Thursday, April 13, 2006
I was at the library this morning checking my email like I am most morning. Things were as quiet as they ever are there. Kids were screaming, patrons were talking, and the librarians were making more noise than anyone telling them all to be quiet. As I sat minding my own business and reading all the unimportant things that I had been emailed, a woman walked up to me. Can you tell me how to spell “continental”? My first instinct was to stifle a laugh. Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of the world’s top ten bad spellers. I quickly opened Microsoft Word and typed in what I thought was close. It was close enough for spell check to find a correct version of it anyhow. The woman thanked me with a compliment. “I thought you could help. You looked like the smartest person here.” Now if I had known the woman I would have laughed and known it was a joke. However, since I had never seen her before, my head started to swell slightly. This swelling was brought down quickly by a look around the computer area. Other than this woman and her husband, (who were at least smart enough to know that they didn’t know how to spell continental. I sat next to two girls one day who were writing emails and one of them corrected the other – “No it isn’t ‘more good’, its ‘gooder’.”) not only was I the smartest looking person there, I was the only one who seemed to be aware that they were breathing. Most of them looked like they didn’t know what a bar of soap was for, let alone a shower. Two or three of them actually surprised me that they had found the library, but then again they may have had help. One guy was there talking to the computer screen as if it was actually going to talk back. As the lady went back to her seat I suddenly felt like the best-dressed man at a nudist colony - not all that hard of an accomplishment to pull off. I am sure that the lady meant it as a compliment, but after looking around I wasn’t all that sure. I wondered if she and her husband snickered to themselves over the statement.