Monday, May 01, 2006

Actual Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #50

SETTING: My “liberry” shortly after a OUAW story time session. Little Kevin and Little Chuck Martin are at the circ-desk checking out books when their mom notices something is amiss.

MOM: Chuck, where is your shoe?

CHUCK: I don't know.

MOM: Where did you have it last?

CHUCK: I don't know.

As we are seconds away from closing and I want all patrons to leave, I dash to the children's room to look for Chuck's shoe. That Chuck had lost his shoe was hardly surprising. Not that the kid's dumb, or anything. In fact, he's pretty sharp. He actually once negotiated with me as to how many stories he was willing to sit through before he would stop paying attention to me and read his Calvin & Hobbes book instead. (Two. The answer is two.) He'd probably left his shoe behind on purpose just so a big deal would be made about it.

Sure enough, I found Chuck's shoe beneath the kid's computer where he'd been minutes earlier. I passed it to his mother, who passed it to Chuck.

MOM: And what do we say to Mr. JUICE?

CHUCK: Thanks, Mr. JUICE. You're the best.

ME: Whoo hoo!

CHUCK: You're really really super. You can't be touched. Nobody beats your high score.

It was only then that I realized how backhandedly disingenuous Chuck's comments were, despite his cheerful tone. That a kid so young could wield sarcasm so deftly was impressive. The little shit.

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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.