Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yosemite Sam vs. Mr. Little Stupid

An event too bizarre to not chronicle occurred in the "liberry" this week. ("What? Only one?")

Granny & Grandson arrived for some mid afternoon browsing and incessant whining, respectively. Grandson is perhaps the whiniest child I've ever encountered. He moves from shelf to shelf among the videos and kiddie books on tape and WHHIIIIIIIINES about what he wants what he wants what he wants. And Granny follows along telling him what he can't have and what he can have and not to pull down all the bagged books on tape while trying to get just one and to stop pulling down all the bagged books on tape AGAIN now that he's decided to do it anyway and to pick up all the bagged books on tape that he's now pulled down. He doesn't listen. He's already whining about something else.

As in accordance with tradition, Granny and Grandson began approaching the circ desk with their choices only to veer away at the last second and stay another five minutes browsing elsewhere. I knew the longer they stayed the better the chance that Yosemite Sam, no doubt waiting in the car, would get tired of waiting and come inside to find someone to inflict his presence upon, i.e. me. When the door opened, though, it was only Mr. Little Stupid who entered.

I've not mentioned it until now, but Mr. Little Stupid has been a more frequent sight at the "liberry" as of the past few months. It took me a little bit to realize who he was, as he's gained a bit of weight, now dresses in clothing other than overalls (for instance, the fetching Carrie Underw00d concert T-Shirt he had on during this incident) and no longer habitually carries the Girl Scouts binder. These days he still comes in to use the computer, but no longer requires a lengthy and identical tutorial before every session.

Mr. Little Stupid was on his way to the computer sign in sheet when Granny & Grandson decided they were indeed finished and hauled their choices up to the desk, blocking Mr. Little Stupid from access to the sheet.

The door opened and Yosemite Sam stepped in, surveyed the room and siddled up to the desk. Sam seemed to take an immediate interest in Mr. Little Stupid, much like a lion might take interest in a wounded gazelle. Before he could say anything, though, Granny noticed Mr. Little Stupid's shirt, took a deep intake of breath and squealed to Grandson, "Look who he has on his shiiiiirt!"

"Who?" Grandson said.

"Carrie Underw000000d!!!" Grandma said in amazement.

Mr. Little Stupid looked nervous about this sudden attention. He became even moreso when Sam said, "Where'd you get that?"

"Um... at the Carrie Underw00d concert at the fair."

"Who is it?" Grandson repeated.

I was still furiously checking out Granny's selection when Sam noticed another item of Mr. Little Stupid's attire.

"Hey, those ain't real dog tags," Yosemite Sam said, pointing to two brightly colored decorative metal tags hanging around Mr. Little Stupid's neck.

"Um, no," Mr. Little Stupid said.

"Then what ya wearin' `em for?" Yosemite Sam said in an accusatory tone.

"Um, um, ah, um, what?" Mr. Little Stupid said.

"If they ain't real dog tags, what ya wearin' `em for?" I took from Sam's tone that he was a bit offended that someone would dare to wear dog tags with no personal military connection to speak of. Sam, I'm speculating, is a Vietnam vet, possibly of the bitter variety.

"I... um, I just like them," Mr. Little Stupid said.

I thought Sam might jump on this, but instead he let it pass, saying that he was just kidding around and that he knew men have to have their necklaces too. Then, not abandoning the military subject, he said, "You in the National Guard?"

Mr. Little Stupid explained that, no, he wasn't in the military at all, but worked for a local fast food establishment.

By this point, I'd finished with Granny's items and she'd gathered them up and headed for the door with Grandson. Sam made no move to leave. Instead, he continued on about how Mr. Little Stupid should join the national guard where he might get to wear real dog tags and perhaps see a firefight before it's all said and done. Better still, Mr. Little Stupid should come up and visit Yosemite Sam himself sometime because, as Sam put it, "I can show you a real firefight."

"SAM!" Granny barked from the doorway.

His back turned to Granny, Sam cut his eyes in what I took to be malevolent annoyance. Whatever the case, he looked plum evil to me. Granny departed and Sam turned back to his quarry, who was still twisting nervously in the web. Sam did eventually leave, but not before waiting what seemed to be an amount of time carefully measured to infuriate Granny and not without insulting Mr. Little Stupid's receding hairline using a jovially toned Good Ol' Boy verbal jab.

After Sam was gone, Mr. Little Stupid looked a bit weak, but signed up for his computer nevertheless, no doubt off to search up some Carrie Underw00d fan sites.

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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.