Moes Teenagers Aren’t Like This

, , , , , , , | Right | September 4, 2020

A father and his daughter — maybe twelve years old — come up to the reference desk. To call the child surly is an understatement. She clearly wants to be anywhere but here. The father is prompting his little angel.

Father: “Go on. Tell the librarian about what you need.”

He then turns to me.

Father: “Maybe you will understand.”

Daughter: “I need a book on Moes.”

That is exactly how she pronounces it, like “Moles” but without the L.

Me: “Okay. Can you tell me a little more? I am not quite certain what we are talking about.”

Father: “You and me both.”

Daughter: “MOES.”

Me: “What class is this for?”

Daughter: “School.”

Me: “Yes, but what class?”

Daughter: “For a report on MOES.”

The father shakes his head and looks heavenward.

Me: “Okay, let’s try again. Science? History? English?”

Daughter: “I doin’ a report on MOES.”

Father: “Okay, I am going to ask again. What the heck are we talking about?”

Daughter: “I tol’ you. MOES.”

Me: “Is it for science? Are we talking about mold? Like how it’s used for penicillin?”

Daughter: “I ain’t doing nothing with penicillin.”


The daughter gives a heavy sigh as if she is giving up state secrets.

Daughter: “Moes. Like what grow in the back yard!”

Father: “You mean moles? Like the animal?”

She stomps her foot and screams “MOES” again. But she finally says, in a completely different voice:

Daughter: “It’s for science class.”

I get inspired because there have been a lot of kids through looking for material on plants and trees.

Me: “Is this for Mr. [Science Teacher]’s class?”

The daughter now has her lower lip stuck out.

Daughter: “Yeah.”

Me: “Are we talking about the thick green stuff that grows on the side of trees and around the roots?”

She looks peeved that I figured it out.

Daughter: “Yeah.”

Her father invokes the Lord’s name and adds:

Father: “It’s called MOSS. MOSS.”

I find some appropriate information and send an assistant off to get the books.

Father: *Shaking his head* “Thank you! As God is my witness, she speaks perfectly good English, but since she got in with this bunch of new friends, she’s decided on this whole new gig.”

He turns to his daughter.

Father: “YOU may think you sound all down with the struggle, but what you sound like is a fool. We’re going to have a talk about speaking so you can be understood when we get home.”

I so wanted to slap a gold star on that weary-eyed man’s chest.

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