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, April 19, 2005

The Unanticipated and Disappointing Early Return of "Sir Richard Weed"

I wasn't expecting a resolution to the situation with Paranoid Rick James so soon, but it happened and has settled out with no major fireworks. Rats.

I didn't even find out about it until nearly closing time yesterday, when I asked Mrs. C what she and Mrs. A were planning to do about Rick's returned overdue notice.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you... He returned his late tapes on Friday," Mrs. C said with a grin.

"Did he now?" I said, warming to what I hoped was a story of Rick James getting royally blessed out by a double-barrell Mrs. A/Mrs. C combo. I wanted to hear all the details of how they raked him across coals for knowingly omitting the fact that the address he'd given us was no longer valid. It wasn't quite so good as all that, but it's still a nice story.

According to Mrs. C, Paranoid Rick James ambled in by himself Friday afternoon and turned in his overdue books on tape. I'd certainly not expected him to return so soon, but it makes sense as he'd choose to do so on Friday and Rick, cheap jerk that he is, knew we don't charge fines on Friday. Otherwise his would have been in the $7.50 range. Well, they would have if we didn't have that darn $4 fine ceiling.

So Rick drops off his old tapes and heads on back to find new ones. Once he'd selected some, he came back to the desk to check out, where Mrs. C was lying in wait for him.

Can you guess what necessary item for checking things out Paranoid Rick James "neglected" to bring with him? That's right, surprise surprise: his "liberry" card!

"Oh," he said in what Mrs. C reports was a disdainful tone, "I have to have my library card, don't I?"

"Yes, you do," she said. "You also have to provide us with a valid mailing address and a physical address before you can check anything else out. We sent you an overdue notice about your books on tape and it came back to us as having an invalid address."

Rick protested claiming, "Well I told them when I got the card that it was my old address!"

Naturally, I was fuming when Mrs. C related this bit.

"NO. HE. DID. NOT!" I all but shouted. Then I realized I was shouting at the choir, for Mrs. C has heard more than one re-telling on my part of That time I issued Paranoid Rick James a card and she was well-aware that he had said no such thing. And even if she hadn't, it was utter crap that he would even make such an assertion because we're certainly not in the business of handing out library cards to people without valid mailing addresses. That was the ENTIRE POINT of the argument when he first tried to get a card with us, so there's no way we would have accepted a bogus address a week later, even if he had pointed it out, (WHICH. HE. DID. NOT!).

Mrs. C said she listened to him, then told him once again that he would be checking no items out until he provided us with the valid required addresses, not to mention his actual card. Rick wisely decided not to push the issue. He left his pile of books on tape there and said he'd pick them up later. Mrs. C then went up to tell Mrs. A who had been in. They were both laying money that Rick would turn up again, but with Gladys Knight's card just to try and "get one over" on us yet again. However, when Rick came back a few hours later, he had his own card and provided us with a valid mailing address--Gladys's, which is technically his too, since he does live there.

Here's hoping he stays away for another three months.

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