In every wish and dream and happy home, you will find the kingdom of the gnome, Or, Skittle Rebellion in the Libunker

I want to say it represents some kind of sea change in human history that OpenOffice's spellchecker doesn't recognize "Thermopylae," and instead suggests "thermoplastics."

One time I was in a library carrel trying to read, and this guy in the carrel next to me kept typing on his laptop and smacking on something. It was a horrible noise, a horrible combination of noises. The indomitable click-click-click underscored by a wet slurp-slurp-slurp, smack-smack-smack, like in those cartoons where a bear is eating honey, and he kept trying to talk himself through physics problems sotto voce. Really. He called himself an idiot more than a few times. I got more and more distracted, and angrier and angrier, and finally I had to know what he was eating. So I stood up and walked behind him and leaned over his shoulder.


So to get revenge, I'm sitting in a library carrel, typing as loudly as possible on my laptop and eating whole mouthfuls of Skittles at a time. Sure, the guy isn't here. But it isn't about the guy. It's about us against the system. I like to think that ultimately, that physicist liberated me, and now I'm liberating someone else. He was like Morpheus to my Neo, rousing sleepers from their pathetic workaday existences one sloppy sugar-dollop swallow at a time. It's the Skittle Rebellion.

Our library is a bunker. Most buildings, they go up. This one goes down. I'm on D-level, which is 4 stories under the soil. It's a soulless place. Tucked away at the same depth that very rich people keep very expensive things sits a small rebel group of lonely scholars trying to frantically finish something for the semester that ended a month ago, or start something for the semester that's already here in spirit.

Me, I'm trying to finish. And I'm way behind.

Say, 5,500 words in the red is an alarmist estimate. And not so much as a completed paragraph in sight. Due date looming. 11. 12. 13. 14.

And I feel like David the Gnome.

Or, in Spanish, David el Gnomo. Did you ever think there was something a little bit condescending, even stand-offish about the theme song? "And if your heart is true, you will find them too"? Well, what the fuck, what if I don't find them? What then? What are you saying about me?

What's up now, bitch?

Everyone is gone now. I've driven them away with my click-click-clicking and my smack-smack-smacking. There is, though, a small cadre of police officers down in the bunker with me, sweeping the stacks, looking for a man. A cop just walked by and asked if I'd seen "a real tall" -- he put his hand up in the air, to indicate tallness -- "black guy, bald head" -- he put his hand on his head, to indicate baldness -- "black leather jacket" -- he popped an imaginary collar. I told him I hadn't and apologized, and he said, "oh, no problem!" like he'd hurt my feelings. He left, regrouped with his posse, and they again took up their reconnoiter. Like in Die Hard.

Now I'm alone in a dark library bunker basement, but for a suspect, who is evading police. And all the police are gone. When one needs badly to concentrate, there's nothing quite like a generically scary thriller movie preamble to keep the mind on task.

They walk past again.

Cop #1: He's probably in the stairwell somewhere.
Cop #2: He came down the stairwell.
Cop #1: All the way down here?
Cop #2: Yeah!

Let the force be with you. This is like Police Squad.

We built this city -- we built this city on smack and coke.

Edit: OH SNAP!

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