One of the joys of writing a thesis on medieval Icelandic literature is that I seem to be the only one in Adelaide who is loony of enough to be doing so. An unexpected benefit of this self-inflicted madness is that, by default, all of the Old Norse-Icelandic library books at Flinders and Adelaide Universities are mine – MINE I tell you! Mwa ha haa haaa!
Really. I’m not exaggerating. Without fail, I can pop into the Barr Smith Library (damn Flinders for not owning their own Islenzk fornrit series…) and pluck any of the Old Icelandic books I want off of the shelves, any time my little heart so desires (provided that the Library is open, of course). Once plucked, I can use these books willy-nilly without interruption. In fact, if forensic scientists were to study the multi-volume Islenzk fornrit set at Adelaide, they’d likely only find my fingerprints on the pages (as well as an abundance of the blood, sweat, and tears I’ve shed trying to decipher the near-impenetrable text contained therein).
So imagine my shock – nay, my horror! – when I strolled on down to the musty basement of the Barr Smith this morning, made my way on autopilot over to the Old Norse-Icelandic section, and saw a massive, gaping wound in the collection! Volume 5 was missing!!
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Some bastard has borrowed MY library book! I thought, while pinching myself to see if I was dreaming, and while peering around the stacks to see if I was (a) on Candid Camera; (b) in a parallel dimension where all PhD students needed Volume 5 of book collections – but the shelves immediately belied this suspicion; (c) being stalked by an orange book-eating monster, who had had a craving for a mellow 1934 vintage this morning.
Furious, I stormed over to the computer and looked the precious Volume 5 up on the Library’s catalogue. Sacre Bleu! Some bastard has borrowed MY library book! And they don’t have to return it until next week!
Long story short, I immediately logged onto Flinders’ Document Delivery service like the lunatic I am, I begged them via the unsympathetic web form to please please please get me this book before the end of the week so that I can finish the article I’m working on and get it sent off to Melbourne so that I don’t have to think about the bloody thing anymore please please, and then I gathered my frayed wits and drove (safely, despite my distress) to Flinders…
…where I walked into my office and discovered that I WAS THE BASTARD!!!
Volume 5 was sitting happily on my messy desk, where I’d left it last week after borrowing it from the Barr Smith Library.
I always thought that PhD students were just vying for some much-needed attention when they claimed to be losing their minds after working on their theses for a few years…
But, wait—-can you hear that?
Yep, you’re right. That’s the sound of me changing my tune.