Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fame and Misfortune

Well, you'll soon be seeing my picture on the news, and it's not for the reason you think. (What do you think?) I'm guessing I'll soon be famous for setting a record for most library books checked out at once. I just checked my account online, and right now I have 47 books checked out. I'm pretty much the most devoted library patron ever. On the downside, that's 47 chances that I'm going to lose a library book, which is not totally unheard of at my house.

We lost a library book last year that we never found. It was one of those Easy Readers for kids who are just learning to sound out words. I can't remember what it was called, but it was something like Run Bun Sun, I'm sure. Or Scat Rat Cat, or Bug Jug Hug, you get the idea. Anyway, the thing was about 6 pages long and as thin as a sheet of construction paper. Now, really! Should libraries even be allowed to lend out books as small as that? That little micro-book was just begging to be lost!

Sure enough, that's exactly what we did. My late fees starting piling up to the ceiling, and I was looking everywhere for it. Do you know how many places a book the width of a CD could be hiding? With the CDs, for one. Behind the toilet, under the living room rug, in the flour barrel (yes, I have a flour barrel). It could be wedged in a recipe book. Good heavens, I would never find it there! I make all my dishes from memory. Spaghetti, tacos, pancakes. That's it. Just those three. I rotate them, though, so it's not like we're eating the same thing every night.

Eventually I went to the library to confess that I could not find the book. Before I went, I practiced getting tears to well up in my eyes while declaring that the $37.90 I now owed in late fees was more than my meager budget could handle. I wore my most bedraggled outfit (coincidentally, the same one I wear each time I blog and/or make spaghetti) and blacked out a tooth with a Sharpie. I approached the librarian with a look of abject humility and surrender, and told her I had lost a book and couldn't find it and would have to either pay for it, or legally change my name and take out a new library card with no late fees on it.

She looked at me somewhat askance, as all librarians look at people who are book-losers, and told me that the cost to replace the book was $1.97. The sun broke out of the clouds as I turned my face toward heaven. Hurray for skinny books! She even told me that if I would pay to replace the book she would waive my late fees. Obviously not a financial wizard, but I didn't argue with her. I'll let the library's board of directors handle that one.

So, now my card is free of late fees and my conscience is free of Run Sun Bun, or whatever it was. However, if you are ever at my house and you see one of 47 other books lying around, let me know.


The Crider Clan said...

Love it Lecia! I had to pay for a book once that I swear I really turned in. I'm still waiting for my apology letter from the MPL...I know they are going to find "The Little Mermaid" Easy Reader, and feel very bad that they made me pay 15 bucks for it! Plus, yesterday, I got whisper-yelled at for putting more than one book through the return slot at a time. I'm like you though, and I have a lot of books to return at a time, and three kids waiting for me! It would take forever to put them in one at a time!

Lecia said...

We were there yesterday too! We must have just missed each other. You obviously got the mean librarian if she really made you pay $15 for one of those little books!