|Posted on January 8, 2020 at 11:25 AM|
I can't possibly detail what led me to order a stack of books on the subject of spam javelins. In the recent past, thanks to writing-related hijinks, I ordered such materials as Outbursts!: A Queer Erotic Thesaurus and The Antichrist Cookbook (twice) without anyone raising an eyebrow. It didn't matter that this was my workplace; we're a research-focused university, dammit! Libraries hold an unspoken rule about keeping the confidentiality of their patrons. I felt validated. I felt safe.
I got cocky.
An email alerted me to two books waiting at the desk, but I didn't check which ones. I handed over my card and waited for the student employee to sign them out, and although the first book slid through without a fuss, the second refused to scan even on repeated tries.
This particular book was oversized and very clinical. What did I order?
Bewildered, I peeked over the scanner: Imaging of the Scrotum & Penis. As in radio imagery. With "scrotum & penis" in bold lettering.
The employee called my co-worker over at that point to ask for help, which included both of them poring over the pages to find other bar codes. I scrambled to think of what I could be writing to need this. Answer: not a goddamn thing. I'm fascinated by medicine and I have a thing for Lord Hardwick, okay?!
"Pfft, whatever, yo, it's fine," I said, leaning one elbow on the desk and peering over the sunglasses I wasn't wearing. I took a totally nonchalant sip from my kitty-cat mug.
"It's okay," they assured me. "We'll just type in the ISBN." Flip flip flip.
According to the system, I don't have access to that level of borrowing.
"Oh heyyy, can I just look at them and return them in a couple days? I'll have 'em back by Friday," I said. I could feel my skin go from ghastly to lobster. Did that sound as creepy as I thought? Did they see me as the panting, drooling wolf in the Tex Avery cartoons?
I mean, this is science, people.
"Take your time. They're not expecting them back before the 16th." They handed over my books with a smile.
A little too big a smile, if you ask me.
(This picture really has nothing to do with the story, again, but how could I pass this up?)