Microwave cooking for beginners

We get lots of off-the-wall questions at work. It usually doesn't bother me. In fact, generally I enjoy the variety. It's just pretty darn scary though when the most absurd question of the week comes from the person most responsible for peace and safety in the library.

Tonight, the apparently autistic guard initiated a conversation with the sweetest librarian on staff.

Autistic Guard: How do you cook flour in the microwave?
Sweet Librarian: For muffins? Or bread or something?
AG: Uh.........I was just going to put flour and water in a bowl and stir it up and put it in the microwave.
SG: Well, if you don't put it salt and some leavening in it you're just going to have paste.
AG: Oh. [long pause] I have some salt I can put in it.


Poker face

Last week at the library, I had a conversation with a guy that went something like this:

Hawaiian Shirt Guy: I need a book on Texas Hold'em
Turabian Girl: What?
HSG: Texas Hold'em. It's a poker game
TG: It looks like they are all checked out. I'll have to put you on the waiting list. Poker is really popular these days, huh?
HSG: Yes, I have poker night every week.
TG: Oh yah, my brother does that too.
HSG: [excitedly] Where? On Highway 29?!
TG: No, he lives in another state.
HSG: Where?
TG: Missouri
HSG: Trenton?!
TG: [chuckling] No!
HSG: Is Amanda your sister?
TG: [laughing in his face] NO!
HSG: [pointing to my ring] Is that silver?
TG: No, it's platinum.
HSG: Oh, nice.

Well, that conversation amused me, just because of the sheer randomness of it. I filed it away in my memory for future reference. The guy came back today, handed me a DVD copy of American History X, and said he didn't think it should be in the library because it was so racist. It definitely has racist characters in the movie, although I think he kind of missed the point of it (but that is irrelevant to my story). I gave him a complaint form to fill out. After he finished he asked me to read it to make sure it was ok. I said it was fine.

Then he said, "I just have one more question."
TG: OK, what's that?
HSG: [pointing to my ring] That IS a wedding ring, right?
TG: [laughing] yes.
HSG: Platinum, right?
TG: yes, why? are you in the market for a wedding ring? [playing dumb]
HSG: Well, no. See, my friend is dating this girl named Amanda and you look just like her and it would be so cool if I had a girlfriend who looked like my friend's girlfriend.
TG: Uh, wouldn't that just be WEIRD?
HSG: [excited again] No! It would be awesome!
TG: Ok, then...

In light of today's conversation, the one last week makes a whole lot more sense. If my brother played poker at some place on Highway 29, he would have a way to get "in" with my family. Or, better yet, maybe Amanda, who he already knows, is actually my sister and could fix us up. Oh darn, he just spotted a ring. Maybe she's married. So then he went home and thought about it and realized he wasn't 100% sure if it was a wedding ring so he better come back to double check. The Trenton part still makes no sense though.

That whole thing was pretty funny. The guy didn't seem particularly creapy. Just clueless. I wonder if he has weird twin fantasies or something.



So this is weird. I think our security guard at work is autistic. Before I knew that I just thought he was really weird. He asks everyone when their birthday is and then tells them the corresponding celebrity birthdays. Or he randomly walks up and says, "Today is the famous boxer Oscar de la Hoya's birthday." Other times he interjects irrelevant or marginally relevant comments into other people's conversations. He also suffers from voice immodulation. Anyway, I am fully aware that autism does not prevent people from making meaningful contributions to society. I'm just not convinced that security is the best option for this guy. He crys if you tell him he is not doing what he is supposed to be doing, for lord's sake.

Today he was almost distraught because he couldn't find the chalk to mark tires in the parking lot. He asked me three times in rapid succession where we keep the chalk, and each time I told him I had never seen any at the reference desk (where he was poking around.) He kept saying "Ralph had it yesterday. Where is it?" like I was holding out on him or something. Finally I said, "I'm sure he did, but what I'm telling you is that I have never seen where they keep it." He just looked at me blankly. A little later, I remembered that we don't monitor parking time on the weekends, and told him that. Again with the blank look. Then he said, "I saw a bag under here." And he got down on all fours and proceeded to dig around under the desk. "Oh, no. It's not in there." He is extremely focused, apparently. He just could not give up the idea that he needed to go mark those tires.
The thing is, being a security guard requires intuition and adaptability. We occassionally have situations where we really need a security guard to evict people or break up fights. I'm just not sure how this guy would be able to handle that type of situation. I don't think he could. We would have to do it, and then he would cry when he got fired for letting us get hurt.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?