Wednesday, May 28, 2008


A patron came up to the circ-desk bearing what looked like a leather checkbook cover.

"Somebody left this in a chair over by the window," he said.

"Oh, thanks," I told him and took it to drop in the lost and found box. Before doing so, I opened it to find it was not only a checkbook cover but also a wallet, with a driver's license bearing a picture of The Coot staring out. I laughed at this. The Coot had been parked in one of the chairs by the window for most of the day, all slunk down in it as usual. He'd probably slunk his ass so far down in the seat that that he'd wiggled his wallet out of his back pocket.

I phoned the Coot's home and left a message explaining that we had his wallet at the desk.

The next morning, the Coot stopped by, grinned broadly and asked if I'd been the one to call him. I'd seen him coming up the walk and already had his wallet ready to hand to him. I should have demanded some behavior modification on his part before handing it over, but I didn't. Though I'm loathe to admit it, the Coot hasn't been especially annoying as of recent. Oh, sure, he still splashes water on the counter in the men's room in a most unnecessary manner, but he's taken to putting away his books and periodicals on most days instead of always leaving them in piles in his wake. And, gratefully, he no longer smells of cat piss. Or at least he's stopped wearing his leather jacket that smells like cat piss.

Good one.

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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.