OUT OF THE MOUTH OF CONS: Or, “That’s what Chi said”

First inventories can be rough.

We have a clerk whose unenviable job it is to keep the Vietnamese- & Chinese-language books in perfect sequence. A tall order, since he is Cambodian. They call him Chi, as in Tai-chi. This is Chi’s first inventory, may God have mercy upon his soul.

One of the stats we keep is book format–hardcover, trade paper, and mass market. Now, some of the paperbacks can be confusing, having either a reinforced cover c/o Brodart, or a Permabound cover. If it’s your first inventory, stuff like this can be tricky.  Not to mention funny.

Soon after Chi diligently begins separating his assigned collection, he discovers one of the reinforced paperbacks, and confusion sets in. So, like any good library clerk, he turns to a fellow clerk and asks a question for clarification. Had this moment had a rewind button attached, he would have pressed it & hastily re-worded the question. As it was, he could do naught but suffer the ensuing slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Holding aloft the puzzling tome, he asks:

“How do you tell when it’s hard?”

Poor Chi. He will never be on the earth long enough to come CLOSE to living this down.  First inventories can be rough.