Sender: English Language Discussion Group <>
From: Gilbert Smith <>

What Happened To Me In The Library 1
1)  So, given the unpleasant task of supplying the <authentic>
history of Agnes von Krusenstjerna, I make my way to the D. H.
Hill Library of North Carolina State University, armed with the
few notes that I have<gleaned> from the net concerning the
von Pahlen novels and the murky biographical details of this
novelist who met a rather unpleasant fate.
2)  At the information desk, asking for some directions about
where I should search for information about writers in Stockholm
around the turn of the century, and about church practices in the
same city and the privacy of confessional booths, and about the
political relations between Sweden and Portugal, the attendant
inquires about my status at the university, after making some
remarks  about having seen me on television teaching mathematics
or "something."
3) Suppressing my desire to put this young man <in his place>,
limiting my response to an under-the-breath comment to the effect
that I don't look or act like a *mathematics* person, I fumble
with the cards in my billfold only to see them slip from the
counter and fall on the floor.  The young woman standing next to
me, dressed in a mini-mini black satin skirt and beige panty-hose
and blouse made of a large scarf tied tightly around her very
flat chest, leans  down to pick up my cards, revealing to all
the researches present her very slender buttocks clothed only
in beige gossamer.  She hands  me my cards with that look-at-me
dont-look-at-me-you-pig sort of feminist hostility that hooks me
every time.  Then, she walks  away, thinking better of waiting for
the attendant to fulfill her request for a new library card,
tottering clumsily on very high heels.  I will,  I suspect,   see
more of her before I <get to the bottom> of the mystery of Agnes
going to meet her <maker> in the sewers of Stockholm.
4)  Examining my card with little interest (until the young
feminist was out of sight), then checking the computerized listings,
the young man (whom I will call George for the lack of a better
name) informs me that I have two books overdue and cannot receive
any aid from the Library until I have returned the books.  "Has
anyone requested these books?"  I ask rationally.  "No, but they
are overdue, and we like to know where all our books are.  That is
*what* *we* *do* *here*."   "Do you mind if I just look around in
this, *my* library?"  "Help yourself, professor, but don't make
any trouble.  You're on tv, right?"
5)  So, I move toward the reference room with its hundreds of
dictionaries and encyclopedias, wondering whether to check the
listings for Sweden, or Portugal, or Armenia, or Church Practices,
or Sewer Systems, when I am suddenly confronted with the need to
visit the <rest> room.  Turning the corner of the hall that leads
to the room marked MEN, I see my feminist friend, glancing over her
shoulder furtively as she pushes the door of the men's room and
disappears inside.  I have a sudden flash of recognition of something
from another life....   Agnes entering the sewer, intent on meeting
her fate <head-on>, dressed in her finest lace.
What Happened To Me In The Library 2
7)  After a moment's hesitation, I remember my resolution to
do precisely those things that I am afraid of doing, having
heard somewhere that *that* is what <builds character>.  So,
I refuse  to be deterred, to choose another of the library's
many rest rooms, and I push the door and go right in, only
to find, to my <dismay>, that the antagonistic feminist is
standing at the urinal with her dress hitched up to her waist,
and her pantyhose down below her slender bohunkus, and doing
what men do best:  writing her name on the floor beside the
urinal, looking over her shoulder with that what-do-you-think-
you-want sort of snarly stare.  I think to myself "My god,
this is a ........... *man*....." and I am right.  My mother
said that parts of their body were different, and she was
right.  So, undaunted by this sudden revelation, I go to
a nearby station (not too near this *person*) and act as
if there were nothing unusual about this situation.
8)  Just as I am about to do what I had come in there to do,
the feminist breaks into a gale of laughter, looks at me, and
says "Zo you hafn't  returned your books?  Hah.  I zay, hah.
