Sunday, March 20, 2005

Mack and boys

I reckon anyone who has read "Cannery Row" by Steinbeck is familiar with the group of no-goods referred to as Mack and the Boys. They were always scheming for money to buy alcohol and always looking for a good party. The other day Mack and the boys came into the library.

These three guys were obviously transients. They had on mismatched clothing, missing more than just a couple teeth and one of them was functionally retarded. When the one with a library card got onto the internet the leader of the small group came up to the reference desk and asked me for pictures of professional golfers. He was pretty cagey about why he wanted them but since he inquired about the legality of using the photographs I assumed he was going to do something with them to make himself some drinking money. I think he let slip that he was going to do flyers for restaurants. Something like that. I think he was planning on using the pictures as models for drawings.

After about fifteen minutes of finding pictures of Tiger Woods and printing a page of them out he let me be for a few minutes. Soon after he came up with the functional retard and asked me if a) we had maps of Charlotte's underground rivers and b) if we had books on the engineering involved with gold mining. To my credit I did not laugh nor did I smirk. They monopolized my time for a good thirty minutes with these strange requests and, I swear, I kept waiting for this guy to say, "Look, Doc, I and the boys got an idea to make a little dough and we are willing to let you in on the ground floor. All we need is a place to crash, your place will do, and a couple of hundred bucks to get this scheme flying."

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