I'VE hated libraries all my life. That is, until I came to Harvard and met Lamont. We hit it off from the start and it's been a virtual love affair ever since. I have discovered a niche on the fourth floor that had my name written all over it, so to speak. Every time I go to the library to study, I always seek out the same spot.
Things were going perfectly well until Lamont became infected, some time around the beginning of reading period, with that annoying bacterium--genus Garrulous Cretini. The biology of these bugs is unique: they distort what they see into what they want to see.
When these bugs arrive, Lamont Library suddenly becomes a Club Lamont resort, the place to go when they need to get away from the stresses of their Harvard classes. It's in a perfect location, too--just a hop away from the Union Candy Store, the source of their illicit behavior. They seem to think the the signs in the library read "All kinds of foods allowed. Club Lamont provides excellent dining facilities rivalled by the Union itself."
But it's not the constant opening of soda cans or the incessant munching and crunching of Doritos that prove to be the most bothersome. It's not even so much the festering and lingering putrid odor of semi-microwaved food eating away at your brain, just at the moment you're deepest into studying for that final exam worth 75 percent of your grade.
IT'S when they see another of their species at a nearby carrel (for some reason it's always the one that's directly in front of or behind the one you're sitting at) and insist on carrying on the most inane conversations.
"Studying hard?" This is the favorite opening line of these buggers. No, actually, their friends have nothing better to do so they decided that it was a lovely day to come to the Club Lamont resort and enjoy the rays from the lightbulbs.
The buggers don't read the course catalog, the CUE Guide or the ConfiGuide. Instead, the gambling sores come to Lamont, hoping for a chance encounter with one of their buddies enrolled in a course they opted out of. That's when they decide to get the low down on dozens of courses.
"You mean it requires 13 17 and-a-half-page papers? God, I was going to take that course too! I'm so lucky." They're always lucky.
It's not so easy to exterminate them. Time was when a kindly, old-yet fearless-librarian would walk up to one of these nuisances and tell them in an authoritative manner that'd send tingles down your spine: "If you do not remain quiet, you will have to leave. Talking is not permitted in the library."
Wow. My heroine to the rescue. With one mild and controlled squirt of her disinfectant, she eliminated the insects for a good year, guaranteed.
Not at Lamont. The assumption that these germs are mature enough to behave themselves in a library has left us all ill-equipped. But I tried.
"Sshhh!" just didn't work. The bugs quieted down for a second or two, slithered away, but kept coming back. They're social creatures that can't distinguish between the library and the dining hall. It would take a good deal more to annihilate them. This meant war.
The last couple of weeks I prepared my revenge. Quietly, I worked at my carrel, plotting and awaiting an opportunity to pounce. Finally, a Garrulous Cretini came along. I don't quite remember what happened next, but they tell me he required numerous stitches to connect his lips back to his face as a result of the thousands of staples I planted on his mouth.
Yesterday the jury rendered its verdict: guilty. They banished me to Hilles.