No more buks vor yew!"  I must inquire about this strange
accent, and the feminist informs me that <she> is an exiled
count(ess) from Budapest, in Raleigh on a research mission to
gather information about an ancestor who was of mixed ancestry,
but rumoured to have connections in Lisbon around the turn of
the century.  "Lisbon?" I ask, knowing that this is  just too
much of a coincidence, but then I became a little unnerved as
I realize that this person has written the name Pineiro on the
tiles beside the urinal, with a definitely European flourish.
"Doez the name Pineiro *mean* anyting to yew?" she inquires,
and I start to back away in horror.  Stopped however, by the
sound of the door opening, and *George* enters the men's room,
hand already on his zipper, stops short and says "Well, prof,
are you *behaving* yourself?"
-----------------------intermission 2---------------------
What Happened To Me In The Library 3
9)  Unable to look George in the eye, I move toward the door
of the rest room and sense that George has that you-dont-fool-
me-for-a-moment-professor smirk on his young face.  As I emerge
from the men's room, as the door swings shut I hear George
calling after me "Don't forget to return those books, *Mister*
Smith" and then, in a more jocular tone, "Hi Franz.  Doin',
Man?"   Then, the sound of pants unzipping.  Then, silence.
I move rapidly toward the reference room with its rows of
computer terminals that recently, lamentably, replaced the
traditional card catalogues.  I find a terminal that seems to
be working and enter the first search:  Portugal.Ambassadors.
As I search for and find the reference that I need __Embaxeideu
au Suecieu Sigleu Veigente__, I glance up and see, seated at
a terminal several tables away, Franz, staring directly into my
eyes and muching a sandwich.   He mouths the words, without
uttering a sound, "Vant uh sandvich, Professeur?", wiping away a
bit of lettuce from his porcelin smooth lower left cheek with
the tip of his left index finger tipped with a crimson nail.
10) Ignoring this indecent proposal, I hastily make a note of
the call number of _Embaxeideu_and move away from the terminal,
hearing the reference librarian inform Franz that no food is
allowed in the library and his terse reply, a quietly but
elegantly enunciated "Vuck yew, laydee...".
11)  I find the reference book in the stacks without incident
and take the elevator to the fifth floor to find privacy and
shelter in my faculty study.  It is evident that none of the
five colleagues sharing this study has been here since my last
visit of some three weeks ago, but, on my desk I find a notice:
"Professor Smith, please report to the Library Office to renew
your faculty study.  Failure to respond to this request immediately
will result in denial of library priviledges."  The notice is
dated August 1, 1992, the day after my last visit.  Do I really
*need* this, I ask.  As I go back to the main floor of the
library in search of the Library Office, I hear loud voices near
the main entrance and see several young men, wearing library
employee tags, wrestling with a young woman in a short black
skirt and very high heels, trying to get her through the front
entrance.  Just before they manage to push the young woman
through the door, she catches my eye, points at me from across
the lobby, and screams "He's the vun.... he's the vun..."
Having accomplished their purpose, the young men turn and walk
toward me, laughing.  The young men and I exchange some pleasant
comments about the unusual appearance of this young <woman>, and
then the taller of the young men leans over and whispers in my
ear, "Professor, your zipper is down...."
--------------------------intermission 3--------------------
What happened To Me In The Library 4
12)  Regaining my composure after discretely turning toward the
wall and deftly closing my zipper, I move gracefully across the
library foyer, noticing the disapproving stares of several students,
including one particularly unpleasant young man who happens to sit
on the front row of my televised class and competes with me daily
for camera time by drawing pictures of me and of the other students
during class and showing them proudly to the class and to the
camera.  He has a very satisfied I-am-not-in-the-least-surprised-
at-the-public-behavior-of-my-favorite-professor kind of look on
his face, and I pretend that I do not recognize him.  I move on
toward the circulation desk, hearing a faint "Buenas tardes,
Senor Profesor" distorted by a throaty chuckle, and ask for
directions to the Library Office.  The young woman at the desk
does not know, because it is her first day, but she calls a more
experienced member of the staff, who turns out to be *George*,
delighted to see me again.
