Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Murder with Your Malted

So, as many of my loyal readers know, I've just recently started a new(ish) job. I've been working as a circulation monkey [1] at the MIT Libraries for a year and a half now, but just a month or so ago I switched from the Business and Social Sciences library to the Science and Humanities Library. Which means many things, but primary among them is that I now have unfettered access to NOVELS. This is, like I've told many friends, kind of like letting pill-addict become a pharmacist. Except instead of stealing things and putting the library in danger of criminal prosecution, I'm just giving the library's circulation stats a huuuuuge boost.

I can't do ANYTHING without finding another book I want to check out. If I go to stack in the Humanities section, I generally end up taking at least 1/4 of the books I'm supposed to shelve home with me. Mostly, I pick up books by authors I know, or one's I've been meaning to read forever. But sometimes, a title just grabs you, with nothing context. Like, for example, MURDER WITH YOUR MALTED! By Jerome Barry, for The Crime Club of Doubleday, Doran & Co. I mean, truly, how outstanding is that? And that's not even considering its summary! Which is so outstanding, I'm rewriting it here for your enjoyment:

Amusing, exciting, and set against a unique background, MURDER WITH YOUR MALTED is the first full length mystery story by a writer whose short stories have become popular in the slick paper magazines.

To the fascination of a behind-the-scenes account of a large metropolitan drug and lunch store Mr. Barry has added the suspense of threatening letters from a dead man, sympathetic interest of a pleasantly told love story, and the wise-cracking, up-to-the-minute Broadway sophistication of a soda-jerker narrator.

Sprinkled with the jargon of the soda-fountain trade, but losing nothing in the way of suspense because of its sophistication, this book is a real find in mystery fiction.

Did you read that?!?!?! A SODA JERK NARRATOR with UP-TO-THE-MINUTE BROADWAY SOPHISTICATION! An exciting behind-the-scenes look at a Metropolian Drug and Lunch Store--- which I have always heard were veritable HOTBEDS of intrigue and suspense! And a SYMPATHETICALLY-TOLD love story to boot!! I have no idea if I will ever read this book, because I don't know if it could ever be as good as the book I've imagined. But I am so, so glad to have its potential for OUTSTANDINGNESS in my life.



[1] N.B. This is not my official title-- that's something like "Public Services Assistant"-- but unless you know that, at MIT, "Public Services" is newspeak for circulation, it would tell you NOTHING about what I do. So, "circulation" because that's where I work in normal-people speak, and "monkey" because my job is so easy a monkey could do it.

4 comments:

Dave said...

I know what you mean by monkey i used to work on the register (which England will call a till) and I used to refer to myself as a Till Monkey. Then I was upgraded to a customer service chimp

Cassandra Mortmain said...

I think, in fairness, I too might be more of a chimp and less of a plain old monkey. From time to time, I help people with actual reference questions, and I frequently give them directions to:

a) Bathrooms and
b) other parts of campus.

Those might be a bit taxing for your standard monkey, but I think well within the intellect range of a well-trained chimp.

Luckily, I think I am more cost-effective than a chimp. Although the chimp would certainly attract a more varied group of library visitors.

Kasey said...

LOL! This is a great post!

YAY for circ monkeys! Those bathrooms are hard to find!

I always take home WAY TOO MANY books, with the grand intention to read them (and failing about 50% of the time)!

Can we still be buddies even though BEDA is over?

I was thinking about doing a collaborative thing BED09 where 5-7 of us pick one day a week and blog... would you be interested?

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