Seattle spent $365 million dollars building a fancy-ass Rem Koolhaas-designed library, and yet somehow they’ve managed to lose a $35 book I returned last Thursday night. In the big picture this is not a life crisis, and yet…it’s the little things.
I mean, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???
There’s this near-invisible slot on the front of the library that only opens when you wave your books in front of it. You put the stuff into the secret compartment, from where it goes on some kind of magical conveyer belt ride across the building, sprinkling gumdrops and fairy dust in its wake. Ultimately, it dumps the books and DVDs and CDs out somewhere and cyborgs or robots or Oompa Loompas check everything in and no mistakes are ever made…minus this goddamned copy of FOUNDATION JOOMLA! I checked out, never read, and am now being told was never checked back in.
Personally, I think they’re just f*cking with me. I put it into the mystical opening. I did. Surely there’s some kind of surveillance video of this. Break it down: the place cost $365 million dollars to build. You can’t tell me they spent it all on fluorescent yellow escalators and space age chairs. Moreover, from where I stand, when you lay out that kind of cash, NOTHING IS ALLOWED TO GO WRONG…EVER.
So here’s the deal: I talked to one of the dudes at the library, and he told me they’d spend the next 30 days ‘looking around for it.’ Just to give you some perspective, this is a 363,000 square foot building full of glass, steel, and stinky bums. No doubt, if that baby fell off the magical conveyor belt ride, some homeless dude grabbed it and added it to his trash can fire later that night. It’s a near-hopeless cause.
So anyway, the librarian guy went on to explain that at the end of the 30 days, should they fail to recover FOUNDATION JOOMLA! from the Land of Inadequately Checked in Stuff, they will charge me for the damn thing.
Like hell they will.
Mark my words: I will not go down without a fight. Should it come to it, I plan to go THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER on their asses. I’m sneaking into that library and camping out until I find that freaking book. Granted, the place doesn’t offer the luxe sleeping accommodations of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nor does it house a likely or even fraudulent Michelangelo sculpture, but there are plenty of toilets and lots of odd seating and copious raw materials with which to fuel a raging trash can fire.
I’ll make it work.
I have to.
There’s $34.99 riding on this.
As a “Wow. I did not know that.” side note, apparently Rem Koolhaas was at one point considered one of Holland’s most promising young screenwriters, and when that didn’t pan out, he was apparently penning unproduced stuff for American soft porn. I know what you’re thinking: mayonnaise is not sexy. It isn’t. Neither are tulips or wooden shoes or three hundred of years of repressing and enslaving South Africans. (Okay, maybe that last one could be tweaked and made a little bit sexy.) Nonetheless, what you’re thinking is that the Dutch couldn’t make good soft porn if their life depended on it, and I suspect you’re right, but that’s not the point.
The point is that Remment has now given me yet another Plan B: if this writing thing doesn’t pan out soon, I could always make millions designing ugly-ass glass and steel libraries that are baffling to walk around in (seriously, the whole place is ramps and you can’t simply get to the floor of your choice. You have to wander down these glass-walled, bum-ridden halls like a rat in a maze) and can’t properly check in a stupid Joomla! book despite some fancy conveyor belt deal run by Oompa Loompas.
It’s as sad as it is true, but at least I’ll have my wildly successful architecture career to help offset my pending library fines.