13)  George has on his face what can only be described as a
<bemused> inquisitive expression, as he directs me to the Library
   "Uh, yes, professor, you go down that hall and turn right at
   the end, then left at the first corridor, and the second door
   on the right is the Library Office, where you can *find* *out*
   *why* *they* *left* *the* *notice* *in* *your* *study*..."
This proves to be too much for my sense of the respect that should
be accorded to members of the faculty by the non-academic staff, I
mean, this *is* a major university....  so, I reply:
   "Look, you little fart, what they left in my study is no business
    of yours....  but I thank you very much for the directions.  You
    are too kind."
George does not flinch as he smiles and adds:
    "Professor, there *has* been a complaint...."
I reply:
    "I'm going to return to damn books.... O.K.?"
And George:
    "No, professor, I mean, there has been a *complaint*..."
Which I ignore as I walk... no, stroll...  casually across the
expanse of the library foyer in the direction of the indicated
hallway, checking my fly twice, then once again....  Down the
hall, turn right, then left, the second door on the right, and
there is the receptionist, holding a make-up mirror close to her
mouth as she tries desperately to dislodge a bit of bacon stuck
between her right canine and the adjoining incisor, with a round
toothpick.  The remaining third of a BLT is on the desk in front
of her.  She has a bit of mayo on the left side of her moist,
slightly engorged upper lip.  She looks up from her mirror and
smiles brightly, retrieving in the flash of an eye the spot of
condiment with a pass of her crimson tongue, and says:
    "Professor Smith....  we have been expecting you...."
She speaks with that irritating habit of pronouncing the -ss-
the -S- and the -xp- by placing the tip of her crimson tongue
on the alveolar ridge....  I try to reply, but I am struck
dumb by both her declaration of anticipating my arrival and
by her pronunciation of -ss-, -S-, and -xp-.....  She repeats:
     "Professor Smith.... we have been expecting you...." and
then, lowers her gaze to my fly, which I cannot help but check
once more with a pass of the hand, never for a moment removing
my own gaze from her pale azure eyes.....
     She flinches at the sight of my hand passing over my fly,
and cries out, stridently....
     "Well, I *never*......   "
--------------------------intermission 4--------------------
What Happened To Me In The Library 5
14)  Hoping to reassure this member of the library staff that
I am here on business, I quickly scan her desk in search of her
name, and see the plate on her desk:
             (Thank You So Much For Not Smoking)
As she eyes me suspiciously, I explain that I am here in response
to the notice in my faculty study, and she, relieved, explains
that I have not renewed my study, but that if I would like to now,
I may, and then I may ignore the letter that has been sent to my
departmental unit.  I fill out the form that she gives me to
permit me to continue sharing the study with four colleagues who
never show up, as she finishes her BLT and cleans the edges of
her mouth with a flowered handkerchief on which is embroidered
a large <l>.
My job done and my credibility restored with the library staff,
I return to my faculty study to peruse the volume devoted to the
Portuguese Ambassadors at the turn of the century.  Delighted to
find a reference to the Bunerrosa Archives in Lisbon, and hoping
that the address is still correct, I return to the stacks to
search for a bibliography of Swedish twentieth century fiction.
Kneeling down to reach the second shelf from the bottom, finding
the desired volume, I remove it from the shelf and see, through
the shelf, a pair of very shapely legs, bared from mid thigh down,
belong to the lovely creature in search of bibliographical treasures
shelved on the other side of the stack.  Peering over my reading
glasses, humming softly to indicate my absorption in my <work>,
I see the legs begin to tremble, then to brush against one another,
emiting a slight rasping sound, which sound refines my senses and
corrects my first erroneous perception:  they are not bare at all,
but covered in the finest, sheerest gossamer that money can buy,
and I, fascinated by my new discovery, follow the line of those
shapely columns down past the curve of the back of the knee, down
down down to the black patent leather cocktail pumps, to the
tall slender heels clacking clickity clack on the hard tile floor
of the library stacks.
