Sunday, September 28, 2014

All the crazy people

Oh, how nice of you to join us. We were talking about crazy people at the library. I have all my facts and figures here. Scientific scrutiny is so comforting when we discuss hot button words like "Crazy". No, you didn't miss anything. No, this post didn't start in the middle, you came in the middle but we were just so glad to see you that we forgot everything we already said.

1. The Internet gives five or six varying definitions for crazy and with some work you can dig out a few more ("mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way" was the first one I found, but "foolish" and "extremely enthusiastic" were readily about too), but there are actually so many acceptable definitions for crazy that there is nothing, no situation or noun or modulation of feeling, no level of emotional heat for which "Crazy" isn't appropriate. How about this one: with a bit of slight bending, there is no adjective in the English language that "Crazy" cannot be a synonym for.

2. Technically speaking, anywhere from .07 percent to 94 percent of our library patrons are actually crazy. This roughly reflects the statistics for the general human population population as well, but a lot of scientists feel it narrows down the range too much.

3. There is nothing funny about "Crazy", and it is the exact epicenter of humor.

There is a man at my library who needs help all the time. Computers and computer devices are his hobby, and yet he cannot figure the simplest things out on his own. "I have all these email messages that have titles, but how do I get in to read the message?" He might ask. So you walk over to show him. "See," You say gently. "You have to click on the title, and then it shows you the message."

"OH!" He says. But he will not remember. There may be a similar question later that day, and tomorrow, and many more questions. At some point you have to say "I cannot help you any more today." This in itself is confusing to him. This is confusing to me too! Nothing scrambles me more than not being able to help someone.

I don't really have a diagnosis. There has to be some kind of Alzheimer's in there or something, something that both makes him forget what he is taught and forget that he is terrible at computers and problem solving, because he is. It also makes him forget that computers are completely unrewarding to him.

He is a nice man. All the helpful people at the library have had to learn to take a line with him (the unhelpful ones just start out with a bunch of lines for everyone). I used to get much more irritated with him, but one day I pulled the word "Crazy" out for him. I said to myself "Oh, he is crazy." This has made me a lot more sympathetic to him. Nevertheless, I'm not above siccing him on the sorts of librarians who I think deserve that occasionally. 

They can call me crazy to themselves if they want. Ninety-four percent of us are.

Binge blog 2


  1. Ya know, Patsy Klein sang a whole song about this!

    1. I am so fond of comments I am reluctant to be argumentative, but I think Patsy Cline was singing there about pure heartache, unless, secretly, that's somehow what this post is all about?

      Who am I to say?


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