle of cider into one, which nearly scalded my hand through the cup itself. I only filled them to 2/3's full so there would still be a sufficient lip for the men to grab on to.

"Now, be very careful with these. They're really hot," I said, passing the first cup to the man who had asked me to come pour. I poured a second cup, which the other man snatched out of my hand.

"Be careful, it's hot! NO! WAIT! IT'S HOT!!!"

Too late, the man lifted the cup to his lips and took a big gulp. He immediately began blinking rapidly and licking his lips, but didn't seem all that put out otherwise.

This morning we arose and drove 50 miles down the road to breakfast at Biscuit World. Allow me to sing the praises of Biscuit World. It's just aFrickin'Mazing! When you order a biscuit sandwich from Biscuit World, you're playing with live ammo. Don't make the mistake of assuming you're gonna get the traditional crappy tiny biscuit the fast food world has become known for. No sir, Pepe. You're getting a big ass cat's head biscuit, piping hot with your choice of toppings.
After gorging ourselves there, we piled back in the car and headed one exit back east to Grand View. If you're ever in the Beckley, WV, area, besides a manditory stop at Biscuit World, you should head over to Grand View State Park. There you can see one of the best views in the country of the second oldest river in the world, ironicaly dubbed the New River. I won't even attempt to describe how cool it is there, but suffice it to say it's one of my favorite places in the world. You can probably even find pictures online if you're so inclined. We went out and trudged through the snow and stood at the overlook and took it all in. We also stomped around the stage of Theatre West Virginia, where Joe did Summer Stock over four years back, two full years before we moved to the area.

It's just been a great weekend all around.

Being Valentine's day, I'm gonna stop wasting time on the internet and go spend it with my sweety.

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