Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Handwriting, or Dinner at the Claus House pt 3
I looked at Santa, and then at Mrs. Claus. For a flash of a second I thought it might be wrong to ask, but I ignored the flash and said, "Mrs. Claus, this has been an extremely informative evening for me, but I feel compelled to ask: is this why you invited me to dinner? Is it that we needed to have this conversation?"
She laughed. "No. It's that I have something to show you in your employee file."
Santa laughed heartily. "Wait until you see this. You and Mrs. Claus must have been born on the same planet. Your poetry collages are remarkably similar. I'll go get Mrs. Claus' file."
I was shocked. I turned to Mrs Claus. "You have an employee file?"
Chuckling, she returned, "Of course I have an employee file. Who do you think used to do your job?"
Santa reappeared as Mrs. Claus was reminding me of the little poetry project I was asked to do during one of my interviews. She was explaining that Santa basically knows what each person will gravitate toward in their job, and how far they'll get, but he asks prospective Library employees to do this poetry project in order to test his accuracy. He gives you a few words, and asks you to write a few lines of drippy poetry ("The drippier the better!", he says, as he tells you that whatever comes out will work just fine for this exercise) and to then cut it up and rearrange the lines (you don't have to use all of them).
Santa handed me a file. "It's on the top," he added. On the file it said: Marion Rachel Sylvia Claus, b. 15 March 1852.
My jaw dropped. I could barely hear Santa saying, "Her words were: sex, danger, and passion. This was long before we even had a department for inappropriate letters!"
I opened the file and saw a loose page entitled "Dangerlightenment". As I did so, Santa handed me my own file.
"And as you'll remember, your words were: old, new, and knowledge. I knew you would attack that old news like crazy!"
But I wasn't listening. I was gripping Paolo's elbow, laughing hysterically at Mrs. Claus' poem.