Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Ballad of the Singing Loo # 4

Part 4: When You Piss in a Toilet

Two things are certain: I hate that toilet, and I miss Kevin. Fucking lay-offs.

A typical day now: I tell 20 people, “The bathrooms are that way.” Then I alphabetize some books.

A typical day then? Me laughing as Kevin expounds, “When you piss in a toilet, dude, it sounds like a creek. You know that babbling sound, right? Think about those monkeys typing Shakespeare. If you piss and I piss and everybody else fuckin’ pisses long enough, well tinkle, tankle, bubble, babble, and *whamo!* the vocal ambulations waver just so and a real word emerges from babbling toilet water like the burning bush. And then they lock you up for saying so. Trust me, man. Lock ups.”

When the Hinckley library burnt down we had a field day. I know that’s bad, but we both hated their RFID catalog, which worked so great they fired two librarian assistants (new-found efficiencies, etc.). But something went awry when Harry Potter # 4 started to register as Harry Potter # 3. Then Harry Potter # 2 did the same. Manual systems kept up with the errors for a bit, but the problem spread to neighboring works in the stacks, the Rowleys and the Rowlinsons, and on down the line. Soon the library was threatened with the prospect of holding nothing but Harry Potter # 3. Kevin claimed that the actual books themselves began to change, a word or two at a time, that the physical collection itself slowly morphing into Harry Potter # 3. On top of that, he said that people were getting confused and returning personal copies of Harry Potter # 3 instead of whatever actual book they checked out. It was, in short, getting to be slim pickin’s at the Hinckley library.

Well anyhow, Kevin’s theories, man, that bullshit made my day roll. An RFID virus written by the FBI? The FBI convinced a “Harry-Potter-is-a-witch” wacko to burn down the Hinckley library?

“But … why?” I puzzled.

“A couple months before 911” Kevin looking shifty-eyed, “and someone in the Hinckley library is Googling all this crazy shit about the melting points of steel, the speed and fuel size of various planes, the physics of collision. The Feds found out, somehow got access to Google queries and traced it back. They were all over that place.”

“Seriously, dude,” he drolled, “Our library director’s ass-kiss thing with the Feds? Seriously, dude? Come on. What the fuck? What’s she so scared of, man?”

Silly stuff. But what the hell? Listening to Kevin’s theories sure killed time better than smuggling guitar tuners into whistling potties. And now he’s gone and the toilet coughed up that hairy hand and the Feds are all over us, and every time that toilet whistles—Phewwy eeeee!—I feel alone.

Previously on The Laws of Silence:
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo #3
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo #2
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo

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