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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That's My Job

I've been searching for obituaries for the past several days. Although I didn't find a single one that I needed, I did stumble upon this hilarious article in the April 7, 1965 edition of the Clarion-Ledger:

It's Not Part Of Regular Job
Elizabethtown, KY
The state recently erected billboards showing a picture of a state trooper and this quotation: "It's my job to help you."
Two weeks later a woman telephones the post here to report she had a library book due at 1 p.m. Would a trooper please rush to her home, pick up the book and deliver it to the library before the deadline?
The dispatcher who took the call was courtesy itself. He told her no one was available just then for that particular kind of help.
You know what? It IS our job to help you. It always amazes me how many wonderful programs and services Mississippi libraries, let alone the Mississippi Library Commission, offer. Working on your family tree? Ancestry and the Federal Census can track down those relatives. Homework stumping you? We can point you in the right direction with help from MAGNOLIA. Car trouble? Chilton's may be the answer for you. Have a question on any topic under the sun? Give us a shout and we'll give it a shot.

By the way, I admire that quick-thinking officer. It's always so hard to find the right thing to say and still manage to convey a helping hand. We always advise dropping off your library books yourself, though, instead of calling the police!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Dub Thee... Fido

The One and Only Rover
We always owned a dog while I was growing up. There was Duchess, a beautiful dachshund. Carmen, a frou-frou poodle. Molly. Lady Jane. Annie. Perhaps because we always adopted females, we never took one of my father's repeat suggestions. His two favorite names, suggested whenever we acquired a new dog, were Rover and Fido. (I suspect that you're getting some insight into Dad's sense of humor.) While there is now a Rover living with dear ole Pop, there is yet to be a Fido. After I ran across a particularly interesting nugget yesterday, I almost regret that we never let Dad name the dogs.

In Virgil's epic poem Aeneid, the main character Aeneas has a best friend named Achates. He is referred to as Fidus Achates, or "faithful Achates" and is regarded as the most slavishly devoted and doggedly steadfast bosom buddy of all time. The moniker Fidus (with the connotation of an excellent friend) stuck, and is the origin of the canine name of Fido.

So there you go. Fido turns out to be a literary name. Maybe we'll let Dad name another dog.

"Achates." Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia (1996): 5. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.
"Achates." Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth (1996) Credo Reference. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.
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