Saturday, November 8, 2014

A brief study on the migration pattern of scissors

I have long been a student of wildlife, but I'm not a very good student. I am respectful, for instance, of people who cover themselves in acorns, strap themselves to oak trees, and fill notebooks with beautiful drawings and detailed notes about the lives of squirrels. After all, I like squirrels too. I can watch squirrels all the way up until they stop doing interesting things, or the weather stops being perfect, or I think of something else to do, or it's time for a snack. I guess whichever of those comes first. But my version of squirrel watching probably doesn't make me a naturalist. Nevertheless sometimes I do become so overwhelmingly interested in some natural phenomenon that there's nothing for it but for me to become some kind of dedicated behaviorist, for me to break out my inner Jane Goodall in order to get to the bottom of what is behind some curious goings on in the natural world. This is what has recently happened to me, at the library I work at, with our scissors.

I have long noted the restless migrations of the library scissors across the breadth of the library, and I always wondered about it. But it was one day recently when I could find not a single one of our eleven pairs of scissors that made me seriously wonder. How do they do it? How do scissors move across the library? What motivates them? Why do they seek dark places and gather together? Are they capable of independent movement, or do they use hosts?

I was thinking I could maybe create a blind for myself, perhaps a large cardboard box with eye holes. Perhaps we could set a computer on top of me. Then perhaps a colleague could gather all our scissors and set them on a nearby table. I can watch. It's been pretty slow at the library lately, what with everyone trading in reading in order to spend their days on something to do with their phones. So I suspect the library can spare me for a couple weeks. They're always sending librarians to conventions. Surely this is just as important? I'll just sit in my box for a few weeks and see what happens to those eleven scissors. I can live on Space Food Sticks. I understand someone is still making those, and in two flavors, peanut butter and chocolate. No one makes the caramel flavor anymore, but I don't so much remember the caramel flavor.

Of course, there's always a chance my co-workers are somehow involved, so I am thinking of putting an invisible staining ultra violet dye all over the scissors. Then, later, I can go around the library with my little black-light. "You've been using scissors." I'll say. "You've been cutting things, haven't you?" Then I'll munch my chocolate Space Stick and make more notes. Lots more notes.


  1. The migration pattern of scissors would make a wonderful dissertation.

    I know the migration pattern of pens is partly my fault. I use one at the sign in desk and then wander off with it to the circulation desk or my desk and then wander back to the sign in desk no longer has a pen.

    Thus are the mysteries of life.

    1. It is possible that we are merely vehicles for the movement of office supplies.


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