It's the final 2.5 weeks of the TunaU semester, and you can smell fear and despair everywhere. It is now that the library abandons it's peaceful demeanor, and becomes a war zone, while the noble ideals of research, knowledge and the greater truths of mankind are sacrificed to the Gods of OHMYGODTHISISDUETOMORROW! It's during these trying times that I like to think of myself as Old Yeller. The students? They are chew-toys.
Chew toys come to us with a variety of needs, complaints, deceptions and excuses. Much of the time their various ploys are amusing, to say the least. But as we approach finals, it becomes old and tired very quickly. I've heard it all before -- and as sure as God made little green Freshmen -- I'll hear them all again.
Needy chew-toys are a dime a dozen (56.3 cents a dozen Canadian). How they approach the sacred altar of help will often determine how much help they get. Politeness earns big points. So do treats. If Old Yeller smells sincerity in a chew-toy's claim that they really tried hard to find it on their own, I'll dig right in and see what I can do to help. The problem seems to be that chew-toys confuse Old Yeller with The Great Santini. Old Yeller? Helpful companion. The Great Santini? Pulls things out of his ass. Old Yeller is not The Great Santini. Old Yeller is not even The Great Santini's dog. Old Yeller cannot retrieve books that have never been written, doesn't know which "big blue book with the picture of a helmet inside" you used in February, and cannot make checked-out books suddenly appear. Old Yeller will also not do your research, but being a faithful servant, Old Yeller will helpfully point to the computers and say *WOOF*
Complainers either walk through the door with their gripes a-blazing or have morphed from the needy into the complainer. Either way, it is always concerning things over which Old Yeller has absolutely no control. Being a loyal friend, Old Yeller will listen patiently for awhile, but after awhile, it's all a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon, with the chew-toy rambling on and on, and me hearing blah-blah-blah-blah-Ginger-blah-blah-blah until *WOOF!* I'm off chasing a squirrel. Or maybe a penguin.
Old Yeller loves the chew-toys that fancy themselves to be devious. They think Old Yeller is slow and tired. Little do they know. Last night, an unsuspecting chew-toy entered the library armed with books, a laptop, and enough food and drink to satisfy several small countries. It was clear that he had that picnic-hobby thing going on. The chew-toy took one look and decided Old Yeller was slow and tired, and wouldn't be a problem. As soon as the chew-toy had schlepped in all of his belongings, Old Yeller meandered over and said, "Perhaps you didn't see the large "No food or drink whatsoever" sign as you entered, but you have to take your buffet outside." With that, the chew toy squeaked and left, and Old Yeller returned to duty.
Not two minutes later the student walked back in. Frappa-latte-chino cup pathetically stashed halfway up the sleeve of his "away" arm. Old Yeller lay in wait. The minute the chew-toy sat down, Old Yeller ambled over again and said, "Now, that cup is empty, right?" *WOOF*
Instead of a sign that outlines the rules and regulations, I think our little corner of academia needs a smaller, simpler sign: Old Yeller on duty. Don't even try it. ROFW
(Rolling on the Floor Woofing)
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