15)  Through the empty space created by the absence of the
volume devoted to Swedish Twentieth Century Fiction comes the
voice, in an almost inaudible whisper, the throaty, raspy voice
intoning the lament:
    "The Ambassador to Sweden was my great-uncle's first cousin,
     once removed."
I flee in horror to the sanctuary of my newly-renewed study on
the fifth floor of the D. H. Hill Library.  On my desk I find
moving slightly in the breeze as the door to my study slams shut
a lovely, incredibly white-as-snow, almost lighter-than-air.....
  -------------------intermission 5----------------------
What Happened To Me In The Library 6
16)  Brushing the feather away to make way for my own <work>,
ignoring the possible significance of this residue left by some
wing`ed visitor, I explore my bibliography of Swedish Twentieth
Century Fiction and find, to my surprise, the following very
useful items which concern, though in a marginal way, the
literary production of the elusive authoress, Agnes von
Krusenstjerna da Bunerrosa:
   a)  "Tendencias Racistas na Literatura Infantil e
        Juvenil da Suecia", which concerns, as the title
        indicates, racism in the juvenile literature of
        the country, and has a specific reference to the
        anti-Armenian slant of Agnes' early novels.
   b)  "Brage, concordia och V.V.V.: Nagot om vara forma
        litterara gymnasistforeningar", a fascinating
        treatise on the role of literary societies in high
        schools of Sweden, which I find in the NCSU collection,
        donated some years ago by the second cousin, once
        removed, of Father Svejnam Peetgrin, a priest from
        Stockholm who had documents to prove that he was the
        bastard son of another priest who claimed to have
        baptized the baby Agnes in spite of her illegitimate
        birth. Father Peetgrin, it seems, had a parishoner,
        a descendant of Armenians in Stockholm, who went to
        library school in the United States and got his first
        job at the D. H. Hill Library.  Small world.
        The "Nagot om vara forma..." contains, as it turns out
        an interesting passage on Agnes' membership in the
        literary society devoted to the study of Portuguese
        pornographic novels.....  whether this is the cause or
        the effect of her mother's sojourn with the Ambassador,
        I am not sure.
    c)  "En neurotiker som psykolog: Nagra jakt-tagelser i von
        Krusenstjerna roman _Noitejnam oct Persium_", a very
        interesting psychoanalytical critique of one of Agnes'
        early novels, which places her interest in perverse
        practices in the international community of Stockholm
        squarely in the center of the beginnings of revolutionary
        Marxist literary circles that were beginning to deal with
        questions of textuality and intertextuality in the early
        years of the century.
  All in all, the resources of the library are more than adequate,
  and I leave my study with the intention of going to my office to
  write up my notes on the computer.
  17)  As the elevator door closes, I hear behind me, in the hallway,
  on the other side of the door, the faint clickety clack of very
  tall black patent leather heels.  Must not be diverted from my
  research interests by the wierdos hanging around the library.  On
  to my office, where I find the letter from the Library Office,
  informing me that I must renew my study, and including this
  wonderful paragraph:
  "As I have indicated in earlier memoranda, the University Library
  Committee has asked that we monitor use of the faculty studies
  through periodic surveys and to use the results in determining
  future renewals of study assignments.  We will conduct these surveys
  randomly throughout the semester.  The survey will consist of our
  placing a dated memorandum to each assignee of a study on the desk
  in those rooms, asking that you sign, date, and return them to the
  Library Office.  We will maintain a record of the number of days it
  takes to receive a response and use that information as indication of
  the frequency of use an assignee makes of the study.  These responses
  are being entered into a database which will be used when making
  decisions regarding renewals of study assignments.  So be looking
  out for the brightly colored survey forms over the next few months
  and respond quickly."
  There is another notice from the library, indicating which 347
  jounals they have cancelled this month because of lack of funds.
