Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Naked Man

Most libraries are cursed with quiet little nooks where the teenagers and perverts flock to do their unsightly deeds. It’s a dreaded task to do the hourly scan in which we flush the wrong doers from their niche with a stern admonishment or, in my case, a scream of ‘Oh my GOD! Put your clothes on!’ (I like to embarrass them to add a little flavor to my day and further deter them from a repeat performance.)
Ours comes in the form of a law library set in the back with many close-set shelves. To make matters worse, ours has a computer for the patrons to look up legal documents. Sadly, anyone with a modicum of computer knowledge can bypass our settings and plunder the Internet to their heart’s content.

One such occasion, we had a regular patron who spent many an hour back in that little room sitting in front of the monitor’s warm glow. He was clever enough to have a legal related screen up whenever we warily passed by, but his frantic glances over his shoulder were pretty obvious.

Do people really think that we’re that stupid? If we can arrange dewy decimal then I think we put two and two together.It started out slowly.

One day, we’d catch him hastily putting his shirt back on. The next week, we’d check the area and he’d poke his head out from behind a shelf and be surly refusing to come out. When we shut down the computer at night we get to have a lot of fun closing out all of the porn pop-ups. It’s so nice to learn about our patron’s preferences:

Needless to say, we always go in there armed with a can of Lysol. Ah Lysol, it is a librarian’s most trusted friend in such an unclean world.

On that most fateful day when he had crossed the line into overconfidence believing that we would never catch on to his evil deeds, I was thankfully off the clock. This is a first because I have an uncanny timing to be at work whenever the bizarre or unruly come around. I of course was very thougrally briefed on the situation later in minute detail.(sigh)

The bookmobile librarian was forced into the task of checking the area and sadly did not have the patron’s background information. When she walked into the room her eyes were initially drawn to a neat puddle of clothes lying idly by the computer. Her eyes of their own volition traveled upward where they were accosted by the horror of a naked man cowering in the corner who had never known the touch of soap. Far too late she threw up her hands to hide the emotionally scarring sight and asked if he was all right. (What a sweet, sweet, naïve soul!) The man yelled out and ran into the loving embrace of the shelves while that tough cookie librarian fled from the room to seek out the nearest figure of authority. Our assistant administrator happened to be very nearby so it was a matter of minutes before they both returned to the scene of the crime. Naturally, the man was gone but the amazing thing is, no one had seen him. We scanned the entire library quickly (by now we had the whole staff involved. It was a code pink: Naked Man On The Loose!) However, he was gone without a trace and the check out desk stationed right by the door had noticed nothing unusual. So this means that the man had managed to dress himself and casually leave in the course of three minutes!! He may not have been subtle, but boy can he move in a crush.

The staff of course notified the police and all of the non-present staff about the incident (in more detail than most of us were comfortable. Was knowing his birthmark important?) and warned us to keep an eye out for the offender. Quite miraculously, he showed up three days later as if nothing had happened (I was there for this part). I guess he figured we wouldn’t recognize him with his clothes on. We called the police and then quietly pulled him aside to explain that he had committed a crime and that he was banned from the library. The man became irate exclaiming; “I wasn’t completely naked!”Later investigation revealed that he was indeed wearing socks.

When I begin my promising career in streaking, I shall forever keep those words in mind. When they finally catch me, I will escape all prosecution by wearing fuzzy slippers.


Blogger StuBryce said...

wow, what a crazy library!

12:49 PM  

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