Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Overheard

Scene: A Library. Falstaff enters from left, come to pick up the copy of the new Marquez (my review here) that he'd requested and has just been informed is waiting for him at the counter.

Falstaff: Hi. I'm here to pick up a book (hands over e-mail notice that he's carefully printed out to avoid having to say the book's name out loud)

Library Guy 1: Okay Cool (Goes off to look for book. Comes back empty-handed two minutes later). Sorry, it hasn't come yet.

F: Errr...but you sent me an e-mail last night saying it was here and I could come pick it up (points to notice in LG1's hand)

LG1: Uh, ya, I guess. Okay (Goes off to look for book again. Returns one minute later with a copy of Arthur & George. Proceeds to check it out and hand it to F. Looks so triumphant that F. doesn't know how to break this to him)

F: Errr...but this isn't the book I'm here to pick up. I'd asked for this one as well, and I'll take it, but the one I came to pick up is different.

LG1 (Checks record on computer): Oh ya, that other one is still pending. See, it says that right here, Zadie Smith's On Beauty.

F (with nightmarish image of his grad advisor listening in on this conversation): No, no. That's not the one either. As in yes, I've requested that as well, but the one that's supposed to be on hold here is the new Marquez, (deep sigh) Memories of my melancholy whus.

LG1 (reads title of book in e-mail notice. Looks up. Gives F look that says 'pervert'. F feels like he's 15 years old buying condoms in a pharmacy): Uh, ya, well, it doesn't seem to be on the shelf...

LG2 (coming up behind him): Hi. What seems to be the trouble?

LG1 explains.

LG2 (taking my card): Let me take a look. (Goes back to the hold section. Shouts from back a minute later) Say, what was the name of that book again?

LG1 (shouting back): Memories of my melancholy whores!

LG2 (still shouting): Memories of my melancholy what?

LG1 (shouting louder): WHORES!

Every one in a thirty feet radius turns. Falstaff stands at the counter cringing. Senior Library Guy comes over.

SLG: What's going on here?

LG1: This guy had a book that is supposed to be on hold, but it doesn't seem to be here.

SLG (looking at notice): Ah, the new Marquez. Hey, I saw that come in yesterday. It must be somewhere around here. Let's look.

LG1, LG2 and SLG all proceed to spend the next five minutes searching through every book that's been put on hold trying to find the Marquez. Meanwhile a line of some ten people has collected behind Falstaff, all listening intently to the conversation at the counter.

SLG to Other Senior Library Guy: Hey, Larry, you remember the new Marquez that came in yesterday?

OSLG: Huh?

SLG: You know, the one about whores.

OSLG: Oh, ya, of course, the whore book. What about it?

SLG: We can't find it now.

OSLG: You can't find 'whores'? Really? (looks at Falstaff) You haven't already checked it out have you?

F (wishing he'd just gone to the bookstore and bought the damn thing): No.

OSLG: Hmmm...that's very strange. Tell you what we'll do - give us your name and e-mail address and when we find it we'll let you know (taking out sheet of paper and pen). Here, just put your name and e-mail address down on that. (Takes back paper. Scribbles on it, then puts it up where everyone can see) Don't worry. I'm sure it'll turn up in a day or two.

F (staring at bulletin board notice that says 'Melancholy Whores' with his name and e-mail address on it): Oh, right. Thanks.

Note to GGM: The next time you write a novel, could you give it a slightly less provocative title? Something along the lines of Slow Man would do just fine.

9 comments:

meditativerose said...

Well, at least you didn't have to do that at work. Picture this ... 'Hello, I'm looking for the new Marquez ... Memories of my melancholy whores .... whores ... WHORES ... W-H-O-R-E-S ... oh, I need to call the main library ... umm, ok'. Repeat.

It's a miracle I still have my job.

Falstaff said...

MR: Yes, it is quite a miracle isn't it? Unless. So what is it you do again, exactly?

Mrudula said...

I didn't expect the book to hit the bookshops so soon. When I saw it I screamed 'Melancholy Whores'. I felt the whole world stare at me.

Nothings aplenty said...

hmm...i'm so sorry, must've been slightly on the traumatic side. but *ROFL*

aquamarine said...

mayb sumthing on the lines of "I'M EASY"...
wat say u??
;)
AquaM

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

That was stupendiously hilarious! I'm sorry that it happened to you. Something similar happened to me. The book that I was looking for was called "Making Love" by Marius Brill. (He was talking about making the concept of "love" not the act of love. On second thoughts, that too.)

But I'm with you on this one: it's not half as embarassing as yelling out "whores."

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » » »

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Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » »