Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Orgasmic gaming and life inside a Terry Pratchett novel

I wheeled to the library tonight, first day open after Xmas. I had books and manga to return and the library always had the excitement of unknown delights.
Upon entering the library, the 'quick-view' 3 day DVD's, free for check out (if you could find something good) are just on the right. They had just put out a new selection, two rows of DVD's from 2010, just processed that day: films and documentaries which, due to library closure would not be due back until Jan 3rd. I got Knight and Day and Robin Hood. The limit of the 3 day DVD's is two DVD's per card, but with Linda here that means I could take out four. I learned to take what looked good and then check against Amazon and Internet Movie Database to find the best. I got my computer assignment, the one on the corner at the back, facing the lounge chairs. I could wheel into it by removing the chair for it. Linda went to get some week long rentals from another section to check.

I had the IMDB open and was checking titles.

A Guy sitting 15 feet away facing me had wild beard, and unkepmt hair, with two layers of jackets suddently said, “Maybe you’re praying to the wrong god!”

I looked up startled. Oh dear, Beard-o had a steady stare at me. Had I talked to myself? I had been reading about the DVD in my hand: You shoot, I shoot. It was a ‘must see’ dark comedy satire film about too many hit men in Hong Kong, so while some hit gals are having a 'hired kill sale!',another hit man has a ‘bonus points’ reward scheme with a card you punch, pay for five assassinations and get the sixth for free.

Did a sigh of satisfaction for hit man humor indicate a sign of my divine dissatisfaction? Are DVD's the new religion? My daily offerings and collection would certainly make me a Shrine Maiden then. But maybe Beard-o wasn’t talking to me? I looked up.

Yup, still staring right at me. I lowered my head and looked up another DVD. What it is that makes guys need to confess odd things to me? While getting the DVD’s, a guy with 20 hairs of comb over stared at the DVD’s before turning and telling me he had not watched a DVD for an entire year. “Yup, all due to World of Warcraft.”

I told him I heard playing WOW can take up time.

He gave a sigh of longing and satisfaction which bordered on post orgasmic and said, “Oh, but it was worth it....every hour.”

And yet ANOTHER reason to avoid World of Warcraft.

At the computer, Linda had returned and now sat beside me. But Beardo rose, wandered deliberately over to the back of my computer and stood, his shoulder dropped towards me, connecting us as his voice lowered, to make sure only I heard he softly intoned, “Limited offer, okay. For a reasonable donation, I can go talk to MY god for you.” I felt like I was in a Terry Pratchett novel, perhaps of Small Gods and had annoyed an obscure high priest. He saw me startled hesitation and added, “Take it or leave it.”

I looked up from the computer, put on my best ‘please do not kill me’ smile and calmly told him that I appreciated the offer but I think I would ‘leave it’ at this time.

He brushed past and said with a bitter emphasis, “Then you won’t get NUTHIN!” and ambled toward the main library section.

Wow, that actually hurt. I had pissed off Beard-o, and felt some self doubt mixed with a tinge of rejection pain and the calm of finding out life is far more surreal than expected.

The self doubt played through my mind: Linda had just applied for one job, other jobs were finally, after almost a year, showing up for application. I hadn’t heard from the neurologist. What if I really had just alienated not just another doctor but a god?

I started laughing softly, then somewhat hysterically. After 10 seconds Linda wanted to know what was up. “I don’t get nuthin.” I told her. “Don’t you see, I don’t get NUTHIN.”

She just gave me ‘the look’.

“I didn’t DO anything” I protested, “Maybe he saw the wheelchair and meant that, who knows?”

I’d like to think that if I was ‘entertaining angels unaware’ it was not Beard-o, or the WOW guy, but the elderly lady next to me who I helped sign online after she had failed three times। I read out her card number to her and we double checked it on the screen. This time it worked. I told her I always had problems with my library number, too many zeros and six’s to not miss one. I hope that angels are those who check our generous spirit, rather than those who try to blackmail or extort. Maybe Beard-o was a pissed off Santa, who now I was on the ‘nasty’ side of the list (I know it is supposed to be ‘naughty’ versus ‘nice’ but I did NOT want to do ‘the naughty’ with Beard-o).

