Monday, December 7, 2009

It still makes me smile

Today I was shelving some videos and saw that a lot of Halloween favorites were all coming back at the same time. It made me smile

As we get to within a month of a holiday (any holiday) every single item even remotely pertaining to that holiday disappears. It's just the way of the world. A savvy library user will clean us out of Thanksgiving books for kids in October and everyone else will be left wondering why there is that giant gap between the Halloween and Christmas books.

A few days before Halloween, a man and woman who were not regulars and didn't know how to use the catalog came in asking for a fairly typical list of scary-ish movies. Before getting started, I warned them that we'd likely be cleaned out of Halloween favorites, what with Halloween coming right up. But I went through the paces.
"How about Psycho." Not a question, by the way.
Clicky clacky typey type "Psycho? We own two copies, but they're both checked out. In fact, all 11 copies in the entire library system are out. I could put a hold..."
"You don't have Psycho?" he asked, all astonished. It was as if I had just told him that we didn't have books, newspapers, electricity, indoor plumbing or oxygen. He turned to the missus.
"They don't have Psycho," he informed her as though she had just arrived and hadn't been standing next to him four seconds before. His look of incredulity was quite good, as was the eye roll.
"We have it, alright" I corrected cheerily, "It's just checked out. It's due back next week. Would you like me to put a hold..."
"How about Halloween."
Please, I wanted to say, you have a better chance of finding a leprechaun over there than that movie.
"Kinda doubt that one's in, but let's see...nope. Checked out. Would you li..."
"You don't have Halloween?"
"Again, we own two copies of it, but somebody beat you to the punch. I could put a hold on it and we could call you when a copy is returned, though. If there's no other holds..."
"How long's that going to take?" It was like I had just described constructing the Seven Gorges Dam.
"Hard to say. If there are no holds in front of you, maybe a week?"
"That's not going to help us, is it?" Ooh! Sarcasm! It's not like you need a liver transplant, dude.
And so it went, through the entire list of date movie spookies: declaratio of title, clicky clacky of keys, expression of negativity, offer of hold interrupted by an expression of disbelief. (Lather, rinse...)
As I did my fruitless searches, descriptive words for the guy kept occuring to me. Subject headings I would file him under (or for you young people: tags). Supercilious. Patronizing. Unctuous. Entitled. Condescending. Clueless.
Eventually, he got bored.
"We're going to Blockbuster," he said with a decided sneer. "This is ridiculous."

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