Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The parable of the library clerk

The parable of the library clerk is for advanced readers.

If you are stumbling through the Internet and by freak chance stumbled upon this page, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the power of its themes and allusions. I recommend practicing on a couple hundred of my more than 3,000 previous posts to prepare you for this one.

Regular readers, however, should find this to be a walk in the park.

The parable of the library clerk was inspired by a series of phone calls wherein library patrons wanted assistance with something on their library account, and, when asked for their library card, were surprised and unprepared even though they had never in their long lives done anything on their library account without using their library card. The parable of the library clerk took this scenario to such a dramatic extreme that it went beyond the exploration of library work, and ventured into a study of the fabric of the Universe itself, and has become part of the religious literature of mankind.

And so I present to you:

The Parable of the Library Clerk

"Good afternoon. This is the Feldenstein of the library speaking. How can I help you?"


"I'm sorry. In order to help you, I will need you to speak to me."


"I know sometimes it can be difficult to articulate our needs, but over the phone there is no way for me to divine what you desire without hearing spoken language, preferably in English."


"Unfortunately you simply must express words to me for me to help you."


"Okay, I will make an exception just this once, but you should be aware that this will not be something we can do for you here in the future."


"Okay, I have requested The Duino Elegies by Rilke. You're second in line, but we have several available copies so it should be in for you sometime later this week.


"You're very welcome. And remember, this is just a one time exception."


"You have a good day too. Goodbye."


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, advanced parables can be like that. Though I hope it's clear that the "" denotes silence? Does that help?


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