I returned from shelving in the fiction stacks to find our circ-desk had a line of five patrons standing at it. My fellow "liberry" ass., Mrs. B was helping them, so I knew they would be through quick enough, but upon seeing the situation I decided to help out.
The first four people in the line consisted of a mom and her three kids checking out their limit in books. The fifth patron in line was Mr. Butts, appearing very annoyed at having to wait in line.
I knew it would take even the efficient Mrs. B a good while to process thirty plus books, and despite how Mr. Butts treated me last time he was in, I walked behind the desk, moved over to the less busy side of it and caught his eye, giving him the international library sign language for "I can help you over here."
Mr. Butts scowled and walked around the family to my side of the desk then tossed a thick book onto the countertop with such force that it slid across it almost all the way to my edge of it. He then flashed me a deeply pissed expression, turned and left the building.
Apparently, Mr. Butts hadn't been waiting to check out a book at all, but had been waiting to return one. He was probably irritated that he actually had to come inside and wait in line to do this, as we keep our book drop out front locked during normal library hours. And the book in question was one of his much-sought-after Michener's, which probably put him in an even more pissy mood when remembering our last encounter on the subject. I hoped he was happy to learn that we've now returned our entire collection of Micheners on the shelves and no longer have any in remote storage, but I suspect he wasn't.
As I picked up the book to check it in, I felt something slick on the back cover. The plastic book jacket was coated in some sort of grease, as though the book had been resting recently on a packet of stale old french fries. Further evidence of this could be seen in the greasy track the book had left on its trip across the circ-desk. Ewww!
I quickly ran for our Windex and cleaned it all up, taking care to check whether any grease had had found its way onto the pages of the book itself. Unfortunately, it hadn't, and the book jacket was easilly cleaned, otherwise I would have had an excuse to phone Mr. Butts to alert him to his grease-damage and the amount he would have then owed us for a new hardback Michener of the same title. I'm sure he would have been thrilled.