A Knight Knows The Weekly: Maintaining Britain's Standards
OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS
Budgerigar whirring suddenly as it nears the opening cage door, terrifying old woman into falling off stool and head-first through glass coffee table neatly decorated with curling photographs of Bill, dear Bill, held flat and timeless in heavy silver-plated frames

Goose loosening drawstring of bag of pebbles at finely timed distance above approaching jet in retaliation for mate sucked into engine the week before last

Hunter's wooden decoy possessed by vengeful spirit

Beautiful swan breaking the same man's arm every time

Peacock attracting cries of admiration from tourist group for its extravagant tail display, then unslipping machine-pistol
I Am The Librarian
I am the librarian, welcome to my library.

This talk will take about five minutes. If I could ask you to keep close to me and not to start reading anything during that period. Thank you.

Constructed in the Eleventh Century by Viking raiders, the library has undergone extensive modernisation twice during its history; once in 1487, and then again later in 1487. The original librarian is, of course, long dead now but I like to think that he has left behind an atmosphere of torpor, defeat, disillusionment, loneliness and oppressive ennui that is still very much evident in the building today.

" A regular basis even pimping "
Ask most people what they think of first when you say "library" and they'll tell you they're very busy and don't have time to answer your pointless questions. I know this to be true. However, if you persist, perhaps blocking their path and standing just slightly too close, you'll eventually hear the same answer again and again. "Books," they will sigh. "Books, an odd smell, middle-aged men in trousers that halt an inch above their ankles who carry satchels holding a notepad and a thermos flask, pages with bogies squashed into their weave, a dead-eyed library assistant with a light pen and a mind addled from endlessly re-running his life to identify the moment where it all went wrong, and a microfiche reader with a hand-written, yellowing 'Out Of Order' sign on it." All this is slightly depressing ignorance, of course, as things have moved on and most libraries now have a computer. My own library actually has two CD-ROMs available; something which, reading his notes, the original librarian had only dreamed of. We also have a sophisticated security system in place nowadays; the electromagnetic gate has stopped many in their tracks. Literally so, if they've neglected to heed the warning about pacemakers.

Besides being an ark loaded with human knowledge and a focal point for the local community - you may have noticed the advert for the Operatic Society's production of Aida on your way in - I also see to it that the library always provides a selection of injectable steroids and difficult-to-obtain satellite smart cards for interested visitors. The Red Hot Dutch In A 'Roid Rage Weekend promotion I ran a few weeks ago was a notable success. It financed the re-stocking of the Teen Drama section and was marred only by a handful of arrests. Like all librarians, I am sometimes asked if I can arrange a quick exit from the country on stolen papers, usually by a ferry route, as the police tend to have the airports bolted down tight on these occasions, but as this is only a branch library I don't really feel I have the resources to do it on a regular basis. Even pimping has been cut back now that young Stacey is only available mornings and usually has a backlog of loan queries to process first. I've been experimenting with contract hits, but it's only a pilot and, well, interest has been encouraging but we'll just have to wait and see.

Thank you for listening. Feel free to browse now, but I could I please ask you to turn off your mobile telephones. Thank you.
BURNS NIGHT
Agh!

Ow!

Whoop!

Yarg!

Erk!
<<<
advocate feature   archives   corner shop © the weekly science combine