The time I yelled in a library OR How I almost killed Deborah’s dad

So, nothing interesting has happened to me lately. Thus, you get another snapshot into my past, but I can’t use up all the good ones right away so it’s a little more mundane. This story occurred this past summer while I was an archaeologist on a dig near South Bend, Indiana. Ah, those were the days. Digging and lab work 8am-9pm followed by 3 hours of drinking every night.

Anyway, every Wednesday night we would have a meeting at the city library where we would participate in a lecture series about Fort St. Joseph. During these lectures, well, we usually fell asleep because of our slavish hours, but we were supposed to be sitting upright and looking distinguished or something. Unfortunately, my idea of looking distinguished involves a mustache, an ascot, and a bubble pipe, so yeah… But in all seriousness, we would shower off our 17th century dirt and grime, put on a little makeup, and dress well for the 20 or so people who attended the series.

Note the abrupt change in soil coloration. Also, these rocks all have 17th century mortar on them.

Well, one evening, Deborah (name changed), our intern, was accompanied by her father to the lecture series. He is a very nice man, and he asked intelligent questions. That might not sound like an accomplishment, but when the most common questions you get are “An archaeologist? Like Indiana Jones?” And “Oh, so you dig up dinosaur bones?” you tend to celebrate when someone knows more than the completely false Hollywood representations of your life’s career.

Now, I had gotten a little antsy after the lecture, so I was standing in the hallway between the lecture hall and the stairwell with a few of my fellow archaeologists. I sipped my water sedately in an attempt to look distinguished, and I nodded farewell to Deborah and her father as they passed by and began climbing the stairs.

Then a fellow archaeologist asked me for the 4th time if I was coming to the lake house on Friday, to which I responded impatiently and loudly,

“Yeah I’m coming ALL over!”

At this point in time, Deborah’s father turned bright red and proceeded to miss the next stair. I’m pretty sure he experienced a minor heart attack at this point in time.

I immediately began panicking. If he died tumbling down the stairs of the Niles Public Library because of my filthy mouth, I would be responsible. I would have to drag his body to the van, drive to the site, and bury it at the bottom of  a previously dug unit so no one would ever find it.

Luckily for me, he stumbled upward instead of backward down the stairs, and a crisis was averted. However, I did have to endure a friend continuously asking me to repeat myself so he could make it his ringtone, which I declined.


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