“It’s for an April Fool’s joke,” she finally said after my third trip over to help her with a document. A black woman, in her early 20s, she was having problems formatting a Word document. She wore orange and black leopard print stretch pants and she had a diamond stud in her nose. She was soft-spoken, but she was not shy about asking for help with her document, and yet she was secretive about what she was trying to do. She quickly showed me the paper she was trying to duplicate.
Together, we were able to set up the page so it looked like an official document with results from a medical testing company.
It had all kinds of personal information for a man named (redacted). As I looked closer it had blood and urine tests, but the resultsw were folded over so I couldn’t read them.
We walked over to the printer together.
“How’s it look? I asked her.
“I’m gonna get him,” she said. After she looked at it, the woman turned the paper in my direction.
She had removed the “not” from three lines, leaving the word “detected” after “Chlamydia,” “Gonorrhea,” and “Syphilis.”
“I hope he can take a joke,” I said, worried that if he responded violently, I could be considered an accessory to the crime.
She was grinning, not as widely as Snidely Whiplash, but in such a way that this went a bit beyond funny and into villainous territory, like Chuck Klosterman’s book, I Wear the Black Hat.
I just read his book, which I’ll call uneven but still informative and entertaining, and not without a Stump the Librarian reference. A man named Gardner had his leg severed after he was tied to train tracks. Snidely is a cartoon, Gardner is a nonfiction person, but I couldn’t decide if this woman was mean, villainous, or just having a little mischievous fun.
“It’s gonna be good,” she said. She didn’t have a mustache to twirl, but as she turned to me her nose ring twinkled.