Sunday, November 4, 2012


Dear Temple,
I hope this note finds you well and happy. Today I have to go to the library and would like to share with you my favorite library story. Once upon a time I went to the library and checked out a book. The end.
Did you like that story? No? Try this one.
Once I went to the library and was astounded when my schema of what a library entailed was blown asunder by our area branch remodeling which included several things, but none so wonderful as a drive-up window for fast pick-ups. When you get as old as I am, you become astounded by menial things. Maybe I wasn't astounded, but starting a story with "I was reasonably contented by this small convenience" doesn't really make for something you want to keep reading.
Anyway, I had a few items to pick up and didn't want to unload the children from the car - so I chose to try this new drive-up window thingy. I pulled the Chevy to the window and pressed a large red button for service. A tired looking twenty-something clerk walked up to the window.
"Can I help you?" He said.
"Yes, I would like to pick up some reserves." I said.
"Did you call ahead?" He said.
"No," I said, "Am I supposed too?"
"Yes," He said.
"Can you make an exception for me this time?" I said. "I'm already here."
"You should really call ahead," He said.
Lucky for me the library's phone number was printed on the drive-up window. I took my cell phone out of my pocket and, still facing the clerk, dialed the library. The phone next to the clerk rang and he picked it up.
"Hello?" He said.
"Hi," I said. "I would like to use the drive-up window to pick up some reserves. My name is Justin Hunter."
"Okay," He said. We hung up our phones and stared at each other for a moment. Then I leaned out my car window and pressed the red service button.
"Can I help you?" He said.
"Yes," I would like to pick up some reserves." I said.
"Did you call ahead first?" He said. Totally deadpan.
"Yes I did," I said.
He got my selections.
When you get a job in a few years, Temple, there will be some rules that may seem pretty stupid but it's a good idea to follow them anyway. I'm sure this clerk thought the call first rule was stupid, but when you have a new thing like a drive-up window at the library you have to teach people how to use it. Otherwise they would be running back and forth from the front to the back all day and that would make for a pretty long day. Our interaction, although silly, was pleasant and we were both able to get what we wanted.
After what I did at the library drive-up window there was a new policy with large signs dictating the new drive-up rules. Not only do you have to call first in order to use the window, your selections won't be available for fifteen minutes. I'm changing the world Temple.
I've done this once before. Back in 2000? I went to the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin for a short time. I instituted a Wednesday night card night in the smoking area where we played cards well into the late hours and smoked cigars (a filthy disgusting habit.) There were so many complaints about the smoking that they closed the smoking area inside the building. Ever since then smokers have had to indulge in their habit outside. You'll remember its very cold there.
This means I am personally responsible for every single University of Milwaukee Wisconsin college student who had frozen their posteriors off outside for a smoke for over a decade.
Changing the world, Temple. I'm changing the world.
I love you much and miss you always,
            Uncle Justin

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