Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Button, Button, Where is the Button?

Nothing has been going on here at Library X. It's been boring.

So here's a little story from exams.

I was walking around doing a security check of the building one night when I came across a student sitting cross legged in a carrel (and I mean actually in the carrel. He was a very skinny, flexible dude.) intently writing/etching into the side of the carrel with a ball point pen. I stopped and gave him an aggrieved smile.

"Hi hon, would you mind stopping your vandalism of library property?"

He blinked at me a moment like who the hell are you, and I waved my name badge at him. He shrugged. "All right, but can I finish this first?"

"Um, no...Really would like for you to stop."

"But it won't make any sense if I stop here. See I'm responding to something somebody else wrote."

"Still vandalism."

"Look this is what I want to say 'If you push that button, your ass gotta go."

"Really don't like the profanity."

"Really? Would you rather I use tush, behind, butt?"

"I'd rather you stop."

"Okay, since you're being so nice, I will."

"Thanks, but could you get out of the carrel, you know so I'll believe you a little more?"

He unfolded himself out of the carrel.


Tonight because I was bored, I decided to check on the carrel to see what all was on it. There was a relatively good line drawing on a finger about to push a button with the caption, "Don't push the red button" with my little graffiti artist's unfinished etching "If you push that bu" underneath. I'm rather surprised he didn't finish it.

Okay, so I tried to figure out why the students felt the need to put these particular phrases in the carrel. It seems the "Don't push..." bit could be a quote from a Sesame Street book called Furry Old Grover in Please Don't Push the Red Button or a reference to this funny interactive site . Or it could be the red button site was inspired by Grover but whatever and then my little vandalizer felt the need to free associate and add a reference to Yo La Tengo's "Nuclear War", but like he promised, he didn't finish. It's kind of breathtaking the jump from Sesame Street to Yo La Tengo, don't you think?

I'm sort of disappointed to see that the cleaning crew went through and scoured/sanded the carrels and tables to remove as much graffiti as they could. I didn't get a chance to fully review some of the running commentaries going on like which frat was better and which female athletic team had the sexiest players, but the button stuff stayed because they actually dug into the wood to leave their mark.


Blogger htw said...

I get the same look during the "current events" project here when I ask the teens to please make copies of the newspaper articles intstead of cutting them out.
the response..."oh, this is not today's newspaper. it's an old one."

god I love this job!

7:17 PM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger Katya said...

I'm really surprised your vandal did not go back and finish his graffiti.

8:08 PM, June 20, 2007  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

htw, I don't even try to police magazines and newspapers anymore. It's a lost cause.

Katya, I was really surprised too that he hadn't climbed back into the carrel to finish.

7:18 PM, June 21, 2007  

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