The Eighth Page

RE: Commons Etiquette

I’d like to start this off with Happy New Year, but the fact of the matter is the last few days have been rather difficult… But either way, kudos to Marlys and the Deans. As I mentioned earlier, about a sentence earlier, the last few days have been difficult. Having been recently assigned a taxing art project on positive and negative space, I ventured into the stacks to see if I could find any helpful literature. Just as I was about to take out George Foreman’s Guide to Positive and Negative Space: Not Just Black and White, I noticed a blur of blue and polo from across the stacks. At first I thought it might have been Michael Johnson, the first man to ever win the 200 and 400 meters sprint in the same Olympic Games, or maybe even a gazelle. As it turned out, it wasn’t either. Much to my shock, it was Stalin Hairbrush, the popular director of the local sandpeople choir, circumventing the carefully laid out bookshelves to snipe the book directly in front of mine, “The Complete History of Woman’s Rights.” As Hairbrush blew the dust off the cover of the book right into my face, I stumbled back. As I grasped the bookshelf to get my balance, I realized I faced a crossroads in my life. And it was nothing like that movie with Britney Spears. I could either just take the cutting in stride, or I could call him out. “Hey!” I chose to take a stand, not just for myself, but for all those who have ever had the spot in front of them in line snatched right before their eyes. “No cutsies!” I bellowed. I was met with a blank stare. As I stood there, half expecting him to just crumple over and beg for forgiveness at my feet, Hairbrush dropped the bomb: “Whatever.” Whatever? Whatever!? I was about to give Mr. Hairbrush a big heaping pile of whatever. However, before I could get my hands on him he dashed off for the library front desk with his ID in hand. I hurredly, but carefully, removed my book so as not to damage the spine, and then dashed off in hot pursuit of the coldhearted cutter. I ran crashing through the glass door of the stacks, and turned just in time to see the librarian scanning Hairbrush’s ID. That was the last straw. My body began to convulse in rage, and all of a sudden a second head burst out of my right shoulder. My second head looked like what I would imagine the offspring of Hulk Hogan and Xena Warrior Princess would look like, only with one less eye. Shortly after my second head had popped up, I felt my other shoulder begin to rumble. All of a sudden, another third head erupted from my left shoulder. My third head looked like Clifford the Big Red Dog. I stormed over to Hairbrush, who seemed pretty calm given the fact I had just sprouted two extra heads. In fact, as I stood over him drooling from my left face, he even had the nerve to crack a joke. “You know ‘Fluffy’ from Harry Potter…” he began. I halted him in mid-speech with a bark from my right head, and took advantage of the resulting silence by shooting Hairbrush a blank stare. There was then a brief reprieve as we all took a moment to really appreciate the irony. That was until the librarian notified me that “George Foreman’s Guide to Positive and Negative Space” was actually on desk reserve. Was I being punished for taking a stand in what I believed in? Was I correct in addressing this issue? Was I just supposed to look the other way? If so, what if, say, someone were to cut me in line at the grocery store? Or in line for a new organ, like a heart? What if I were a homeless person in line for new lungs and the person cutting was a well-renowned doctor who saved millions of lives every day and also I smoked and probably wouldn’t quit after getting new lungs because hey nicotine is addictive? Should I just look the other way then, too? Where does the madness end? Doesn’t this bother anyone else?