I have resigned myself to the fact that Murphy (from Murphy’s Laws) loves to hang around with me. I don’t flatter myself into thinking it is because he likes me. No, he hangs around me because I am such an easy target. I so wish that Murphy would get his own job. But no, he loves going to work with me. I do work in a library and it is a fun place to work so I can understand Murphy’s attraction. But Murphy shouldn’t even be allowed in a library. A library has all those books arranged precisely by their Dewey Decimal number. You may remember that this numerical system is the key to finding books in the library. I am the Inter-library Loan Librarian and part of my job involves finding books that other libraries request. Murphy gets great joy in watching me transpose a couple of the book’s numbers and then see me get totally exasperated looking in the wrong section until I have to look up the location of the book again and finally realize my mistake. [I won’t say how long this whole Murphy/Dewey debacle takes just in case my boss is reading my blog.] Eventually, when I do find the right book, I then need to package up the book to send it to the requesting library. An information sheet has to be printed up to send with each book with pertinent information like the author and title of the book, name and address of the library the book is being sent to and the date the book is due back. I usually have all the slips neatly print out and tucked correctly into each book. This is when Murphy steps in to help. As I am cutting off 2 inch wide pieces of tape to seal the package, Murphy makes sure the tape accidentally adheres itself to my information sheet. I can’t exactly send out an information sheet with a 2” x 6” piece of tape randomly crumpled across the paper. This means printing out a new information sheet, putting the wrong sheet in the wrong book and then sending the wrong book to the wrong library to the wrong address. All of Murphy’s shenanigans doesn’t stop there. I will tape a long piece of black hair across a white address label. I will print out an entire sheet of Avery shipping labels before I realize I put and extra ‘e’ in streeet, an extra ‘o’ in schoool and left out an ‘r’ in libary. Sometimes I request several books to be loaned to us from another library. Multiple requests like these come in small boxes instead of mailing envelopes. Due to Murphy’s presence I have to open the thoroughly taped up box with a scissors and I have nicked my hand more times than I can count. Needless to say then I bleed all over the paper that says, “PLEASE RETURN THIS PAPERWORK WHEN RETURNING THE BORROWED BOOK.” I have removed the box cutter from my reach. God only knows how many fingers I would have left if Murphy had his way with me and a box cutter.
I actually have another theory about Murphy and why he hangs around me so much. My parents got an artificial Christmas tree. Here, let me explain. Murphy use to hang around my dad but only when it was time to set up the Christmas tree. Back in the day when all of us kids were still at home we had a real evergreen tree. I would be my dad’s job to put the 6 foot 8 inch tree into the tree stand. (Keep in mind my dad is 5 feet 6 inches in height) For some strange reason Murphy would show up to help my dad with this task. We kids had to go upstairs and watch TV while Dad and Murphy took on the Christmas tree project because there was much cussing, yelling and every so often a trip to the emergency room. One year the incident involved an ax and stitches in my dad’s leg. Another year it was a saw and stitches n my dad’s hand. There was even the year that my mom insisted on buying a long needle pine, which resulted in my dad getting poked in the eye and wearing an eye patch. That happened to be the same year he sang a solo at Midnight Mass. Have you ever seen a pirate sing “O Holy Night?” He was a sight for sore eyes! Oh, my dad’s other job was to put the lights on the tree. It is hard to say if Murphy had a hand in that project or not. Doesn’t everyone spend hours untangling strings of lights and driving to five different stores to find the right replacement bulbs? Then of course there is the balancing act of trying to get the strings of lights wrapped evenly around the tree without falling into the tree and knocking it out of the stand. And there is that strand up lights right in the middle of the tree that goes out completely three days after all the ornaments have been put up on the tree. Actually if I think about it, I imagine Murphy took extra joy in helping my dad with the Christmas tree lights because my dad is an electrician. Now that my mom and dad have an artificial tree with the lights already attached, Murphy comes over to my house to help me decorate my tree. Thinking I should stay a step ahead of Murphy I also have an artificial tree with the lights already wired into the tree itself. This year when I was putting up my tree and all the lights lit up when I plugged it in, I was feeling slightly smug. I even said out loud to Murphy, “How do you like them chestnuts?” But I spoke too soon. While I was delicately draping a string of red beads on my tree, the beads got caught on a long loose thread from one of the tassels on the tree skirt. Every attempt to untangle the string of beads from the tassels resulted in more tangling, more knots, more loose threads, and more frustration. Finally, I just grabbed a scissor. That single cut I made sent red beads flying all over the living room and completely unraveled the entire tassel trim on the tree skirt.
Excuse me, but I am going to go visit a friend that is going to help me adjust my Christmas attitude.
A special thank you to Lane, Children’s Librarian, for taking the picture! A special thank you to the Grinch who agreed to take a picture with me!