Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sometimes an overdue library book is just an overdue library book.

I saw an announcement that Betty White would be playing a librarian in an upcoming episode of some sitcom, and as the fictional librarian, she would track down an overdue library book a student forgot to return. And that made me sad. Because writers still haven't learned that librarians are regular people with regular problems and we don't spend our days on the trail of book thieves or even on the trail of book late-returners. We have many other regular, normal interests.

So this is a letter to TV writers everywhere. Here is an actual experience I had with my school librarian, Mr. Jenkins when I had an overdue library book. As you can see, librarians are normal everyday people who just want to help.

I remember this as if I just made it up today... because sometimes an overdue book is a cry for help.

Mr. Jenkins pulled me aside in the school library to ask about my overdue library book, Robert Mapplethorpe Photographs the Katzenjammer Kids:
So, Billy, Mr. Jenkins says,(yes, in this story my name is Billy), what about that overdue library book? Are we going to see that back in the library soon? You know, library school trains us librarians to view an overdue book as a cry for help; are you crying for help, Billy? Maybe you've having some issues at home? A fight with your brother or sister? Do you have a sister? An older sister? Maybe one who's really promiscuous, a dirty little slut who stays out all night? No? No older sister. Too bad. Do you ever feel like you're the older sister? Walk around in your mom's high heels? Did you ever want to be a girl? Try on this lipstick. Look at that shade of red, this would look hot on you. No? Not ready yet? Okay, calm down. What about your parents? Are they separated? Maybe getting a divorce? And your mom is pretty lonely in that big bed all by herself. Your mom is still pretty young, right? How would you feel if you woke up some morning and saw me exiting your mother's bedroom? Would that creep you out? Oh, but your parents aren't separated. What about drugs? Maybe the other kids are trying to get you to do drugs and you don't know what to say? You're embarrassed, right? Because you haven't done any drugs before? How much money you got? Ten bucks? Here's a doobie from my personal stash. Don't freak out, I'm going to show you how to smoke this bad boy so you don't spend the rest of your existence on this planet being such a dork.
And then that bastard took my ten dollars and bogarted that whole joint.

And that's how I became a librarian. The End.

I wish I'd thought of that last line a long time ago. A good blog should have a theme and it seems like a cool idea to have a blog where every post ends with, "And that's how I became a librarian."