Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah, that'll show us.

Third grumpiest old man in all the world Mr. Crab arrived yesterday with an armload of books to return. I was pleased to see they were checked out on his own card, rather than on Mrs. A's. He must have managed to not only find his card but actually bring it in with him at some point recently. Will wonders never cease?

"And I want to give this to the library," Mr. Crab said to Mrs. B, passing over a check. Mrs. B asked if it was for the operating fund. He said it was.

Later, Mrs. B showed me the check. Instead of his usual and much heralded $200 annual donation, the check was only for $110.00. This caused me to giggle.

"He must have deducted $10 for each time he forgot his card and we wouldn't let him check out," I told her.

And I have no doubt that this is exactly what he intended. Why else would someone donate an amount as unrounded as $110? Sure, I could see $150, or $200, or even $125 has a nice ring to it. But $110? The only way I think he could have made it a more obvious THIS ISN'T MY NORMAL $200 ANNUAL DONATION gesture would be if he'd made the check out for $109. The fact that it was an even number, though, could be interpreted to mean Mr. Crab had deducted amounts from it in even increments.

Even though our card policy is clearly costing us money, I couldn't be happier about it. To me, any amount of loss would be worth it if only to see Mr. Crab not get his way.

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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.