Sometimes I think I’d like to live in a big city like Boston or Chicago, but this is always the time of year I know that’s probably never going to happen. The only way I’d make it through winter in Boston is if I had a blanket made of Irish Catholic men I could take everywhere I went. I’m a wuss, and I know it, but it’s more than just that I don’t like cold weather. Bitter cold–much like tequila–makes me mean. At my last job, I got into a little tiff with the guy who was in charge of the thermostat in our building and refused to let the heat get above 68 or even to understand why we would want it any warmer. At one point, I glared at him and willed laser beams to shoot out of my eyeballs, reducing him to a smoldering pile that I could use to warm my hands and feet.
This week, I went to work in the computer lab, and one of my coworkers was doing some research for a patron. When I came up she handed him and his search over to me telling me that he was looking for a British lady who was a jewelry thief who was on the Montel Williams show “a while back.” My uncle’s wife’s son, actually used to edit some of the episodes for Montel, and I wished–not for the first time–that I could meet him. Maybe he could help to pin down “a while back” because I’m not even sure that show is on the air anymore.
I guess I should mention that this sort of request is not uncommon. When I worked in a bookstore, people would come in and say, “My mom used to read me this book when I was a kid. It had a blue cover, and I want to say there was boat on it. It was about this thick [holding their fingers 1/2 an inch apart.] Do you have that?” All you can do is ask a lot of questions and try not to scream. Once a guy came in looking for a particular fiction book, and all he knew for sure was that it had a short title, maybe four or five letters. And I will always remember him because, damn it, we found that book.