Friday, February 7, 2014


Quips allow me to get through the day at my job. Quips, jokes, theories, witticisms, and existential queries, but mostly quips. Sometimes I get too tired for that and so have to resort to a shambling walk. But when you're a quipper the shambling walk is a quip in itself. Eyebrows raised, a co-worker inevitably asks "Are you okay?"

"Horribly drunk." I say.
"So happy to be here." I slur in deadened voice.

There is no hiding for me or for others. No rest either. I am off to the front desk. My first patron wants to pay off their ten cent fine. I hold their dime up like it's a glorious ruby.

"We have been waiting all day for this dime." I say. The next patron comes up and I am still holding the dime. "I hope you are not here to pay fines." I say "I already cannot fit this dime in the cash register. Look at it over there, bursting."

Next up is a couple who need pin numbers to access our digital collection. After this simple transaction is done one of them says "That wasn't painful at all."

"The pain sets in later." I respond.

Funny? Ha ha, no. You are thinking probably of jokes. These are quips. Quips. I thought that if I got too tired then I was too tired to quip, but no, alas, if I get really tired, desperately tired, can hardly move tired,  I am too tired not to quip.


  1. From one quipper to another, I find myself quipping from what appears a repertoire of quips increasingly shortened commensurate to my social and physical exhaustion. I see a student call my name from the hallway, and I smile and fake run away; "how's it going, Grape?" a colleague asks. "One day closer to death," I answer--and so on. Once in a while a new quip happens and it's as surprising to me as the quip receiver. I wonder if it's a survival mechanism set to offset the strain of a busy day.

    1. My post came a tiny bit from feeling like a slave to quipping, so it's refreshing to see your comment with the fake running away and be reminded that I love quipping. Your fake running away is funny!

      I am very cautious about repeating quips as I fear the whole thing becoming rote. I like the dance of inventing and playing, and yes, the surprise of doing something fresh.

      I think you may be somewhat right about it being survival mechanism, perhaps a way to remind ourselves we are alive and not yolked to a grind. But that's probably only true for a rather small number of us, we devout social quippers.

  2. Boy, does your front desk sound like mine! Without the quips, though. I do have running jokes with various regs. Thanks for the chuckle.


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