Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 30, 2009

Life Imitating Art


The comic-strip “Unshelved” is undoubtedly one of my favorite daily reads online.

In a nutshell, the comic follows the adventures of everyday life in a library. Any regular readers here at “Blank Stares and Blank Pages” are already well-aware that libraries are full of crazy, psychotic people…and then we open and let the public in and things just get even worse.

Anyway, on more than one occasion I’ve received comments comparing the similarities between me and the Dewey, the young adult librarian from the comic strip. I’d never really though much of it beyond: “well yeah, we’re both cool and we’re both young dudes.”

Until today, that is.

Today I had an experience almost absolutely identical to one of my favorite installments of “Unshelved.”

Some dude walked in with a stack of about ten books, all to be returned because he’s graduating and wants his to make sure his record is all clear and he has no outstanding fines to payoff. That’s all well and good, what sucks is that every single book is filled with dozens of those little sticky Post-It flags to mark pages.

I shoot him a patented “Dude-What-the-F” kinda look and he sees it.

Annoyed Library Guy: “Maybe you wanna take these flags out?!”
Douchey Flag Guy: “Isn’t that what I’m paying you to do?!”

…and then he walked off.

Before I could even go off on some snarky rant about how he’s not paying me or how that’s not my job or even just chuck a book at his trachea…he just up and bailed, verbally nailing the last word in the coffin on his way out the door.

So now here I sit…removing a gajillion of these stupid little Post-It flags and contemplating the ramifications of using the address listed under his name in our system as a springboard to what the police call “premeditated murder.”

Ugh…I just don’t know how Dewey does it. Where Dewey shakes off the crazies, I find myself trying to conjure up alibis and small, unmarked firearms…someday I’ll live up to the comparisons, someday!



  1. Patrons are so wonderful sometimes, aren’t they?

    Although I do take a little bit of offense at the fact that you tagged this post “Massholes.” There’s like a 97.8% chance this patron was from somewhere else in the wide world (unless he had a raging Boston accent, then I understand your tag) and it insults me that you’d assume he’s a Masshole just because he was a jerk to you. … I do understand where you’re coming from, but we’re not all d-bags! (Just had to get that off my chest.)


  2. *cough* what would happen if one of the books were to never be returned *cough*


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