Saturday, September 25, 2010

Curmudgeon of the Week: Margaret, The World's Angriest Librarian

I mean, how could I not pick her? I love superlatives and interesting jobs. If you tell me you're the world's horniest acrobat or world's meanest chiropractor, you're totally in. But read on, as Margaret holds her own beyond her impressive title...

Name: Margaret

Age: 30

Provenance: Somewhere in the wilds of the Southwest

Occupation: World’s angriest librarian (in a city with a population of 100,000 or less)

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon? I would have to say that I first self-identified as someone who is crusty and ill-tempered probably around the same time I encountered people.

Who’s the curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with and why? Ambrose Bierce. Read the Devil’s Dictionary, it’s a bitter hoot*. (The librarian in me says, it’s available for free at Project Gutenberg!) I have always identified with his cynical, twisted view of the world. While I am probably not as angry/bitter as he was (and I certainly have no plans to vanish into Mexico), I do enjoy his rage.

*Ed note: This was Jeff's pick, too! 

What do you hate that other people inexplicably love? Can I jump on the bandwagon and say anything related to New Jersey? (Except, of course, my family from New Jersey-they have never expressed an interest in either tanning or the gym, although I’m sure they do laundry) I’m also not a fan of anything that can be described as “feel-good”.

You are Dante. What, in order from least to most excruciating, are your nine circles of hell?

1. Tech Support trying to explain how a Kindle/Nook/Sony E-Reader works to an 80 year old woman without a computer or any understanding of technology whose daughter bought her one for Christmas – This one is for all the technophiles who swan around with the latest and greatest, abandoning one for another as soon as it’s released, giving Steve Jobs more power than he deserves and shaking their heads sadly when they realize that my cell phone ONLY MAKES PHONE CALLS.

2. Cashier at a discount store having a super sale the day after Thanksgiving – This is for people who are complete assholes at stores- yelling at staff, trying to use expired coupons, taking more than 15 items into the express line and not even feeling bad about it, who have to run and get “just one more thing”, etc.

3. Stuck in an airplane filled with screaming toddlers – This is for people who piss me off at airports. You know who you are, guy with $20 in small change in his pockets, complicated shoes and no ID.

4. Driving with a cell phone stuck up your butt. (Tweeting would be difficult and involve muscles seldom used) –People who talk on the phone when driving-especially those who dither at lights and cut in front of me.

5. Tech help in a public computer lab when the internet is down – People who abuse staff when, clearly, staff has no control over something. Also, homeless people who complain about the speed of our wireless connection.

6. Timid voice of reason at a Tea Party rally – people who spend all their time yelling over others with their opinions and who refuse to listen.

7. Thanksgiving dinner at Laurence Fishburne’s (I can only imagine that this will be awkward and possibly involve some sort of ninja fight)- Reality TV stars

8. Nothing wrong with Dante’s 8th Circle (some of my favorites: flatterers steeped in excrement, thieves bitten by snakes) – Thieves, politicians, sowers of discord, etc.

9. Being a Lohan. (shudder) –Lohans and assorted reality TV “stars” and fame whores.

If you had the power to sign into law an amendment prohibiting a specific human behavior (i.e. using a Bluetooth or singing karaoke), what would you outlaw?
Excess breeding of children, a la the Duggars. (What is this, The Oregon Trail? Are they banking a few in case there’s an outbreak of dysentery?) Also, I think prospective parents should have to pass a test and get licensed.

Let's lighten up. What makes you all warm and fuzzy inside? (Your heart can’t be COMPLETELY charred.)
Kittens. Kittens make me all googly. And, okay, I’ll admit it: my 15-month old niece. Sure, she’s a poop factory and she has a love of chomping down on your hand like you’re made out of ham, but she’s just so darn cute when she does it.

What's your favorite curse word/phrase?
Muffalatta! Okay, not technically a curse word, however I work in a library and my niece is starting to repeat the things I say, so I’ve been working on not sounding like a merchant marine. When I’m home alone, however, “holy shit fuck damn!” is generally my multi-use phrase.

Essay Question: Please write a 100 word open letter to an object, person, or other entity that has recently incurred your wrath.

Dear Library Masturbator,

Thank you for bringing your laptop and sparing our computer lab users the experience of seeing you en flagrante solo. However, I have a suggestion to help you have a safe and relaxing public masturbatory experience:

Don't look furtive. If I'm walking past and you've got boobies on your screen, tilting the screen inward and hunching down makes you look guilty. Sit up and, if I happen to walk past, look horrified at what's on the screen and grumble about porn pop-ups that appear while you're doing research on Jesus. I'll know you're lying, but that's how the game is played.


Margaret does not blog (presumably because she's too busy busting library masturbators or sending anonymous packages of condoms to Michelle Duggar), but you can (and should) follow her on Twitter.

You should also watch this, because A) it's awesome and B) Robert Preston is basically a Ken doll crossed with an Oompa Loompa and I kind of want to lick his hair because it looks like molasses. Happy weekend!

Do you want to be a Curmudgeon of the Week? Email me! Do you not want to be Curmudgeon of the Week but want a new set of questions because these ones are getting fucking old? Email me ideas, because I totally agree.


  1. This the best one yet! I love the curmudgeonly librarian!

  2. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. The writing was great and then the film clip....double delight.
    Thank you.

  3. Anonymous7:18 PM


  4. I think I encountered that library masturbator during grad school while in the medieval theatre section. Yeesh!

  5. Anonymous4:59 PM

    I love "The Music Man"!

  6. I am a librarian in a public library. I salute this Curmudgeon.


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