I stopped by our local library to take photos of a few articles in newspapers from 1913 for a series I’m continuing called “Old Newspapers Don’t Just Make Good Cat Litter Liner” today. While there, a woman approached the director of the library and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop as the woman asked her a question.
The question was if the director could ask the companies who send the magazines to make sure their employees didn’t wear perfume when sending the magazines, because the woman said she couldn’t stand the smell. The director politely told the woman she could make the request, but with no promises.
After the woman stepped out of the library, I couldn’t help but comment that the director as well as the other librarians hear all kinds of requests there. Another librarian commented that the woman often sniffed at the pages of magazines and books, and that one time she even ripped pages out of a magazine because she said they smelled.
Before I was leaving, the librarian also confided in me:
“She used to see people.”
I thought she meant that she used to see dead people, like in The Sixth Sense, and when I told the librarian, she just laughed and said that no, the woman used to be a psychiatrist and saw people in town.
When I told my wife later this afternoon about the woman, she said that one of her jobs when she worked at her high school library was to tear out the perfume samples from Vogue magazine. She said that the place behind the counter where the magazines were collected had smelled like “a whorehouse” before she started doing that.
I’ll end this post with a video from the Japanese pop/techno group Perfume, who else? See how much you can stomach before it becomes cloying (surprisingly, I made it 45 seconds, see if you can beat that):
This is Part X of an intermittent series called “Things You Didn’t Know About Your Local Library” that began on my previous blog, Unfinished Rambler, and that is still continuing here. Here are links to the first nine parts: