Cringing in a Library: Never Using Public Computers Again!

August 6, 2010 in Blogging, On Writing, Social/Political Commentary, Study by pacejmiller

So get this.  I came into town today to catch up with a friend who is going to be moving interstate for work — again.  After a Whopper Meal, I decided to go to the public library to get some studying done and do some much needed writing.

Anyway, I thought the library would be a good place to study, but it’s not turning out that way.

On the one hand I am having an email chat with a friend who tells me that her boss is getting her to book an all-gay cruise for him (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Nice.

On the other hand I am trying to ignore a skanky woman (probably mid-30s) sitting in front of a nearby computer coughing her lungs out.  It’s not even occasional or sporadic — it’s freaking constant.  And the few times I have turned to catch a glimpse I could see the spit flying everywhere.  There’s no tissue, no handkerchief — not even a hand to cup the saliva.  The monitor is starting to look like a window on a rainy day.  I don’t even want to think about the keyboard.

An old librarian dude with a limp just staggered up to her and said: “Excuse me, are you feeling okay?  Shouldn’t you be going home?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

“Shouldn’t you be going home when you’re coughing like that?”

“No,” she said.  “We’re moving house.”

“But coughing like this…this is a library…you are disturbing the others.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not contagious.  It’s just a smoker’s cough.  I’m a bad smoker.  It’s not going to infect anyone.”

The librarian looked at her screen.  “Can’t you do this at home?”

“No.  I’m playing my game.”

That’s when I noticed what was on her monitor — a Facebook game.  I’m not making any of this up.

“A game?  You’re playing a game?”

“Yes, and you are disturbing me.”  She then turned back to the game, but not before she coughed some more, this time in the librarian’s face.

“Oh, okay,” the librarian said and walked away, dejected.

Her phone just rang.  The ring tone is loud enough to startle a deaf person.  “Hello?” she screamed, flipping it open.  “What?  What do you want?  I’m at the library!”

[PS: by the way I typed all of this up on my laptop]