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Some lines I just won’t cross

December 14, 2010

I’m fairly easygoing and I’m usually willing to help out when I can, but there are certain things I just won’t do; certain lines I just won’t cross.

For instance…

I’m in the men’s room last week. I’m washing my hands and humming Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to myself so I’m sure to wash for the requisite 20 seconds in order to kill off any cold or flu germs, or any other germs I’m not aware of, when I hear this loud thunk come out of nowhere followed by someone saying, “Some help?” I turn around and I see that the person who was sitting in the stall had dropped his library book. The book must have hit his feet on the way down because it slid underneath the door and was well out of his reach.

I knew it was a library book because I saw the shiny plastic cover and the paper strip along the bottom of the book identifying it as a library book before I went into semi-shock.

After I recover from the reality that someone has turned the restroom into the reading room and was reading a library book – a library book I might want to check out at some point – in the necessarium, I stop and wonder if I should help him get his book back. It’s what a nice guy would do, right?

I check out a fair amount of library books and most of the time the books are in good condition. But there are those times when I wonder what the little rusty-colored blotches are. Or the small, brownish-colored, crusty/bumpy things that look like they belong in a piece of tissue instead of smeared onto a library book’s page. Once in awhile there’s a lost strand of someone’s hair and one time, while I was reading lying down, I think a piece of someone’s fingernail fell out when I turned the page. I don’t know for sure because I jumped up so quickly and I never found the offending bit before I vacuumed the couch.

I don’t like finding anyone’s body part in any book I’m reading. And I don’t like the idea that someone might have been reading their borrowed book in the lavatory.

So I hear the guy say, “Any help?” and I look at the door and I see his shoes and all these thoughts go through my mind and I think I could easily walk over and kick the library book back across the dirty floor so he could reach it with his dirty hands and continue his relaxed reading in his dirty spot. That was probably the shortest conversation I’ve ever had with myself. I dried my hands and left him to fend for himself.

Remember: Be nice to your library books!

On a side note, I’ve blogged every day since I began NaBloPoMo on November 1st and this is my forty-fourth posting. That’s a good number.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Fordy permalink
    December 14, 2010 10:50 am

    ROFLMAO! So you just left the library book there? LMAO

    To maybe help put your mind at ease with regards to Library books – he could’ve purchased the book used from a book sale at the Library (we’ve picked up many books like that) …

    Though I will say, now I am perhaps a little disturbed at the implications of what other people are doing with those beloved books from the library …


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 14, 2010 10:56 am

      Yeah, sad to say, but I left both it and him there. I like your idea that it was a library book be bought at a used sale (please let that be it!)!


  2. Monica permalink
    December 14, 2010 11:03 am

    You and your germ phobia LOL! But, I do agree the bathroom, especially a public one is not known for cleanliness, the bathroom here at work really needs a good cleaning so I would have left too without helping. Personally, when I get books at the library I try to not think of where they might have been and who touched them- and fordy is right, maybe this guy got the book at the library book store…


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 15, 2010 4:29 pm

      We can only hope that’s where he got it because I don’t like the idea of that book going back into circulation!


  3. barbara permalink
    December 14, 2010 1:01 pm

    It’s sad to say that I would undoubtly have done the same thing.


  4. CELT permalink
    December 14, 2010 2:31 pm

    Hummmmm…now what would I have done in the same situation. Well I WOULDN’T have just walked away. I would have walked over, picked up the book and offered it to him under the door. (Although it DOES occur to me that behind the cover of the door HE could have also gotten up off the throne with his bare ass sticking out and retrieved his OWN book, methinks). of course then I would have PROMPTLY returned to the sink and rewashed my hands after touching that germ-laden book.

    Seriously Michael, you are not the only germophobe around, which is why I don’t use libraries any more. One word – AMAZON! I BUY my own books now so apart from the covers, it’s unlikely, given the warehouse setting of Amazon, that anyone has browsed through the pages and left any bits of assorted DNA or other organic evidence behind. I can’t say I fault the guy for reading on the can – do it myself – but I do think it’s bad form to share a dirty bathroom stall with a public library book (I keep thinking about him handling the book again AFTER wiping & flushing but BEFORE handwashing – and then even if he DOES handwash, he picks up the soiled book again – SHUDDER, ICK! AND then he passes said book to countless other hapless folks who handle the book after him. Now while it can’t be proved that anyone has ever gotten sick from handling a well used (and abused) library book, the germ-conscious nurse within me would prefer to read only those books I can call my own. Another option is E-books (Kindle or PC) – in fact I have bought a Kindle for hubby for Christmas since he reads e-books all the time but is saddled to his computer chair to do so and NOW he can move around with his Kindle and read wherever he wants – even on the throne and the Kindle can easily be wiped down, LOL.

    In conclusion, I think you should have helped the boob (being ever so careful to wash after doing so) but it was your call so who and I to judge. It was only a book – he could have finished his business and then retrieved the book himself. Now if it was TP he was requesting though, I HOPE you would have come to his aide! There is NOTHING worse than running out of TP in a public can (which is one reason why I carry a big purse – there’s sure to be Kleenex in there to get me through such situations unscathed, LOL 😉


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 15, 2010 4:32 pm

      I’m not sure I could have helped him with TP because the rolls are in those locked dispensers. I suppose I could have wadded up a bunch of paper towels and from about 10′ away tossed them over the door! Part of me thinks I could have kicked the book back to him but that’s a very small part 🙂


  5. cheri permalink
    December 14, 2010 9:22 pm

    I couldn’t agree more..

    *mo sent me*


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 15, 2010 4:32 pm

      Hi Cheri! Any friend of Mo’s is a friend of mine!


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