Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Actual Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #84

SETTING: My "liberry." A gentleman enters the building and approaches the circ-desk looking very hopeful.

ME— Can I help you?

MAN— I'm looking for marriage b0nds.

ME— Marriage b0nds?

MAN— Marriage b0nds.

ME— Um... Marriage b0nds?

MAN— Yes. When people got married, they used to have to get marriage b0nds. Do you have them here? (He gestures vaguely in the direction of our closed case collection of historical books and geneal0gy material.)

ME— So, we're talking historical marriage b0nds?

MAN— Yeah, that's it. I've seen them collected in a book before.

ME— I've never ever heard of us having those. My thought is that the historical s0ciety will be the ones to have them, but let me ask.

(I turn to Mrs. C, who is conversing with Mrs. B. She looks up.)

ME— Marriage b0nds.

MRS. C— Marriage b0nds?

ME— Marriage b0nds.

MAN— Yes. People used to have to get marriage b0nds when they married. I've seen them in a book before. They said you would have it.

ME— "They" say a lot of things.

(There was a pause at this point and I thought I detected an annoyed expression cross the man's face.)

MRS. C— That's not something we have here. You might try the historical s0ciety.

MAN— Okay.

I don't know if it was intentional or if it was simply due to the high winds we had, but the front door was slammed as the man exited it.

The incident above, among many others, prompted our entire staff to take a group tour of historical s0ciety's collection to see just what they had on hand. We thought it might also give their staff the chance to tell us how pissed off they were with us for sending people over for all the stuff we don't have for years and years. They said they didn't mind at all. After all, they tend to have all the stuff we've been sending people over for. They also charge admission for access to their collection and have probably raked in quite a bit of money due to our efforts.

And, yes, they did have a book of marriage b0nds.


Janet said...

OK, so what *is* a marriage bond?

Juice S. Aaron said...

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.