So I can’t take credit for the inspiration for this one - but I am going to run with it.
Those of you who are waiting for me to carry on both know what these are and have most certainly used them.
Those of you who came to a complete stop with a tight look on your face probably are waiting for an explanation or are thinking it’s something Hallmark came up with.
Since these are to be short takes I will help the second group only briefly by providing an image (with proper source credit).
Remember flipping through these things with all the grace of a person squinting and/or bending over to get a good look at the type (probably put in place by a typewriter - see a future article or fire up your flux capacitor to get a glimpse of the article right now) on the card and hoping you could either remember the coordinates or get a hold of a piece of paper and a pencil to scratch out the information quick enough before the card fell back into the shuffle or your eyes gave out.
Sometimes things would get so desperate you would need to yank out the entire row of cards in its full, long column of a drawer and tote it over to a table where you could delve into its typewritten data all by yourself. This was great if you were the first one to get a hold of the Ma to Mo drawer and were doing a term paper on country mice. You were plain out of luck if someone more industrious than you stole away with the same drawer because they were thick into working on their paper on mechanized warfare in World War One.
It was bad enough if you couldn’t find a single card of any help at all in the Ma to Mo drawer. That meant you had to come up with another angle of approach in researching country mice - tough, because you had barely come up with the research paper topic of country mice the night before (okay, during the class previous to you English class - okay, while walking to) your English class.
Worst of all was if there was a small gap in the Ma to Mo drawer where you knew your card on country mice should be. A close examination would reveal some cretin had ripped the card out of the drawer in its entirety and run off into the stacks and shelves of books with it. Being too lazy to even write down a few digits and an author’s name should not lead someone into a moment of library crime. The repentant ones would slide the card back into the drawer where it would stick up higher than the other cards, lean to the left or right or even slip down to the bottom of the drawer or even fall completely out of the wooden catalogue onto the floor where some other guilt-ridden library felon would snatch it from the floor, wad it up and toss it into the nearest garbage can for the sake of his fellow criminals in a fit of protective morality.
Finally, at the end of the search after the correct card was found, the proper information transcribed from it, the drawer returned to its long slot, what was found on the too high shelf of books in the library where your book should be proudly resting in wait for you was a profoundly empty space.
Who knew country mice was such a popular term paper topic.
What This Is