"Can you smile in a crisis? Do you like working with people? Can you be a booster for the public library?" Yes to all of the above. Which is why my eyes lit up at the sight of the "help wanted" notice at my local library.
Who loves the library more than me? I'm always telling people about the great Hudson Valley library system, where you have the pick of books and DVDs from 80 well-stocked libraries at your disposal.
15-20 hours a week. Not much of a commitment. And I admire all the library ladies. They're hip, they're cool, they're middle-aged like me. They understood when I started pawing the new book of Alice Munro short stories as it sat waiting to be shelved.
I saw this notice today and immediately began imagining a whole new life for myself: librarian.
No more tussling with promoters who try to put an 8-piece party band on the bill with us because "they're good for 50 people on a Friday night." No more wondering how to keep our dinner tab within the confines of "$8.00 per band member meal credit" (why can't it be something humane...like $10?) No more trudging to the post office yet again, with a roll of posters that will not have shown up when we arrive at a club and then be found mysteriously underneath a stack of tablecloths at the end of the night.
No more trying to get clubs to put my last name in their ad (Wreckless Eric & Amy does have a sexy burlesque ring to it, or suggests a postmodern ventriloquist act, but even Charlie McCarthy got his last name in there)
Then I remember I've already got a part-time job that involves books, one that I've just managed to hang onto due to lengthy absences for touring. The library wouldn't look too kindly on my frequent comings and goings. Besides, the bookstore serves beer.
And I remember this nice gang up in Troy who are putting us on in the Ale House next Saturday, and how they run a record store out of love, and how they were so thrilled to have us play on their radio show last night.
Not to mention any number of odd and wonderful things that could happen at the Philadelphia and Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ shows this weekend, and how we get to play on WFMU on Saturday, guests on Michael Shelley's show.
The last sentence on the flyer, "this is a civil service job", had an appealing ring to it.
But I like to think we're in a discreet branch of that already.