Thursday, January 19, 2017
I don't know when the box was delivered to the library. It wasn't here this morning. It is here now, down the hallway, near the staff elevator. It is a heavy grade, brown cardboard box, with a lid, all strapped down so tightly on a wood pallet that the plastic straps twang like giant guitar strings. What meager labeling there is on the box shows nothing to indicate what's inside. It is about five feet tall and four feet wide and four feet deep. It's a big box. It is not addressed to anyone who works here. It is merely addressed to "The Library" with our accurate address. Notes on the box say we may be responsible for any damage if we remove it from the pallet. Up arrows show that it is currently in the proper orientation. And a bright orange/red sticker urges us not to double stack. We won't. We only have one of them anyway.
What's in it?
What's in the box?
Is it four new librarians? The box would just about fit four new librarians, or two or three old librarians. They tend to widen through the years.
"Hello?" I say to the box. "Are there any librarians in here?"
There is no answer. Maybe I need to ask a reference question.
"What is the state song of Michigan?"
Lots of silence ensues.
There are no librarians in there.
What is in the box?
I squeeze around to the back of the box. Hey, there is a ragged hole about 14 inches wide chewed through the side of the box against the wall. There are lots of little bits of wadded up wet cardboard all over the floor here. It smells funny, but through the big hole I can now see right into the box!
Hmph. It's empty, completely empty.
Why would someone send us an empty box?
Typical, we never get anything interesting around here.