The Lady Doth Protest Too Much


I'm sitting in the Huntington Beach Public Library trying to write a paper when my dad calls to chat. I don't want to be distracting, so I look to see if anyone is near me. A couple girls are studying on my floor, but they're not in close vicinity. Plus, there's a HUGE, CASCADING fountain IN the library (Huntington Beach tax dollars hard at work...) that will drown out any noise I make with my call. I figure I'm safe, but I'll keep the call brief.

I answer the phone and start talking to my dad as quietly as I reasonably can. We're chit-chatting about Amman and having a gay old time, when an old lady bearing a striking resemblance to Yzma (from The Emperor's New Groove) approaches me:

Imagine Yzma with an orange "tan", bright pink lips, fake nails, leathery skin, bleached hair, and last season's Talbots clothes. I see her slowly walk toward me out of the corner of my eye. I know I'm in trouble. Pretty soon she's in the MAZ--the Must-Acknowledge Zone. Three feet away from me.

"Can I help you?" I say.

"You know," she says, "phone calls are not allowed in the library." The words are oozing out her wrinkly mouth like tar.

"Really? Not at all?" I ask. I'm a little taken aback that short phone calls are not permitted in a library WITH A GIANT, ROARING, INDOOR FOUNTAIN.

"No . . . didn't you read the signs??? There are signs posted everywhere as you walk in."

No, lady. I didn't. I come to libraries to STUDY. (And to blog about the shrews I meet in them.) So while YOU may have all the time in the world to read the signs, I come to sit SIT MY BUTT DOWN, CRACK OPEN MY BOOKS, AND WORK ON MY CAPSTONE PAPER. What's that? A Mary Higgins Clark novel in your hand? Must be nice. Don't you have a Senior Citizen Special from IHOP to buy???? Some Depends to change???

"Sorry," I reply, "this is my first time here. And I just walked in and took a seat."

She's noticeably annoyed. "Well, no phone calls are allowed."

"Fine. Let me finish talking to my dad."

She gives a sigh of exasperation and proceeds to walk ten feet away. She STANDS THERE WAITING  while I finish my call. Then she returns to whence she came from--two floors up the stairs. Nowhere even near me.

What is she?? The Library Falcon who uses her keen eyesight to spot phone-call-making prey from miles away? Who then swoops down with her outstretched bitchy talons to attack all those who dare enter a PUBLIC LIBRARY without having read every sign, bulletin board, and placard on their way in????

Is this what old ladies in Southern California do when their Botox appointment gets pushed back???? Doesn't she have some Rx drugs to buy?? Some vodka to drink??? A pool boy to sexually harass???



Also, my dad gave me a retort for if this ever happens again: "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm talking to my oncologist."


  1. :) I like you a lot!!! So when I live there I'm going to be the bitch who yells at the and I quote,"Yzma with an orange "tan", bright pink lips, fake nails, leathery skin, bleached hair, and last season's Talbots clothes" women who think that the Library is their hunting grounds.. Don't worry sister. I've got your back. Plus, lets be real, 30 pages is hard enough..lets not add any background noise.

    So I finish by saying. Call your dad for a short time all you want.:) I've got the vultures.(Rawr)


  2. haha, i love this! i served my mission in los angeles in areas like compton and watts. but to be perfectly honest, i was most scared from little old ladies who lived in the rich area of palos verdes who have lived a life of entitlement and will hesitate at nothing to ruin yours if it dares infringe theirs...even if its two floors above you


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