Jules over at GoJulesGo has a contest for free coasters and I am all up in that. Free! Coasters! Did I mention they’re free and homemade by an actual artist? Woot. All we have to do is tell a drunk story. You might think I wouldn’t have one, being a meek and mild librarian. You would be wrong.
While getting my degree in Library Science (yes it’s a science, shut up) I had the opportunity to go to TLA. The Texas Library Association hosts an annual conference for librarians to network and learn more about library crap blah blah. There are classes, but what I remember most was roaming the exhibit hall in search of free books until I was loaded down like a literal bag lady. Oh, and I remember one other thing. There was booze.
And I don’t just mean a little booze, either. Every place you went there was alcohol. There were several scheduled events, like the welcome party (bar at the museum), library school reunions (bar in a hotel room), President’s celebration (bar at a club), and the closing luncheon (bar at the conference hall). If there was an event, booze would find its way in, thus guaranteeing participation. The President (of the library association, not Obama btw) had by far the most popular party because there were free margaritas.
Anyway, so there I was with my fellow online classmates. Some of them had been before, so they knew what was coming. I didn’t. So you can imagine my shock at seeing such a huge gathering of librarians, those dignified keepers of knowledge, getting drunk off their butts. And this was exactly what the conference designers intended, because while you often got free food, the only drinks available came from the bar.
I bet you think librarians can’t cut loose, right? You haven’t seen them drunk before. I was dragged along on the shuttle (the shuttle would take you to all library events, so it actually drove us to a club. Bizarre). There we were greeted by hundreds of wasted keepers of knowledge. My friends were well versed in the art of drinking, whereas I was the goody-two-shoes who did not drink. It’s not a moral thing. I just don’t care for it, and besides, I didn’t exactly trust these people enough to get drunk in front of them.
It didn’t take long for one of my friends, a lovely woman in her 50s who could easily pass for 40s, to get drunk enough off the free margaritas that she started trying to pick up the hot young bartender who I guess had to be 21, but not much older. She said something along the lines of “If I were a little younger and not married . . .” My friend C and I eventually steered her away before she could actually climb over the bar.
We had pictures of the event. In one I’m wearing a cowboy hat that was put on my head by a hammered library vendor. She told me I was her bestest friend ever. Sadly I did not get free books once she sobered up the next day. Anyway, we danced and they drank, but eventually the room got sparse and it was just my friend C, the drunk one who tried to pick up a bartender her son’s age, and me. We steered the drunk librarian outside. She tried to get on the wrong shuttle. We got her off and put her on the right one. On the way back to the hotel, she entertained everyone by singing at the top of her lungs about how everyone was her sister. She made plans to go to the hot tub. We didn’t think this was the best idea ever.
Fortunately, when we arrived at the hotel, she was too tired to try to drown herself in the hot tub. We got her up to her hotel room and she slept it off. And the next day I was the only one without a headache. I made plenty of librarian friends then because think of the blackmail potential! Our professors were so right. There really are great networking opportunities at library conferences.