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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Never let the Devil know where your goat is tied.

We have a legal pad on the circ desk, near the schedule where the staff can leave notes to one another about pressing issues of which everyone should be aware. When I arrived for work, there was a note from Ms. B to the effect that Mr. B-Natural, grumpiest old man in all the world, had been in recently and complained about something. I know--shocking behavior.

According to the note, Mr. B-Natural had complained that some nefarious soul had stolen the crossword puzzle out of the Friday Wa11 Street Journa1. Furthermore, this may or may not have been happening over the course of multiple weeks, as the note was actually phrased "someone has been stealing the crossword puzzle from the Friday Wa11 Street Journa1." The note ended with the phrase, "He was MAD!!!"

Now I can certainly see how Mr. B-Natural would be mad at this. After all, he's the crossword puzzle addict who, perhaps a bit out of character for someone who has enjoyed pissing us off a great deal in the past, frequently and politely asks us to photocopy the crossword puzzle out of the Journal for his benefit, and pays a quarter for it no less. So the fact that someone callously came along and stole the puzzle before he could do this would be justifiable cause for outrage. Unfortunately, his complaint also shone light on avenues of passive agressive rogue patron torment that I'd not considered before.

After reading the note, I turned to my coworker, Mrs. B.

"Oh, MR. B-NATURAL shouldn't have told us that," I said. "Now we're just going to have to start cutting them out on purpose every time he pisses us off."

Mrs. B had evidently been considering the matter with more depth, for she then said, "No. We shouldn't cut them out—we should fill them out."

"In pen," I said, starting to snicker evilly.

"And we should fill them out wrong," she added.

This struck me as gloriously evil and immediately I was nearly crying with laughter.

"Oh, yeah... We should just cram any words we can think of into the squares. We won't even look at the clues." I could just see such a puzzle, filled up with misspelled words that didn't make any kind of contextual sense, let alone actually cross, with two letters in some squares just to fit a word in, some filled with numbers, and the expression on Mr. B-Natural's face when he saw it would be a priceless gem of victory to be treasured in my mental scrapbook of havoc wrought against the wicked. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

"No, really. We HAVE to do that," I said. "At least once."

"Oh, yeah..."

5 comments:

Lisa Genius said...

Please do this. For librarians everywhere.

Anonymous said...

in college I had a job cleaning the student union, and I occasionally found newspapers with the crosswords filled in either with nonsense or with long rambling statements, one letter per square....I'm still not sure if it was people trying to impress others with their quick puzzle skills, or sheer looniness.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS ARE EVIL GENIUSES!!! I'D LOVE TO BE THERE TO SEE HIS FACE! Um, sorry for yelling...I usually find your solutions kind of lame, but this one just makes me laugh out loud.

libbloger said...

How mean! And, I can't believe you haven't thought of it before now!

Occy said...

excellent post, if only I'd read this on a monday, it would have been better still