 18)  The telephone rings, and I answer and hear the voice of a
 student who identifies himself as a reporter for the Technician,the
 campus newspaper:
    "Professor Smith, are you aware that there is some kind of
     problem in the library that they say maybe you have had some kind
     of involvement in.?
 I do what I never do....  I just hang up the phone, and sit down
 to type up the results of my research, in preparation for posting
 the true history of Agnes von Krusenstjerna da Bunerrosa.  The
 telephone rings again and I do what I never do....  I just dont
 answer it.
 ------------------------intermission 6------------------------
What Happened To Me In The Library 7
19)  My work done for the day, I make my way to my HSH, where
my tc/sw is waiting for me with questions about the message
left on my answering machine:
   "Who do you know with a Central European accent?"
   "Nobody, except all your Czech friends who call all the
   "This was no Czech.  This was.... uh...."
   "Hungarian, perhaps?"
   "How did you know?  Is this one of your e-mail <friends>?"
   "I don't know anything about it.  Period.  Where's my
   "Dinner, schminnerschnitzel... get it yourself."
20) Finally, the gift of sleep comes, and I have a dream that
I am unable to related to anything that has happened to me in
my <real> existence.  A woman with long blond tresses is floating
in a murky pool covered with algae and calla lillies, calling out
to me in a voice marked by a thick Portuguese accent....  I try to
move toward her, but Juan Pablo Forner steps out of the reeds
with a basket in his hand, saying "Is this your illigitimate *child*?
You should know that this simply is not *done* and you have not
responded to our brightly coloured forms for three months."  Then,
a man who identifies himself as an Armenian stonemason points to a
curtain, which miraculously draws back and reveals the babe, being
carried away by all the ants in the world, while the babe cries
out "Dont call me Ms. Bunerrosa, my name is Ms. Von Krusenstjerna,
or if you prefer Ms. Von Krusenstjerna da Bunerrosa, but *never*
Ms. Bunerrosa, comprende?"  The woman with blond tresses is
suddenly revived and raises her feet, which are clothed in beautiful
black patent leather cocktail shoes, on the bottoms of which are
inscribed the words: "Hopefully, my mother has honed the pruning
shears."   I awake and check to see if my equipment is still in
place.  My tc/sw says, foggily: "Stop shaking the bed.  What are
you *doing*?"  I drift off to sleep, peaceful sleep.
20)  A new day of research, during which I find, to my amazement,
in the Swedish archives of the D. H. Hill Library, a diary written
by the mother of an Armenian youth who spent some time in Stockholm.
With the help of a colleague who studied four semesters of Armenian
at Penn, I am able to read the testimony of this mother, who swears
    a) the mother of Agnes was an unwilling employee of the brothel
    b) that the Portuguese Ambassador was always impotent and the
        castration provoked from him only the comment "I didn't
        need them anyway....."
    c)  that the child Agnes was always only marginally socialized
    d)  that the child-bride Agnes had included in her own diary,
    during her stay at the Feldisejetscoem Gimnejetsium, sketches
    of a wedding dress that presaged that worn by the character
    Melissa von Stumpinshump at her wedding to the Baron in the
    third novel, which in turn presaged the dress worn by Agnes
    herself as she entered the sewers for the last time.
21)  After a full day of very rewarding work, feeling myself
almost ready to make that post in which is detailed the complete
story of Agnes, I retire to the university coffee-shop, where I
get a cup of black coffee with sugar and settle down for a smoke,
one of the few today, and see lying before me a copy of today's
_Technician_, and the headline to a story at the bottom of page
one:  "Library Officials Ponder Behavioral Problems In Restrooms
As Housekeeping Staff Refuse To Deal With Patrons Urinating On
Floor"....  I do not read this article, but search the coffee-shop
with surreptitious gaze for familiar faces, but see none.
22) After a visit to my faculty study, in search of brightly
coloured forms, after finding none, I return to my office to type
up my notes on Agnes, then home to fix my own supper and ignore
questions about communication practices on the net.  Then to sleep,
and to resist the temptation to dream the dream of ambassadors and
priests and brides afloat then dragged to murky death.  Tomorrow is
another day and I shall be done with Agnes, hopefully.
