A library, a storm, and a friend

August 23rd, 2008

We have been getting a lot of rain lately.

Today I went to the library. I usually go to the library to check my email, and to see if they have any new books to check out. They had several new books, one was on natural disasters, with descriptions, statistics, and pictures. I was reading about an earthquake in Alaska, when a voice came over the library intercom.

Library Intercom: The national weather service has issued a tornado warning for our area. Could everyone in the library proceed to the basement, please?

I looked outside, and it was dark. Then, I heard a siren going off outside the library. You know, the kind that you hear at noon, when there is a tornado, or somebody thinks nuclear war is about to happen.

Down in the library basement there were books, computers, desks, library visitors, and librarians.

Librarian: Ok, everyone please remain calm. We have everything perfectly under control. The tornado warning will probably be over in a few minutes. I repeat, everyone please remain calm.

It looked like everybody was already calm. But, when the librarian said “everyone please remain calm,” I wondered if there was something to be not calm about.

Then, some kids rushed down the stairs into the basement.

Kid One: It’s getting real dark out there. I think there’s a tornado coming.
Kid Two: If a tornado touches the library, will the whole building get sucked up into the sky?
Kid Three: No, the library is full of books that weigh a lot.
Man With Hands In His Pockets: This reminds me of the time back in ’74 when my trailer was hit by an F5 tornado. Picked the trailer right up and carried it five miles away and set it down in the community swimming pool. I was hiding in the well pit when it happened.
Librarian who Slouches All The Time: I don’t think there’s going to be a tornado. I just looked at the weather radar on the internet and it doesn’t look bad.
Lady With Frizzy Hair: Well, I hope there isn’t one. I left my car outside in the parking lot and its full of notes for the book I’m writing. I came to the library to research my book on how to get rid of head lice–I’m writing page 472 right now.
Large Lady in Chair: Are we all going to die?

Then the lights went out. Now, I could just hear voices.

We’re all going to die!
What are we supposed to do if there is a tornado?
I heard that you are supposed to put your head between your knees, hold onto something solid, and count to ten backwards.
I heard that tornadoes sound like freight trains.
I heard they sound like fog horns.
I heard they sound like millions of lost souls crying out in pain.
Nobody knows what a tornado sounds like because everybody who has ever been close to one is dead.
We’re all going to die!

I think some people enjoy making other people scared. Here is a picture of the lady who said we are all going to die. It was dark, but this is what I imagine she would have looked like.

Librarian Who Slouches All The Time: It’s ok, we have light now.

Then a little light went on, it was a lantern and the Librarian was holding it. Guess what happened next?

You know how you can see someone and think you recognize them, but you can’t remember where?

Me: Ummm, do I know you?
Lucy: Oh, Kevin! You were at the wedding in Paris!
Me: Lucy! And you were at the top of Notre Dame!
Lucy: What are you doing here?
Me: I live here.
Lucy: You live at the . . . library?
Me: No, I live in this town.
Lucy: Oh, yes, of course. I live in this town too.
Me: Well . . .
Library Intercom: The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado warning for this area. You may now return to your regular activities at the library.
Lucy: Oh, it looks like the storm is over.
Me: Maybe the rain has stopped. Would you like to come outside and look at my new scooter?

4th of July

July 7th, 2008

That is a picture of me watching the 4th of July fireworks display.

I normally sit out in a field and watch them, but this time I was in front of a building with a lot of other people around. I liked that better because every time the fireworks would go “boom” the boom would bounce off the building and make a swishing sound

Fireworks: Boom!
Building: Swish!
People Around Me: Ooooooh!
Me: Swap!

That last line was me swatting a mosquito. I forgot to bring my bug spray, so today I am itching a lot.

Today I bought a motor scooter.

May 27th, 2008

I have been thinking about buying one ever since I rode a scooter around Paris for a day. I figured I could save some money on bus fairs if I rode a scooter to work.

Second Street Scooters is the largest dealer of scooters in town–at least that’s what the advertisement in the phone book said. I decided to go there.

Second Street Scooters is a large building with lots of windows. Inside, there is a showroom full of rows and rows of shiny new scooters, with customers walking around them, scratching their heads and looking like they wished they had more money. Besides customers, there are repair men in greasy overalls wiping their hands on towels, and salesmen in suites rubbing their hands.

