Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Devil Made Me Do It 

A man dressed in a sequin blouse, black satin pants and platform boots approached the desk. He looked like animal enthusiast Brian Fellow ("Is that flying squirrel afraid to fly after 9-11?") dressed as a glam rocker, kind of like one of the Spiders from Mars. He had the same prissy, imperious air of Brian Fellow, as well as his short attention span.

He asked me, "Do you have the Bible?"

"Yes, we do. Would you like one to check out or would do you just want one to ---"

"Which bible do you own? Is it the satantic one?"

"Satanic? Do you mean the one by Anton LeV -"

"That is exactly the one to which I would be referring." He bulged his eyes at me and began tapping his foot expectantly. "Would you go get it for me, puhleeze?" He then rolled his eyes and examined his nails.

The Satanic Bible  is one of those library high theft items, stolen perhaps by aspiring satanists who don't feel beholden to any commandments about stealing or as an act of censorship by concerned vigilantes. Fun Fact: Other commonly stolen books are The Prophesies of Nostradamus , Joy of Sex , consequently followed by titles on pregnancy (naturally enough), and exam preparation guides. The most stolen magazine? Sports Illustrated.

I explained that our small branch did not own the item, but that there were plenty of reference copies down at the main.

He waved his hand dismissively at me and said, "Oh, never you mind. I'm going to be over here reading the paper."

He grabbed the local paper and began noisily rifling through it, occasionally shrieking with hilarity and making loud comments like,

"Oh, no, she diinn't!" and "Da-amn!"

Even though I usually like to establish non aggression pacts with our odder patrons, especially when I'm the only librarian on duty, I finally had to go quiet him. He pursed his lips, flipped through some more pages, and said, "Don't blame me, ma┬╣am, blame the devil. I'm done with this place anyhow." He then made toward exit, swishing his hips insolently on his the way to the door. When he reached the door he whipped around and hissed at me,

"I rebuke you, librarian! I rebuke you."

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