What Happened To Me In The Library 8
23) Arising early and leaving the house before the return of
my tc/sw from her trip to take our daughter to school, I
arrive at my favorite early-morning haunt, McDonalds, to
settle down with the newspapers and a cup of coffee.  In
USA TODAY, I peruse the state-by-state reports to see what
has happened in Nebraska (because of my dghtr who lives
there) and New Jersey (because of my son who lives there) and
West Virginia (because of my son who works there) and North
Carolina (because of .... well....).  Not much in NE, NJ, or
WV, but in NC:  "SANFORD:  Authorities probe mystery death of
transvestite found near exclusive lake subdivision."  What?
This may be an item <of interest>....
24) Interrupted by an employee of McDonalds, who says, "hey,
you're on TV, right?"  Ignoring this rude interruption, limiting
my response to the flash of a smile and a nod of the head, I
ask this young man if he has a copy of today's Raleigh News and
Observer.  Such a nice kid, he brings it to me right away, saying
"I don't know no Spanish, but I watch your show all the time.  That
guy that draws the pictures is really funny.. I can't hardly believe
you don't can his ass."  I search the pages for some notice of this
mysterious death, and there it is on page two, with the headline
"Authorities Stumped by Strange Strangulation Near Carolina Lakes"
Carolina Lakes -- where the father and step-mother of my tc/sw have
their new luxury home....
    Sanford police early this morning discovered the body of a
    young man clad only in beige gossamer panty hose, lying beside
    a stand of reeds near the main entrance to the Carolina Lakes
    private subdivision.  The body had, supposedly, been in the
    water before being dragged to the location in which it was
    found, because its extremities had been nibbled by the bass
    that have inhabited the lake in the past few years, thanks to
    an aggressive stocking program supported by the present
    Republican administration.  The body had been mutilated and
    apparently sexually assalted.  The chief of police of the
    local Department reported in an interview that "it is obvious
    that this is a question of foul play.  We are checking all the
    parlors along the main drag over in Fort Bragg, because this
    guy had a recent tatoo on his upper left thigh, shows a sort
    of heart-looking thing, torn in too, with the initials E.G.
    under it.  Don't know what that means, but we're working on
         A professor at a local university reports that the
    initials probably stand for "Ein Gebrokenhertz", but the
    News and Observer has been unable to verify this.  Lying
    near the body was found a white dress trimmed in lace.  There
    was no identification found on the body.  The only clues to
    the identity of the deceased are a bag containing a pair of
    high-heeled black patent leather cocktail shoes and an
    expired visitor's library card from a nearby university.
25)  Somewhat unnerved by this report of brutality, I make my
way to my library study, where I find a brightly coloured form
with the request that I return it immediately.  I go to the
Library Office to deliver it in person to ....  Lulu, who is
sitting at her desk with a toothpick in her mouth.  She sees
me and smiles:
    "Professor Smith, I see you have visited your study today."
She is doing that irritating alveolar ridge thing again, but I
<hold my tongue>....
     I turn in my form without a word, and see on her desk the
News and Observer, open to the story about Carolina Lakes.
"Have you seen this?  I swear!"
     I say:  "Yes, I have *s*een it...." and find myself unable
to get my tongue off that ridge...  I turn and leave the office
and go down the hall saying "seen it"  "seen it", with the tongue
on the back of the teeth, when I am confronted by George, who
simply smiles and says "Professor, you are *talking* to yourself..."
26)  I return to my office and post the final version of the
Truth About Agnes, distracted momentarily by the current copy of
the Technician.....   where I find in the daily column "Ask Terry
Sue" the following bit of gossip:
     "Who, Terry Sue wants to know, is the debonair prof who
     was *seen* in a local campus hide-away just before the
     housekeeping staff went on strike and started the whole
     campus buzzing about bathroom behavior?"
