Saturday, November 21, 2009

back at the asylum

Public libraries are as open and accessible as a town square. The buildings are well lit, warm, brimming with a wide selection of free entertainment and managed by friendly librarians who are paid to listen attentively and help you find the information you need.

Needless to say, libraries attract crazy people.

Our library has its fair share of crazy, in varying degrees: Snotman, VHS Lady, and Wind Power Man who wears shorts even in winter, OCDguy, the woman who plucks in public, Jesse the masturbating hobo, the guy who barked like a dog, a rotating cast of drunks, the young woman who dresses like JLo and tells everyone about her anger management problem and Dial Soap Woman, who I had heard tales of but until this week, hadn't met.

Dial Soap Woman has a vendetta against the makers of said soap because, you see, they poisoned her whole family, including her cats. She is on a mission to inform the world of the dastardly deeds of Dial Soap. She is also considering a lawsuit.

She came up to my desk wanting to send a missive to another one of the companies on her black list. Not soap this time, surprisingly enough - I helped her navigate the AT&T website after listening to her prattle on about coverage zones. In situations like this I do the Smile&Nod followed up with an "Okay..."

("Okay" is a useful response in situations like these - it sounds affirmative without being too encouraging. When dealing with the crazy it is good to be as bland and deflective as possible. Don't ask questions, don't respond emotionally, and don't let them get that close to you. Trust me, you do not want to rile the crazy.)

Anyway, I got her to a place on the site where she could leave a comment and let her have at it. She came back to my desk a little while later.

"I also want to send another message to Dial Soap. They only sent me twenty bucks last time. But I want the whole entire world to see it. The children's librarian told me if I want to do that, I need to start a blog."

Oh, shit, I thought. "Oh, really?" I said aloud.

"Yes, a blog."

"Mmhmm..." I was thinking not-very-nice thoughts about the children's librarian.

"Do you know what a blog is?"

I smiled. "Nope."


Tremaine said...

Ha ha!!

Breda, they don't pay you enough!

Nice job thinking on your feet.

6p00e5502113998834 said...

LOL! Brillig of you there among the slithey toves.


Johnnyreb™ said...

LOL ... The Dial Soap Woman may feel right at home on the MySpace blogs. There is plenty of 'the crazy' over there!

Arni Inaba said...

I find that "m-hm" works even better than "okay".


Weer'd Beard said...

Good call!

Me said...

Got pics of the gal who dresses like JLo?

reflectoscope said...

What, she is too simple to plug "blog" into Google?


On a Wing and a Whim said...


Be glad of that. Be very glad.

Breda - my sympathies, and good call!

Joanna said...

My reply would be "Well, I hear there's lots of them out there." It's my second favorite weasel option, right after "Not as such", e.g., "OMG do you believe in ghosts?" "Not as such." Shuts 'em down without making them feel bad, and gets the crazy moved on to the next person.

Old NFO said...

They DEFINITELY don't pay you enough...

Joseph said...

Maybe you could have told her about Usenet. It's another way to send nonsense all over the world, and she won't make it any nuttier than it already is.

PPPP said...

Quick, Breda. Very quick.

Another good response, though it obviously wouldn't work here is: I'll have to take that under advisement. Or: I'll have to give that further consideration.

Adam said...

By golly you whippersnappers and your crazy doodads these days!

Very nice on the quick thinking. :)

BobG said...

Someone should set her up with a Twitter account.

Borepatch said...


You have the patience of Job. Mom was a librarian, and had to put up with us. Needless to say, she had patience, too.

aepilot_jim said...

"Nope" I love it!

Kristopher said...

The proper place for her blog is on USENET.

Show her how to get to alt.usenet.kooks via google groups, and let her cut loose.

She will find many encouraging people there ... people who normally have to troll kooks into a.u.k .

Matthew said...

In my head there is this Russian accented voice going "Blog? Who is Blog?"