No advice or opinions today. Just sharing a couple stories I think you’ll enjoy.
My friend Scott is the library director at a public university. We were having coffee one day when he said, “I’ve have a freezer down in the basement, finally.”
“Why do you need a freezer?” I asked.
He explained that the best way to remove mold from books is to freeze them and then gently brush the mold off with a toothbrush. “It took a long time to get it. I put in a requisition for it and the director of buildings and grounds said they can only approve freezers and refrigerators for residence life units, not a library.
“I explained the mold removal process,” Scott said. “And that it was important to save books. The director said it was against policy.”
Scott sipped his coffee thoughtfully. “I tried again a year later. Same answer.”
A few months later the official retired. Scott waited until a new director was named. “Then I sent in a request for a ‘book restoration unit,’’ he said. “I explained that it incapacitated mold, allowing for its efficient removal.”
He quietly swirled the coffee and shrugged. “It went right through. I went downtown, bought a freezer and it’s in the basement. If you need to freeze anything I have extra space.”
My wife and son and I were having dinner in a local restaurant recently when he stopped what he was saying to stare at a locally produced commercial starring the owner and a local sports mascot. Nathan is a cameraman for WHAM in Rochester, NY
“There’s two things I hate,” he said. “Locally made commercials and mascots.”
All three of us are in the media business and know that locally made commercials are the bottom feeder jokes of the ad world. “Why do you hate mascots?” My wife asked.
He shook his head. “Because anytime they see a TV camera they get in the way and start dancing around and doing stupid mascot things,” Nathan said. “I’ve had to stop interviews a few times and go over and give them Hell, and you really feel like an asshole chewing out a mascot in front of other people, especially kids.”
He gave an example. “I was at a festival interviewing a woman about her cancer organization and this shark – I forget which team he represented – appears and starts dancing around behind her.” Nathan’s a laid back guy, but was getting mad just relating the story. “So I give him the thumbs up sign, like, ‘okay, you’re cute, now get out of the way.’
“I start the interview again and this idiot starts dancing around and waving his fins, so I turn the camera off and go over and said, ‘Okay, knock it off. I’m trying to do an interview about a cancer organization’ and, you know, he kind of lowers his head and slinks off, real hurt and sad. I was so mad I didn’t even feel bad. I mean a dancing shark doesn’t belong in a cancer interview.”
He played with a French fry as he calmed down. “It’s no fun telling off a mascot,” he said. “But sometimes they just don’t have any common sense.”