An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Fatty Fatty Two By Four Appearance (or "More Titles Originally Rejected by Robert Ludlum")

Bout mid afternoon, Chester the (Potential) Molester came through the door. He was wearing his typical little gray knit cap, though not the one with all the holes in it. Similarly, he wore a less ratty-looking vest.

As usual, the first place his eyes went (being as how there were no preteens immediately in the room) was to the top of the mysteries floor shelf where we USED to keep FAFSA forms. The only thing there at the moment are Christmas books and tomorrow, after we put them away, the only thing that will be there are tax forms. Chester looked disappointed, then approached the desk. I made sure to give him my standard and patented monstrous glare of hatred and ire.

Chester's looking pretty fat these days. I'm not saying this judgmentally, as I myself have done nothing but eat since Thanksgiving and I can no longer quite fit into my size 34's and my size 38's are unsettlingly comfortable. I think Chester must have eaten twice as much as me, though, cause he's quite the plump goose. We see him so irregularly, that he might have been gaining for a while now, but the last time I got a good look at him, he seemed to be getting into some form of better shape. He's still a bloated sack of crap no matter how thin he gets, but today he embodied that term far more accurately than in recent memory.

"Uhm... uh... rthere anycmprtrsopn?" Chester mumbled.

"Come again?"

"Uhmm are there any computers open," he repeated.

Normally when Chester comes in, the computers are full, albeit with patrons whose time has run out. In such cases I should technically ask one of them to leave and relinquish their computer to him. However, since Chester only asks if computers are open and not if he can use one, I almost always get to tell him, "No, they're all full." At that moment, though, there was only one computer being used so I had no way to manipulate the truth.

"Yeah," I grumbled, marching back to log him on. I passed a completely different patron and had to make sure to alter the expression of loathing on my face so she didn't think it was directed at her.

After Chester took his place at the computer and I'd returned to the desk, I noticed that his Fugly, parked out front in half hour parking, still had its lights on. Even though a dead battery in it might mean Chester would have to hang around the library to wait for AAA or something, I just couldn't bring myself to be so nice as to actually alert him to it. Mrs. C returned a few minutes later, and wore a similar expression of hatred and ire to my own, having noticed the Fugly out front.

"Is he here?" she said.

"Yup."

"Does he know his lights are on?"

"Nope."

Neither of us made a move to tell him.

"I do have a FAFSA form for him, though, in case he asks," I said, brandishing one of the forms I'd pulled from the huge pile of them we still have behind the desk. "Can I go ahead and fill it out for him? `CHESTER THE EFF-ING MOLESTER'" I pretended to write, substituting Chester's real name to bookend the EFF-ING.

We laughed.

We've had some interesting though not surprising news about Chester recently. One of the local home-school students, Rif, who's been a regular at our "liberry" since he was a tiny kid, is now taking classes at the community college across the road. I was recently regaling him with the tale of arranging for Chester to get a parking ticket for hogging up an hour and a half of our half-hour parking time when he gave me a curious look and asked me to describe Chester for him. I'd assumed he knew who I was talking about, as Chester is the same guy who used to regularly creep out his sister, Magenta, by driving by her repeatedly when she was waiting outside the local dance studio for her ride home. I described Chester's sack-of-Chris-Penn-gone-to-seed-crap appearance for Rif.

"I know who you're talking about," he said, grinning. "That guy is creeeepy! He hangs out at the community college all the time."

According to Rif, Chester likes to hang out in the commons area of the community college where he enjoys casually leaning against walls and garbage cans pretending to read a newspaper while ogling the girls (at least there they're of age) and grinning from ear to ear while he does it. Rif says everyone knows about him and sees him for the creep that he is. We still don't know if he's actually taking classes there or if he's just pretending to be a college student for the girl-watching opportunities. I'd love to know for sure.

Chester left without asking for a FAFSA form, nor did he have any opportunities for ogling.

Hours passed.

Around 6:45, Mrs. C phoned me on her cell phone. She was calling from the local health club down the street where she and Mr. C work out on a daily basis.

"Guess who's working out here tonight?" Mrs. C said.

I knew it immediately. "No!"

"Yes!" she said. "He's wearing his little gray hat and everything."

"Oh, Lord!" I said, trying and failing to stop myself from imagining Chester in workout attire.

Mrs. C seemed to sense this and said, "Yeah, it's pretty disgusting. He's hardly working up a sweat, but at least he's trying. I haven't seen him staring at anyone yet either. Just thought you'd want to know."

I guess Chester's trying to work off some holiday pounds, just like the rest of us.

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