The library is always a place of mystery and adventure.


Kate J said...

Glad you got out, if only to the library!
Some wonderful folk at my local library today, too. Gemma, a young woman with learning disabilities who always leaves her beautiful retriever tethered outside, except today there was no dog, and it turns out he had to be 'put to sleep' just before Christmas. So very sad for her. Rhys emailing his grandchildren. A couple of young Hungarians who work in a local hotel, facebooking the first chance they got since Christmas. My friend Paul who lives beyond the reach of broadband, checking his ebay sales - he's selling off his stuff in the hope of moving to join his boyfriend in Australia. Truly the library is the hub of the community and I do hope it doesn't succumb to the next round of spending cuts.
Love and peace to you and Linda in 2011.

Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

Oh. My. God. Gods. Goddesses. Goddi. *ahem* *erk* There, that's better.

Last year I gave Liam, then ten, "Small Gods" to read as his introduction to religion. I'm about ready to give him "Good Omens" by Pratchett and Gaiman. I figure those two together should pretty much constitute his religious training; it's up to him after that.

Glad to read you had an enjoyable (if at times surreal) outing.

Warm thoughts to you and Linda for the new year as well... and also to all the folks who form this little community on this blog. Love to you all!

Kathz said...

I wouldn't go for the World of Warcraft guy's god. As far as I'm concerned the best thing about WOW is the parody version, Kingdom of Loathing.

Libraries are wonderful places and I wish I got to them more often.

Raccoon said...

"Limited offer... take it or leave it."

Uhm... yeah.

I've said it before: it's all in how you tell the story.

I'm glad you got out. Using Indy? Like you're supposed to?

While I like libraries, there is this switch in my head that says books and DVDs are meant to be owned, not borrowed. Especially good books and DVDs. And bad DVDs.

There are a lot of really bad movies on DVD, did you realize that?

wendryn said...

Terry Pratchett = good. WOW = bad. Libraries are always interesting - I'm glad you got out a bit!

cheryl g said...

Beardo sounds like an unusual sort. I don't think he was an undercover angel because I find it hard to believe the angel would ask for a donation.

Libraries are wondrous places and I am glad you got to visit.

Linda McClung said...

You've worked out a great system for deciding which quick views to borrow. Between imdb and Amazon, you've managed to get enjoyable movies.

Take it or leave it? I'd leave it too. I was pretending that he was invisible in hopes he wouldn't engage in a conversation. I'm not sure why he picked you and what he expected to give you in exchange for your donation.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Linda: I think I was supposed to get some sort of divine vending machine style wish list for money - but then isn't that what so many promise?

Raccoon: Yes, so many bad DVD's, and so many good ones that I have never heard of before too. I think books should be owned but since I have many books and like more, I put the ones I want to own on the Amazon wish list, and then if I can save money by reading a series of manga from the library, I do that.

No, didn't take INDY because the heat knocks me out and Linda is a TERRIBLE driver. Oh TERRIBLE - we would never make it home.

Lorna, Bob and Liam: Yeah, direct line to the god of turtles!

Happy new year to you as well, thanks.

Kate J: Your library sounds quite the hub, here the library is used, and I know the librarians, in Cardiff, the libraries were NOT used and so they cut the books by 1/2 - then expected more people to come.?

Neil said...

My kids all love Terry Pratchett; even the youngest, now 14, has read as many as he can find.

Libraries; yes, it's nice to own books, but when you can't afford them, it's nice to at least be able to share them. And there are always a few characters in libraries; I wonder if they may have escaped from the novels?

Love, peace, hopes for a good 2011, and zen hugs,

Mira said...

You know, living in a Terry Pratchett novel might just make some of life make sense. At least it was Small Gods.

Dawn Allenbach said...

Oh, the people who come in from the cold.

If it's any consolation, I am the "weird guy magnet" here at the rehab facility. It really is surreal.