Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Miss Information is annoyed by too much information

Miss Information is mourning the loss of distance. She has always fancied herself to be inscrutable and mysterious. She urges others to follow her example and stop providing her with unnecessary details of their mundane lives. She has her own mundane life to worry about, thanks.

Her reference desk colleagues do not need to announce their bathroom breaks, for example. One of them typically phrases it the form of a question: is it ok if I go to the washroom? Miss Information’s understanding of science is minimal, however she thinks it’s ok, perhaps even recommended, but maybe you should consult with a medical professional just in case. Honestly, some day she’s going to say no just to see what would happen.

As ick-inducing as these declarations are, Miss Information recently experienced something worse. Mike has been coming into the library every day since he was a child. Even then it was apparent that he’d missed the train to normal by several light years. Everyone expected (hoped? prayed?) he’d grow out of it. He didn’t and so now he’s pretty heavily medicated but basically harmless. Miss Information usually likes to think of patrons like Mike as differently normal.

One day recently, Mike asked to use the phone at the reference desk. He didn’t have money for the pay phone and he had to call his mother. She’s been worried lately because he’s been peeing outside and he needed to call her and tell her that he hadn’t peed at all today, but he wanted her to know that he hadn’t been peeing outside…today…yet. Miss Information was delighted to hear this--as was everyone in the library. Mike has no indoor voice. He says everything at 11.

Miss Information, usually reluctant to allow customers to use the phone, made an exception and handed it over. Mike changed his mind. He decided to tell his mother in person instead. Miss Information was happy for them both. She spent the rest of the day longing for a shower.


At 8:40 AM, Blogger library mistress said...

I had to smile when reading your post because one of my colleagues does the same. I would be more than glad if he just told me that he would be back in a few minutes (so I can have the illusion he just gets himself a cup of coffee) but he always tells me that he would go to the loo.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger nichole said...

On the topic of permission to go to the restroom, how apt.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Zap said...

Mike happens to be my brother-in-law and your use of his private life for your own...oh, wait. What's his last name again?
Tee hee...nevermind.


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