Thursday, April 22, 2010

Watch It Wiggle

Patron: Can you tell me where your Jell-O section is?

Now, despite having worked here just short of 18 years, and knowing my patrons as well as I do, I also know myself better, and I know that I do not know everything. In fact, I feel quite often that I know so little, it makes me feel shamefully inadequate, so I go read another book about something that has no relevance in my life, wherein I collect more useless information that could help one random person if they happen to cross my path before I forget what I read, and thus the attempt is futile. So, you see, my brain gnaws on my indigestible pulp of ignorance all day long, and when a patron comes up to me and asks a question that hurts my brain, I assume they are knowledgeable and I am not.

For instance, the Jell-O query made me question my very existence. Have I been living a lie, concocting an environment of books and library-ish items that surround me, while all along I have actually been working in a grocery store? Have people been asking me grocery questions all this time and I've been telling them Dewey locations of items in aisles at Jewel?! I looked around. I pinched myself. I tried to grasp this total mental FUBAR situation I was in, mind racing with thoughts of electro-shock therapy and a cupful of pills a day just to keep me in this world, dingy and gray, in paper slippers and a hospital gown that doesn't close all the way in the back. Have I been working in a grocery store all these years?

NO! The answer is no! I have not. SOMEONE would've told me. Somehow I would've figured it out. I'm not THAT clueless.

So, back on Earth, I comprehend that the question asked of me, which sent me on that spiraling quest for reality, was weird and I needed clarity.

Me: The Jell-O section? As in...Jell-O recipes? Science projects? What are you looking for specifically?

Patron: Jell-O art. Jell-O sculptures. Things like that.

And here is where my 18 years of experience working in this library, not a grocery store, came in handy.

Me: We do not have a Jell-O art section. There MIGHT be a reference to some kind of food art in a modern art book, but that's something you're going to have to sift through. I can show you where the art books are. Or, if you want to do some online researching and you have an artist or a known book I can look up, but we don't have a Jell-O art section.

Patron: No?

Me: No.

Patron: Never mind then.

Indeed. Never mind.


library lady said...

Out of sheer curiousity I googled Jello art. There are more than 1,200,000 hits!

Amazon, though, doesn't seem to have any books on the subject.

Alas. It's tough to have a whole section when there isn't even a whole book.

Anonymous said...

This is so much fun!

Kate P said...

That definitely was a brain-hurter. However, there's something almost comforting that the information being sought was for jell-o art. Because it could've been for jell-o wrestling. Ew.

Man, all I got asked about today was child brides in Africa and Confucianism in modern China. Oh, and books about tenure. (Struck out on that one but yay for the public library.)

Leelu said...

That's better than the girl asking for our Twilight section. I'm sure we own enough copies, were they actually on shelf and not checked out, to form a section.

Still, I can't shake the image of an actual jell-o section.