19 July 2010

Abraham Lincoln & The Declaration of Independence

Moron number one of the day would be the guy that practically pushed me over while I was outside locking the book drop to get inside to a computer at 9:30ish. He proceeded to talk on the phone the entire time that he was fucking around on Myspace. Sorry dude, but if you're like 50 and that's the highlight of your morning, you are fucking beyond help.

Moron number two comes in nicely dressed, complete with cap and sunglasses. He is smiling and holding something in his hand. My snazzy reference librarian senses tell me that he wants me to appraise whatever this item is in his hand because of the way he's holding it and looking at it. The item is also wrapped in a plastic baggie to protect it from the morning's drizzles. Joy. I hate these kinds of questions because 10 times out of 10, the person has crap.

So, I put on my "like I give a shit" face and let him give me his spiel. For your enjoyment, I will transcribe this interaction for you.

Moron #2: Oh man, look what I have here. [Holds up object in plastic bag.] I need you to take a look at something.
Me: Ok.
M#2: [Takes the 'something' out of the plastic bag and I see that it's some sort of faux-parchment paper and can no longer keep the "like I give a shit" grin on my face because well, I don't.] Look at this! LOOK WHO SIGNED THIS! [He points to "signature" of Abraham Lincoln.]
Me: Well, I doubt that's authentic. [Seriously, I went to bed at 2:30 in the morning, I'm cutting the bullshit out and getting right to the point, I don't have time to dance around this issue, we're cutting to the chase here], there are a lot of mass-produced documents that are made to look old. That looks like it was done with a laser printer--see how the writing is very even and smooth? However, I recommended contacting an antique dealer or maybe even the art museum if you really think it's real because I'm not qualified to evalute those sorts of things. But, honestly, I've seen a lot of these things in magazines and stuff like that, I just don't want you to waste your time.
M#2: [He is totally crestfallen, which, people who are dumb enough to believe that shit is real, usually are because they see their lavish lifestyle with booty girls, Cristal and Sean Combs go out the window.] Oh, even if it's signed by Abraham Lincoln? This is like the Declaration of Independence.
Me: Well, the signature can also be forged, or someone could have made a copy of it and just put it on there. Usually the whole document is mass produced. Let me get you some phone numbers of people that are more qualified to evaluate documents [in my head, I'm thinking 'total shit'] like yours.
M#2: Yeah, yeah, yeah, do that. I got all day free and I'm gonna go find out more. I mean, if you aren't qualified, I could be missing out on some cash here. I mean, look at the condition of this! This is real valuable right here.

I just feel bad for the next person that he hits up to investigate his parchment...

So, now more people...


  1. I know a rare book dealer who is a total asshole. Whenever I have insane patrons who think they have an original first edition Hemingway I send them his way, satisfied that they will both make each other miserable. You need a crazy library shit rolodex to help pawn off the masses!

  2. I need to find a rare books dealer asshole like that. Hrm, that gives me a weekend adventure for the future.