The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The cat in my hat, and other tales of societal woe...

The cat shat in my hat.  I do not know why the cat shat on my hat; I suppose that the cat did so because, like George Mallory climbing Mount Everest, the hat was there, or it could be that this particular cat dislikes humans with more than the usual feline animosity and decided to move its bowels in my hat to demonstrate his disdain for me in particular and humanity in general, but whatever reason the cat did it, the fact remains that the cat shat in my hat. The day has been going downhill since then.

After finding a new hat, one that is just a bit too large for me, I should say, but otherwise acceptable, I drove off to work. From my home in the outer rim of our happy little burg’s suburbs, if a place as small as our happy little burg can have suburbs, I managed to avoid every old lady, every red light, every garbage truck, and every guy trying to make a left turn against a mile long run of oncoming traffic, a feat that you may consider nothing short of miraculous but tells me that the Lord is feeling hostile towards me today and so wants me to get to work in time, the better for His heavenly wrath to come down on me in an environment I can’t get out of quickly. There are days when you know that you've got a bull's eye tattooed on your back for everyone to see.

And so it came to pass that The Messiah of the Jews, who is not to be confused with the Jewish Messiah, which he says is another job title entirely, comes into the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread and tells me that people from the Dominican Republic dress in black to worship Bavomit, the god of excrement, that his reading of the I Ching tells him that he is the Virgin Mary, the very embodiment of the Eternal Feminine, and would I please give him a dollar for a cup of coffee? He is annoyed at his rabbi for not letting him make changes to the local synagogue's Torah scroll; apparently, the section on medical marijuana is not clear enough and he needs to make sure that everyone knows that weed is a good thing. I agreed that his rabbi was being entirely unreasonable about not letting him mark up a Torah scroll with a pencil stub I gave him, but he [the rabbi] would come to see the light very shortly. Pleased with this answer, the Messiah of the Jews stalked out of the building to get a cup of coffee; yes, I gave him the dollar. I know I shouldn't, that it will only encourage him to come back tomorrow for another dollar, but there are some conversations that you just want to end and this was one of them. 

I was elated when he left, said emotional state lasting for about two seconds, for as the Messiah of the Jews left, the UFO man came in. The UFO man, as you might imagine, earned his sobriquet because he has let everyone here in our happy little burg know that a UFO abducted him years ago in Peekskill. I am not sure why extraterrestrials would want to abduct him out of the billions of people they could have abducted or what it is about the people of Peekskill that would be so attractive to extraterrestrials; Peekskill looks more or less like every other Hudson River town that I’ve ever seen; but then I am not sure why terrestrials watch Honey Boo Boo or the Jersey Shore, either; there is no accounting for tastes, after all. He wants to write a book about his abduction, which actually sounds a lot like one of the National Lampoon vacation movies as viewed through a peyote-induced psychedelic haze with a shot of Jim Beam on the side, but he can't find a ghostwriter to take on the project. This may be because, like the Messiah of the Jews, the UFO man is certifiably nuts or it may be because UFO man lives on cigarettes. I don’t think he eats anything—he just smokes. Merely being in his presence will turn a nonsmoker into a two pack a day man in less than three minutes, and I am sure that when the UFO man finally goes to his final reward, whether that reward is in the afterlife or on some other planet, someone here in this world will be bidding for the mineral rights to his lungs. There's a lot of carbon in them there lungs, folks, a lot of carbon. 

Today, however, he just wanted to know how he could get the Department of Labor's website so he could check his unemployment benefits. This surprised me no end; I had always assumed that some form of employment was a necessary precondition for receiving an unemployment check, but this does not seem to be the case. Unfortunately for him, to find one's benefit history online one must first have a verifiable email address, and fortunately for me, he didn't have time to set one up today. And so he left, taking with him his miasma of stale tobacco and staler extraterrestriality, and I sat behind my desk wondering, not for the first time and probably not for the last, why am I doing this? It does seem pointless. Perhaps I just like futility. Stranger things have happened, you know, and it isn’t even lunchtime yet.

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  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    Re Honey Boo Boo: I suspect that it is extraterrestrials that are watching her and are wild about her. The number of E.T. visits jumped significantly with her first TV appearance, I hear.

    How do they watch her, not paying for the cable, is another matter.

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    Maybe his unemployment "benefits" are just another mirage. Mirages seem to be your stock-in-trade. Well, it is a library, after all.

  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger miriam sawyer said…

    We had a patron who believed that we never nuked Hiroshima and that babies are not born the way we were told they were born.

    He sounded totally rational, even intelligent, until you got trapped in conversation with him.

    That's libraries for you.

  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger Akaky said…

    Very true, and as I wanted to remain true to the Aristotelian unities I did not include the woman fellating the marzipan penis; that happened the next day

  • At 5:03 AM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    Hmm. Is it a coincidence we have two librarian bloggers here? Or are the occupations and preoccupations somehow linked?


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