No, I say, I know nothing about this, period.  Here is the
Truth About Agnes:
------------------------intermission 8----------------------
What Happened To Me In The Library 9
> Subject: (Copy) The Gospel Truth About Agnes
> .
> Agnes von Krusenstjerna was born in 1894 to an Austrian mother who
> had found herself visibly pregnant after a dalliance with a certain
> Armenian teenager who was in Stockholm taking the baths and, on the
> side, training to be an altar boy in the local parish church.  Agnes
> was christened in the church only because the local priest, who
> was hesitant to dignify the birth out-of-wedlock of this sweet little
> girl, was blackmailed by the Austrian mother, who had just happened
> to catch the priest in flagrante in a confession booth with the
> Armenian teenager, on his knees, in fact, doing penance with a
> vengeance, according to a fairly reliable historical source written
> in an almost untranslatable Swedish.
>   Some authorities report that the insanity for which Agnes was
> well-known in literary circles started at the age of five, though
> others document the onset of this mental instability as coinciding
> with her Austrian mother's disappearance when Agnes was twelve.
> Local newspapers in 1906 reported that the mother had retreated
> to the paradise of a local brothel, from which she was then
> kidnapped by the ambassador to Sweden from Portugal, who took her
> first to Lisbon, and then to his country estate, where she pined
> away for her daughter and finally committed suicide by poisoning
> herself, after having castrated the ambassador with a finely honed
> set of pruning shears.
>   The ambassador, now a eunuch, returned to Stockholm after his
> convalescence and sought out Agnes, who had by then (at the age of
> fifteen) published the first of her seven Misses von Pahlen novels,
> (contrary to the erroneous information provided by Mr. Torkel
> concerning the publication dates of 1930 to 1935).  Agnes agreed,
> after much persuading and not a little promise of financial
> reward, to marry the ambassador, who then served as an inspiration
> to Agnes in her quest for more and more grotesque examples of
> sexual pathology.  The ambassador, no longer equipped for normal
> avenues of sexual expression, having lost certain parts of his
> congenital equipment to the pruning shears, entertained himself
> by inventing prosthetic devices that would allow him to satisfy
> both himself and his partners.  The actual scenes of satisfaction
> took place in the bedroom which adjoined Madame's boudoir, and
> to which it was joined by numerous discreet openings through which
> could travel both light and sound.  Literary historians have claimed
> not without cause, that these scenes provided the inspiration for
> most of the seedier portions of the Misses von Pahlen novels.
>   Agnes grew more and more unstable toward the end of the 1930's and
> then disappeared, after being seen entering the sewers beneath the
> streets of the Swedish capital, dressed in a white wedding dress
> similar to the one worn by the character Melissa von Stumpinshump
> at her wedding to the Baron von Trupshick in the third of the
> novels in question.  Her body was later found in a canal near the
> edge of the city.  Rumour had it at the time that her corset was
> reinforced with remnants of the prosthetic devices invented and
> manufactured by her somewhat perverted, disfigured husband, the
> former ambassador from Portugal.
>   Agnes was buried in a simple, unmarked grave in the Swedish
> countryside.  Although there are various bits of evidence indicating
> the location of her grave, it has never actually been found.
> The mystery of her death has been explored in several doctoral
> dissertations, but most critics and historians dismiss as pure
> hypothesis most of the theories that have been put forth.
> .
------------------------intermission 9-------------------------
What Happened To Me In The Library 10
26)  Having satisfied my research responsibilities for the
day, I go home to a good home-cooked meal, and find my tc/sw
in tears, because of having received a long telephone call
from her father and step-mother who want to know why the
Sanford police have been questioning them about the mysterious
death by the lake.  I say what I always say:  "I know nothing
about all of this."  And no, I do *not* know anyone named
George or Lulu or whatever.  I haven't been to the library in
three months.  The staff can testify to that.... "They almost
took away my faculty study....  and I can't even remember to
return those books."  To which my tc/sw can only reply:
"You poor baby.  Have some soup."
