So this kid, this little boy maybe nine years old walks up to me at the Reference Desk and very politely asks to borrow a pencil. I say, “Sure, no problem. There’s one right over there.”

The kid lifts the yellow pencil from the holder. When he fully unsheathes it he momentarily examines it with a look of horror, holds it up to me and asks, “Did somebody chew on this?” I responded, “Maybe. You never know in this place.”

The kid asked for another pencil. He wanted no part of what somebody else was using like a dog toy… Smart kid. I scrounged around and found a brand new golf pencil which was more his size anyway. He left satisfied with the writing implement he procured and I went into the Reference Office to tell my colleague about the transaction. She laughed.

I told her that when he asked me if somebody was chewing on the thing I should have said, “Although I haven’t witnessed anyone chewing on it first-hand, buy the forensic evidence available I would say that that is likely the case.”

She laughed more.


~ by Woeful on August 23, 2008.

7 Responses to “Pencil”

  1. Got a miniture Adrian Monk on your hands? Maybe he was there to solve a crime.

  2. we always think of something witty to say later don’t we?

  3. I thought of it… But the kid wouldn’t have gotten it anyway so I save up for the grups.

  4. Cute kid. His parents taught him well. 🙂

  5. After chewing on a pencil, why ever would you return it?

  6. Well done kid! Unfortunately the gross crap that gets on everything else (specifically public computers) probably overrides the fresh pencil. At least in my library it would. Ew.

  7. rachel >> Having been smitten with a rather nasty dose of OCD, i always don disposable rubber gloves when using the keyboards at my local library’s computer terminals. It looks a little unusual, and someone will inevitably ask. I tell them i’m investigating computer crime, and that i don’t want to smudge the fingerprints.

    About ninety percent of the time the inquisitor will go away and leave me alone. The other ten percent they go to the reference librarian to report that a terrorist is hacking the catalogue.

    I get to meet more cute reference librarians that way than almost any other means.

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