21 April 2010

Diagrams of the Middle Ages

I've been stuck in management quagmire (and something terribly depressing happened today that not even massive amounts of wine can fix) and therefore, haven't had the pleasure of dealing with a lot of crazy patron shit. Boooooo, that means no good stories! Oh ho ho, you are wrong, because, rest assured, I have pulled an oldie but a goodie from the vault. This still remains one of my top ten favorite reference intereactions EVER!!!!!!!! This happened within the first few months of me being a reference librarian, before I entered the wacko world of management. It is a classic.

Teenage Patron: I need diagrams of the Middle Ages.

Me: Ok. Would you like something like, say, some paintings?

TP: No, pictures. Diagrams.

Me: Wait, you mean, photographs?

TP: Yeah.

Me: Well, there aren't photographs. There are drawings and paintings and such. There wasn't really any sort of camera back then.

TP: (sounding exasperated with me) NO! NOT MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVIES. I don't want movies, just pictures.

Me: Back then, there weren't movies and there wasn't really film because it wasn't invented yet.

TP: Ohhhhhh... So, even if I don't want movies of the Middle Ages, you don't have pictures either.

Me: People really didn't start using film to about the 1800s, which is way past the Middle Ages. [Hands the kid an encyclopedia]

TP: [Thumbs through it] So, no movies, no cameras, this is what people did? [Rolls his eyes] I guess this'll work, but it's too bad there aren't pictures or a movie I can watch.


  1. What, you didn't offer to get in your time machine and go back to the Middle Ages and snap some photos to put that poor kid out of his misery? God, you're such a bitch!

  2. I know. I should have totally been fired on the spot.

  3. I shit you not, I was once asked by a wide-eyed teenage girl if there were any photos of Jesus that she could use for her sunday school project. I said, "You mean paintings?" Nope, she meant photographs.

  4. I mean, really? Isn't there something in the gene pool that can weed this kind of stupid out? It's too bad we aren't hunted by tigers cuz that dumbass would be GONE.

  5. Oh dear God ... I once had a professor interrupt a student in the middle of his presentation on a Medieval church and ask, "Is this a Medieval photograph?" Really? I didn't think he was serious, but he repeated his question, the student paused and then said, "No, I got it online." Prof: "Oh, I was wondering." Then the student continued with his presentation. The entire time I was like, "Oh my God, he was serious?" This was a history professor asking the question! He should know that it is impossible for a Medieval photograph to even exist! Unless he had a Delorean and a flux capacitor, that is. Of course, this is the same prof who claimed that the English invented gunpowder, and that there is such a thing as an ecclesiastical full moon.