Thursday, November 17, 2005


Coworker o' mind was just dealing with a screwy nutjob patron for about twenty minutes. You know the kind: the type of person who will sit in front of a computer for fifteen minutes and not even really try to do any research. They won't read directions, then get so flustered that they couldn't read them if they tried and after that come over to the reference desk and use you as a research assistant. Of course what they are searching for is usually something so crazy you cant understand what they want you to find for them or so obscure you don't have the resources in this state to find the information they need.

After this nutjob wandered off into the bathroom (which she is still in, by the way. What in the hell is she doing in there?) coworker o' mine turned to me and said "we should have some kind of craziest patron of the day medal to give out here every day." Then I told her about the "Screwball Flag" we had in telephone reference.

The screwball flag was designed and drawn by Tom. It was modeled on the flag you see attatched to the transmogrifed Daffy Duck in the old Warner Brothers cartoon. Now that I look at it, it wasn't designed by Tom. He just copied it onto a 3x5 piece of paper. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It still looked cool.

The Screwball Flag was attatched to a pencil. The rule was whoever had the current craziest person on the phone would take the flag and tape it to his or her computer monitor. This usually meant taking it off the monitor of the previous victim. I distinctly remember Tom pounding his desk one day and asking the room, "Where's that goddman screwball flag?!"

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