Curious George is My Co-Pilot

Friday, October 22, 2004

Romans and Clerics @ your Library

Today, an older cleric in a wheelchair, smelling of urine, approached the reference desk. In his lap, he had a portable cd/tape player, and I thought he was asking me where he could plug it in to use it. When I asked him if he had headphones, he explained that the player had no batteries and no cord, and that he just wanted to know how to put a cd in it. So, I moved around to the front of the desk, squatted to be on his level, and showed him which buttons to push. "You're a genius," he beamed. When I handed it back to him, the cover to the battery bay came off. I fussed with it for several seconds, not able to get it snapped back in. A patron sitting near us leaned back and offered to help. This patron is a library regular who, in addition to applying for a job at the library earlier this year, which he did not get, played the part of a Roman soldier who got to flog Jesus in our city's world-famous, decades-old Passion Play. He thought I might like to attend. "Whips and chains, ya, know," he said enticingly. Although I also knew one of the leads in the Passion Play, who, it is rumored, might be cast as Jesus next year, I did not attend the four-hour depiction of the life of Christ (down from six hours, I hear, for us ADHD types). The soldier snapped the battery door back in after several tries as the cleric watched in awe. I left the unemployed Roman soldier and the impotent cleric to their new friendship.


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