Friday, April 18, 2008

Library Hall of Shame: Chris

Chris comes to the library daily and he isn't employed because he's probably on Social Security. I suspect Chris has some sort of mental illness that requires some serious medication. He's pleasant enough - he'll say hello, he's always sure to sign in to use the computer, and he doesn't interact with other patrons which, believe me, is an enormous relief for all of us. He's twitchy, unkempt and has that faraway glazed crazyeye that tends to make people nervous. He seems to have trouble with some of the little things in life, things that help you go out in public and not look like a complete nutbar. Like tightening your belt and wearing underwear. I've seen more of that man's asscrack than I care to admit.

One Friday afternoon in early winter Chris came in to use the computer. It was a busy time at the library with kids coming in after school and people wanting DVDs for the weekend. I wasn't paying much attention to Chris, but I did notice that he must have had a cold because he was sniffling a lot. I've been known to offer sniffling patrons tissues because that wet snotsucking sound drives me crazy.

Stick my hand inside a chicken to pull out the guts? Clean up still warm cat puke? The sight of blood? No problem. But mucous? Squicks me out. I once threatened violence when I caught a certain husband of mine blowing his nose in the shower.

So as I was going about my librarian duties, I half-heard Chris sneeze. Just then my coworker Kay said, "Oh. my. God."

"What's wrong?" I turned to see Kay covering her eyes with her hand.

"It's Chris. He's got snot just hanging out of his nose and all down the front of his shirt."

I couldn't look. I wouldn't look. I was starting to feel a little gaggy. "I can't deal with this, Kay. I will seriously throw up." I was practically under the desk by this time, I had to get something solid between me and the snotbomb.

"Wait, wait...He's wandering away. I think he's going to the restroom to clean up."

I stayed put, just to be sure.

"Oh shit. Oh no." Kay swore. Kay rarely swears.

"What, what?!" I could only imagine the horror.

"Chris just stopped at the drinking fountain."

Oh, yes. Yes he did. Chris, with a thick jiggly rope of snot still hanging out of his face, bent down into the drinking fountain and had himself a drink. Kay went to fetch the Lysol and I wanted to run screaming from the building.

(more shame and fame)


Sebastian said...


Anonymous said...

HAHAHA. I have cleaned up a great many things people deem disgusting and horrible. Not just the usual kid stuff(vomit and various bodily fluids). Occasional digits and appendages, holding large flaps of skin closed and so forth. Sometimes it was my own. A few years back, I was helping out at my sons preschool(I loved doing that), a VERY ILL little 4 yr old(this is the point where I realized some parents will ignore a diseased child for their own convenience) let loose with the largest avalanche of green/yellow mucus. How could there be so much in such a small person? Made me gag inside, BIG TIME. Thank gawd for machismo, I pulled it together and thought of flower covered mountain valleys while cleaning this darling little girl. I look back occasionally and laugh about how a little girl with nose goblins running amok, almost took me out.

Anonymous said...

Ice cream...check
kitty cats...check

Jiggly ropes on snot hanging out of face...not so much

breda said...

cathode ray - can you say hazard pay?

kaveman - you don't want the petri dish anymore?

Anonymous said...

In either case, it was just part of the job ma'am. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...a new Breda word. Squicks. Not often a new word makes me smile.

Christina RN LMT said...

That is truly gross!
With me, it's nasty feet. I was a CNA, and could hold an emesis basin for a puking patient while wondering what I'd have for lunch, but a few days ago I massaged a gentleman who was perfectly clean, showered, etc...and when I got to his feet, the top layer of skin just sloughed off. I had to stifle my gagging noises. I literally had to grab a corner of the sheet and wipe all the dead skin off my hands before continuing with the massage. Ugh!

Earl said...

Ah, my sinus congestion didn't go away, and I don't know if I thought you were right or the patron with a leaky nose, sigh. Forgive them for they know not what they do, they really don't.

Robert said...

Great. You've just ensured that i will never use a public drinking fountain again. Ever. :-P

dr mac said...

"Squicks me out".

Gotta add that neologism to the lexicon.

Anonymous said...

Feel the phlegm with your hands
Steal the phlegm while you can, snotman
Speak the phlegm on your own
Speak the phlegm all alone, snotman

snotman, come together with your sputnum
Save me, Im together with your nasal spam
Save me

All my friends are boogerin'
All my friends are green and red, snotman
All my friends have lesions
They beat the phlegm with their bones,

Feel the phlegm with your hands
Steal the phlegm while you can, snotman

Thank you, good night people