We’ve seen it a thousand times: by day she’s the epitome of efficiency, finding resources with a flip of a page or a click of a mouse. She’s able to unjam a printer and give a Goodnight Moon puppet-show with her feet at the same time. She chairs ten committees and fifteen roundtables over the phone and manages to make a complete home-cooked meal, while all the time watching MacNeil-Lehrer. Yet when the first sniffle strikes, your local librarian mysteriously disappears for days, hedging awkwardly when you enquire about her health when she returns. Why?
It’s because Your Local Librarian Has a Problem.
What is this drug? Is it crack? (nah–involves smoking) Is it heroin? (too many implements) Is it pot? (too hippiesque) It’s something so dire, so devilish in its commonality: Nyquil.
And not just any flavored Nyquil–it’s got to be cherry-flavored Nyquil.
Why? The same reason why David Wayne fell in love with Katherine Hepburn in Adam’s Rib: because it’s there and it’s so convenient. Who can resist something that’s a combination of antihistmine and 20-proof alcohol? Not only do you sink into a delicious stupor, you also have the added bonus of waking up with a case of dry mouth so complete it actually hurts when your saliva glands kick in.
How can you tell? Ask a librarian what he or she takes when they come down with a cold. If they get misty-eyed and stare distantly past the circulation desk, you just know they’re jonesin’ for that *sweeeet* cherry cough juice. After a while, they begin using “just a touch” of it to help them go to sleep at night, even if they aren’t sick. Next thing you know, they’re up in a tree next to the main library entrance, laughing hysterically and throwing back issues of Booklist at unsuspecting patrons.
Some will even try exotic, depraved ways to consume the elixir, such as making donuts out of Nyquil or faking it with a cocktail. Others simply load up during a 2-for-$5 sale at Target and pray for a cold. (Hey–we may be hooked on the stuff, but we aren’t stupid.)
Next Week: Ghirardelli No More: one librarian’s personal story about her recovery from vendor-supplied free chocolate….