Salesman: Hello, my name is Phil, can I help you with anything?
Me: Um, I’m looking at scooters.
Phil: Well, you have come to the right place, we have over fifty scooters in stock with models ranging from 50 cubic centimeters to 700 cubic centimeters made by over five different companies, and in seventeen colors. This, here, is a beauty. Is our top of the line model with a 695 engine, automatic transmission, antilock brakes, positractoid traction, heated seat and handlebars, extra storage space, and capable of going from zero to sixty miles per hour in 4.334 seconds. Here, take my card.
Me: How much does this one cost?
Phil: That one is $6,999, however if you qualify for one of our financing options you can take this scooter home today for two hundred dollars and monthly payments of . . .
Intercom: If Phil is on the floor, he is needed in the shop for a sale.
Phil: Oh, sorry I have to go.

Have you noticed how some salesmen make you feel like if you don’t buy the most expensive model, you will be offending them. Here is a picture of Phil trying to get me to look at the expensive models, while I try to find something cheaper.

After Phil left, it was a lot more quiet. I walked around the showroom looking at all the shiny new scooters. When I climbed on top of them their tires would squeak on the tile floor. They all had price tags on them that ended in a series of nines and cost much more than the money I had with me.

Me: Excuse me, do you have any models that cost less than eight hundred dollars?
Man in Greasy Overalls Wiping Hands On Towel: Try the “used” section over there.

There were less scooters in the used section. Some of the scooters were almost new, and cost almost as much and new ones. Some were very old and looked like they probably wouldn’t run for very long. Towards the end of the row was a grey scooter with a metal rack on the back (for carrying extra gear), and a price tag that said “$769.99.” I was starting too climb on top of it when Phil came back.

Phil: Oh, I see you have found our used section. That’s a nice little scooter. It’s small, but it has a fast 148cc engine.
Me: How do I know it runs well?
Phil: Do you want to take it for a test drive?

Read a Book

April 11th, 2008

I have a dilemma.

What do you do when you walk into a bookstore, pick up a book, start reading it to decide if you want to buy it, and end up reading the whole book? Should you buy it?

Today, I picked up a book titled, “Snakes of the World and What To Do About Them.”

There were two pages on the Bushmaster Viper of South America with large, color, photographs. It talked about its color, its markings, and its eating habits.

Book: The Bushmaster Viper is a very dangerous snake. A bite from one would be very serious and probably fatal if medical attention was not immediately available.

I suppose that’s where the second part of the title comes in, “And What To Do About Them.” I hope there’s a doctor around if I run into one of those.

The King Cobra might be more dangerous than the Bushmaster. It didn’t say much about the King Cobra–but what it did say was important.

Book: The King Cobra is a dangerous snake. Without medical aid, death is certain for its victims.

I’m glad they live in Asia and I don’t have to worry about one of them being under my porch. But, then, it might be exciting knowing that a King Cobra could be lurking under the steps and might jump out to bite the mailman at any time.

Reading about snakes made me a little jumpy. The bookstore was quiet, too–which didn’t help any.

I bought the book. I might want to read it again sometime.

Back to Work

April 1st, 2008

I work at a supermarket. I check out people’s groceries, and tell them how much they need to pay me.

Not too many exciting things happen when I check out groceries.

Sometimes, people don’t like the price my register rings up on an item.

Me: Beep . . . beep.
Lady Customer: That cabbage was $2.78 a head, not $2.87. I remember.
Me: Ok. I’ll have somebody check that.

Sometimes people spill things. My manager, Reginald, doesn’t like spills. Soap spills are the worst because they are slippery and hard to clean up.

Today, a man picked up a supersized bottle of dish detergent that had a broken cap, and carried it upside down all over the store.

Here is a picture of the container when I saw it.

Conveyer belt

By the time he had got to my checkout counter, the bottle was empty and he had left a thin blue trail of dish detergent starting in the cleaning supplies isle, over to the dairy section, round the refrigerator where they keep all the cheeses, all the way to the other side of the store at the magazine rack, and ending at my checkout counter.

Reginald was walking out of the back room and didn’t notice the blue trail on the floor until he slipped and knocked over a pile of canned tuna. He wasn’t happy.

Here is Reginald telling someone to clean up the mess–which ended up being me.

 Reginald

Here is me cleaning up the mess.

After work, I went to Paul’s Pizza Pavilion and ordered a personal pan pizza to carry home and eat. Since I don’t have a car, I took it home on the bus.

Mop the floor

It’s hard not eating a pizza that is warm and setting on your lap and smells very good–especially when you are hungry. But, there were other people on the bus, and I didn’t want to be rude.

When I got home, it was raining these gigantic raindrops out of the sky–as you can see. There weren’t very many raindrops, but when one hit you, you would feel it.

Can you tell from the picture that I am hungry?

In the rain