Friday, May 18, 2007

Why librarians hide the Armageddon books when they see us coming

Arcimboldo, The Librarian
I got a call from the library today. The book Snails and Slugs that we returned this week was apparently damaged while in our possession – the tip of the right corner has little bite marks all over it. The librarian asked me if we have a puppy. “Nope,” I replied, “but apparently we have snails or slugs.”

She was not amused. I confessed that we do have a teething baby who takes to gnawing on anything with fiber content. "Just put it on our tab please. We aim to single-handedly keep the library running through our generous donations of late fees and damaged book costs."

Too bad the librarian had no sense of humor. She might have gotten a kick out of the other abused books on our record. Along with the chewed slug book, she’d note a rather surreal pattern that includes 1) a book about the Bermuda Triangle that inexplicably vanished while in our home and then (after we had paid for it) reappeared months later on the library shelf, 2) a book about the Titanic that suffered water damage, and 3) the Curious George book – the one where George gets into trouble for ripping pages out of his books – with (you guessed it) torn pages. Apparently I run the worst kind of negligent bookophile household, but in my defense, the last one's really not my fault. Everyone knows that stupid monkey is a bad influence.

27 comments:

Shalee said...

Well, at least your creative in your ways of destroying books. Might I suggest, however, that you not read a book about the end of the world...

Shalee said...

Good grief... I JUST read the title of your post. Sheesh.

Scribbit said...

I'm not a Curious George fan either, bad influence is right.

And it bugs my kids that he never gets in trouble--probably because they'd never get away with what he does :)

An Ordinary Mom said...

I have never been a big fan of Curious George, but I do love the color yellow.

Glad to have you back from your blog sabbatical. I was missing my fill of Mental Tesserae.

What happens if you check out some books on keeping your house clean and raising children to not squabble? Maybe I should try that experiment.

Kimberly said...

Okay, I'm loving Lucy's suggestion!

And I laughed, out loud, for more that just a few seconds, after reading about your damaged book record.

Melessa said...

Welcome Back! And we are rough on library books here too. In fact, since a friend from church started working there, I've been too afraid to check out books.

Chanel said...

let me just tell ya, on my top ten list of people I can NOT STAND, librarians are NUMERO UNO! I think the Dewey Decimal system wipes out any sense of humor, light heartedness, or pure kindness out of their tightly wound selves.

Radioactive Jam said...

I was going to make a nice, lame joke about you and the librarians getting on the same page before someone comes unglued, but decided against.

The Lazy Organizer said...

My favorite thing is when my daughter pulls cassette tapes apart behind my back while I'm checking books in. The librarian didn't think that was funny at all. What is it with librarians? I guess if I had their job I would be mean too.

My kids are going to love that painting!

Catherine said...

I love it!! I've always said that a book I buy for a dollar is cheaper than the one I borrow from the library, once everything is accounted for. I enjoyed your humor, even if the librarian didn't. :)

Luisa Perkins said...

So funny. Have you read the Curious George book where he swallows the puzzle piece? Yeah; don't ask....

I missed you! Glad you're back!

Stacey said...

Ah...such sweet vindication when a book you've "lost" suddenly appears in the library stacks. This has happened to us so many times! Any more, I just figure the "replacement cost" I pay turns into "late fine credit," so it all comes out in the wash! ;-)

Linda said...

We always owe money to the library. In fact, my fil used to say that we are the only people that have to pay for something that was free. = )
Thank Goodness its not just us.
Linda

ruth said...

Love the list of damaged books.

I always owe for late books too.

Kelly said...

The classic children's book "I'll Love You Forever" ranks as most disturbing to me.

It's sweet when she sings, "I love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be" to a newborn. And to a toddler.

But by the time that boy is a teenager and then a young man, living in his own house across town, and the mother is driving over in the middle of the night -- with a ladder on her car! -- so she can climb in his window and sing to him?!? That's INSANE!

I can't read it anymore. It gives me the willies.

The Daring One said...

Oh, those cannot be true. That is so funny. We like to think about our book mishaps as benevolant donations to the library institution.

Terri B. said...

Well, that librarian needs to get a sense of humor. I can say this because I am a librarian and I think your book episodes are hilarious! I especially appreciate the bermuda triangle episode.

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Dedee said...

So funny. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was shocked to find out they didn't have library fines. How was I supposed to donate my hard earned money to their library???

I'm back in the land of fines now, so we'll see what happens now!

Jennifer B. said...

I feel so much better--just went to the library Friday to return an overdue book and pay a nice fine for the 10 other late books I had turned in previously. At least they weren't chewed, soaked, or torn. Counting my blessings.

compulsive writer said...

Sometimes I find chocolate smudged on certain pages. Now however did that get there?

Michelle said...

What a great post, and it is a shame that librarian didn't have a bettersense of humour! They always get me on the late fees..

Tangent Woman said...

I have a confession to make - I actually intentionally "lost" a book and paid the replacement fine because I WANTED that copy of the book for selfish sentimental reasons and figured they would probably rather have a nice new copy instead of the old dog-eared one I needed to keep.
Am I going to burn now?

Annette Lyon said...

After checking out hundreds of library books with crayon artwork and permanant marker smears all over them, I got dinged for returning "A Fish Out of Water" which my toddler had taken my waterproof mascara to a couple of pages of. Had to pay for that one even though you could still read every word and see every picture. Then I had to firmly tell the kids that decorating books with Mommy's make-up was NOT a good idea, even though they got a book out of the deal. Eight years later, the book's still going strong--and we're still paying for library books. But instead of damaged, they're usually just lost.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Happy, happy birthday Julie!

Kimberly said...

Happy Belated! Hope you had a wonderful, memory-making day.

love.boxes said...

George IS a bad influence. I'm more of a Kipper lover myself. Your book disasters all reminded me of my nephew who likes to play, "will it float?" using, you know, the items at hand and the toilet. :)