27)  So, after a long day, I am finally able to settle down
and have a good nappie-poo, interrupted only momentarily by
the vision of Agnes floating on the algae-smooth surface of
the channel that delivers the contents of the Stockholm sewer
to the river that delivers those contents to the nearest
foreign neighbors.   Agnes raises her head, her golden tresses
stuck to her elegantly elongated neck, smiles, and says, in
a thick Armenian-Portuguese accent:  "More matter with less
art, if you please si vous plait."  I sleep the sleep of
those who have nothing left to confess, emptied, so to speak,
like the sewers of Stockholm, the truth has been told and so
to rest, angels wing thee to thy nest.  Amen.
--ggs (glad to be done with that....)
Date:         Mon, 14 Sep 1992 17:23:00 EDT
Sender: English Language Discussion Group <>
From: George McPherson <>
Subject:      Re: Prof. Smith's Fiction

As an employee of the D. H. Hill Library at North Carolina
State University, and as a resident of Raleigh, NC for all
the 22 years of my life and regular reader of the News and
Observer, I feel that I have the responsibility to inform
the readers of WORDS-L that much of what Professor Smith
has reported about his escapades in the library is pure-dee
There are, however, a few facts included in this ridiculous
story that are indeed true.  I know this because I witnessed
them myself over the past six months.
The truth consists of the following:
  1)  There was a transvestite matching the description of this
Franz, but he was observed not in the library, rather in the
McDonalds across the street from the library, where he was in
fact seen in the men's room with his skirt above his waist,
as Professor Smith reports.  Everything else about this rest-
room incident is merely lurid invention.
  2) As far as I know, this person dressed as a woman never
entered the library, but was, in fact, later found beaten and
mutilated in the vicinity of Sanford, NC.  The tatoo stuff is
made-up, obviously, and there is *no* professor anywhere who
would have come up with the "Ein Gebrokenhertz" interpretation of
the tatoo, which, if it had happened, *would* have happened on the
main drag of Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in the
world, therefore the heaviest concentration of tatoo parlors in
the world.
  3) Professor Smith regularly does not return his books, but we
merely send him notices and bills and then suspend his library
priviledges.  That *is* what we are here for.
  4) The letter informing him of the system of checking faculty
use of studies is historically accurate.  We *do* send these
letters.  That is what we *do*.
  5) The death of this misguided young man in high heels *was*
reported in the N & O, but *not* in USA TODAY.  The quote by
the chief of police is pure-dee fiction, needless to say.
  6) There is *no* Swedish archives at this library, and the
employee purported to be related to the Portuguese Ambassador is
a cruel hoax.  Equally cruel is the story about the staff assistant,
George.  I did not engage in any of the activities with which I am
charged.  I do not even visit the rest room in question, because I
have a key to the staff restroom.
  7) The _Technician_, which is a real newspaper on this campus,
does not publish daily, has no column entitled "Ask Terry Sue" and
has never reported a housekeeping staff strike, since there has
never been one.  Our Housekeeping Staff is quite content, and they
do *not* bother themselves with such ridiculous things as bathroom
behavior, nor has such behavior been a problem on this campus.
  8) There is *no* employee in the main office named Lulu, and it
is strictly forbidden to bring food into the library.  I know of
*no* employee who has the speech impediment described by Professor
Smith, and must assume that this detail is the product of what can
only be described as a twisted mind.
  9) The copy of Professor Smith's book, Juan Pablo Forner, has
been removed from the collection at the request of the former
department head.  Whether this book has been mutilated, as Professor
claims in one of his Gleanings posts, I cannot say, but it would not
surprise me one bit.
  10) Hopefully, I have done my part in clearing up any misunder-
standings concerning the way things are run in this library.
Thanking you for your time,
George McPherson, Special Staff Assistant
Circulation Desk, DHHL