So this little old lady comes into the museum yesterday.
Its 36’C out, I offer her some water and look suspiciously at the leather bound book she has in her hand.
“My dear, I was wondering if you’d be able to take this from me?”
Its an American encyclopedia from 1968.
I tell her that I’m sorry, but we can’t accept it as it has no provenance here. She’s upset because she just wants to get rid of it. I tell her that I can take of it if she wants, as I am disposing of other things that afternoon. She is grateful, thanks me, I refill her dixie cup with water and the day goes on.
So this afternoon I come back from lunch to find 75 leather bound encyclopedias on my desk.
I yelled “what the fuck” to an empty room and then raced downstairs.
My students heard me coming (my shoes squeak) and by the time I rounded the corner both had there hands in the air, pointing at each other.
“She was old, and its hot out. We couldn’t tell her no. She and her husband brought them in themselves.”
Fair enough. I wouldn’t have made her take them back either.
So now we have 75 encyclopedias to dispose of. Someone thankfully has already claimed one set. The other is incomplete by one book (the one I disposed of yesterday), so one of my students offered to climb into the huge dumpster and get it back. I told him, no, that was not required of him, as we are more than likely going to have to get rid of the set due to condition. My boss, who hears this conversation says, “Well, if he’s offering…”
So now I have a student dumpster diving.
And a boss watching on in laughter.
Still, I think its the little old lady getting the last laugh here.