Saturday, March 20, 2010

Library Days - Unfortunate Stuff

This is a tale that I wrote when I worked at the library. It's actually pretty gross now, but at the time I remember it being down right funny. Anyway, let's take a look....

I have a horrible sunburn. Or did, a few days ago. Now I'm at that wacky point where the sun-burnt skin peels off and goes on its way. This event is mildly disturbing, as one gets used to having their skin remain firmly fixed to their body. I was at a beach in Florida, and in one of my less brilliant moments I decided that it would be a good idea to remove my shirt. I shunned the use of this foolish "Sun-block", thinking that a real man like me wouldn't experience any negative effects from exposing my pasty body to the massive nuclear party that is our sun. Alas! I managed to obtain a sunburn on the entire backside of my body! I would have never believed that a condition of the skin could create pain that seemed to come from every internal organ contained within this strawberry red body.

That night as I was sleeping not so soundly on my stomach, I could hear a faint but constant humming sound. I convinced myself that this noise was coming from my horribly burnt skin, and it would be a lie to say that I didn't get really scared that I was going to join the elite club of people who had died from a sunburn. It turns out that the noise was actually just a fan that I didn't see in the corner of the room. I was relieved to discover this. The next day I inspected my usually sexy body for the first time since my tango with the sun. I laughed at first, cus, whoa, my body is a different color than it usually is. Laughing proved to be really painful, so it was replaced with a string of swears, which hurt was well, both physically and spiritually. So I went back to the laughing. The pain reminded me of how it must feel if you buy a belt sander, and just press it as hard as you can to your skin and go nuts with that sucker. And after you're done, you realize that you paid way too much for that belt sander, which makes the pain last for days after the original wound is inflicted.

Anyway, fast forward a few days to last Monday. I find myself hard at work at the library. The pain from the burn is gone, but I find myself in the afore mentioned stage of a sunburn where my skin is comically peeling off my body, leaving delightful little souvenirs of me all over the place. I figure that the quality service that I provide will more than make up for my leprosy-like tendencies. A fan behind me helps me keep my burnt hind-quarters cool. A nice older lady approaches the desk, and I inform her that I will need her card in order to allow her to flex her borrowing privileges. She mutters something under her breath and starts to fish around her purse for a card. I take this opportunity to give my back a reaallllly good itching. The process of peeling creates a horrible urge to scratch the affected areas frequently, and when scratching is complete, I find myself with the shivers for reasons that would fascinating to figure out should I ever have the time to do so. Anyway, unaware that my itching has dislodged a sizeable quantity of Scott-flakes, I let loose with a mighty shiver. In and instant, the air surrounding both myself and the nice old lady is filled with pure epidermal magic. For a second, I look on terrified as the lady tries to figure out what the devil was swirling around her head and entering her purse. Then she puts the puzzle together, and gives me a look that can only be described as the purest of terror and disgust. For a moment, we just stare at each other. She stutters something that I can't understand, to which I respond with "Uh, I, ummm, sunburn", and I point to my backside. This did precious little to improve the situation. By now, most of the skin has settled on both of us. She has the look that I would imagine the first person to ever have a monkey throw fecies on them had. They know that Something horrible has just happened, and they aren't quite sure if they want to continue being among the living.

Not quite sure what to do myself, I decide to just continue with the checkout, and I hand her the books that she wanted making sure to blow the remaining "bits" off her items. She takes the books with a horrible blank stare still upon her face. She doesn't move, so I pick up her card and hand it to her, hoping that she will realize that this is my way of telling her to just move along and try to put this disturbing event behind her. She put out her hand, and I put the card in it, realizing too late that firmly attached to the card was a 2 inch by 2 inch square of pure sunburnt skin goodness. She doesn’t seem to realize. Maybe she thought it was a post-it note. She again says something in a quiet quivering voice. I don't know what it was, and I have a feeling that in a second this lady is going to lose it. I have no idea what to do. My mind races through all my customer service training, but we never covered what you should do if you accidentally cover a patron in a cloud of your burnt skin. To my relief, the lady slowly turned and headed for the door, never stopping to put her items or her card in her purse. I decided that this was a good time to take a break.

And so I did.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This was hilarious! Can you only imagine if your sunburn had produced blisters and in scratching them stringy yellow pus had stuck to your fingers or blown like limp strands of goo toward the patron as the fan whizzed by?

The weekend before my very first day of Jr. High, I spent an entire day without a shirt at a water park. I ended up with the most horrific sunburn blisters on my shoulders. By the end of the first day of Jr. High my white t-shirt i was wearing was a stiff discolored yellow on my shoulders. That is why I hated Jr. High. Nothing ever seemed to go right for me.