The Catcher in the Library
by Will Bailey
I’m confused. I was raised to believe a universal axiom: you don’t shush librarians, librarians shush you. Yet, here I am, in the library, trying to concentrate while some extremely boisterous librarians yuck it up as if they are in the buffet line at the church picnic, and not, you know, A LIBRARY. In fact, I have half a mind to interrupt my close reading of MAD Magazine’s movie parody, “You’ve Got Snails” (a little late to the party, I know) and give these so-called librarians, or Dewey’s Angels as I refer to them, a piece of my fragile little mind. After all, a library is a temple of totally free entertainment-the modern cheapskate’s Xanadu. But how am I supposed to give thanks and praise to the Great Cheap One with a gaggle of giggling book mongers whooping it up near the audio books? I’ll tell you how: brute concentration. All I have to do is completely filter out the noise and focus in on what’s really important, i.e. Meg Ryan falling in love with her exterminator, Tom Hanks, after discovering her New York apartment has a nasty snail infestation. Yep, I’m in the zone. Nothing can distract me now. I’m like a deadly reading robot, sent back in time from the future to search out a rogue book, read it and then kill it before it can be placed in the bargain bin. I’ve been programmed to- uh oh. One of the librarians is about to tell a dirty joke. Quick, duck and cover.