Why did I want to be a librarian, anyway?

The only man I see regularly is old Bookman.

Here he comes now, shuffling along with his terrapin pace, favoring the foot without the bunion.

I step smartly behind my desk, a defensive measure because of the smell. It's a smell only achieved by weeks of wearing layers of the same ragged clothes over an unwashed body. It can't be faked; it takes time to achieve.

He's mumbling under his breath as usual. Occasionally I can discern a few words. I thought I just heard, "Your mother wears army boots."

In fact, she does, but only for gardening.

He's mad at me because I always catch him stealing books. I guess he reads them with a flashlight under the bridge. It's unfair because I defend him constantly against complaining patrons.

As he moseys through the aisles, his arm flies out, snakelike, to grab a book, when he thinks I'm not looking. He has that will of the wisp action going as he disappears around a stack, but I'm too quick for him.

Right before he leaves, I demand the return of the books. He readily complies providing I know the correct number he has. If I get the number wrong, he turns sullen and I have to call a guard to collect his booty.

Today, I say, "Drop and give me ten books." He grins, revealing startling white teeth made more surprising by the contrast with the grime of his face.

Displaying amazing agility he drops, does ten one-armed pushups, handing me a book on each up cycle.

Bookman's starting to look good to me. Maybe I need to get out more--perhaps a part-time job as a barmaid?

After the last pushup, he sinks to ground and lies motionless. Scary. Heart attack? I have a snark, I mean, stark choice. Get close to Bookman or let an innocent human being die. I muddle it over.

Finally I lean down on him. His hard muscular body throbs under mine, and I feel something ... maybe that I really should give up romance novels.

Eventually I have to stop holding my breath and then--the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. Vice versa really, but who's counting? Maybe not a roar, but there is an excited murmur from the surrounding patrons. Besides greasepaint, I also catch a whiff of spirit gum and--aftershave?

What the heck is going on here?

Leaning closer I whisper in his ear. "Research for a book or a movie role?"

"Book," he gasps. I guess I'm heavier than I thought. Should I report him to Galleycat for possible poaching of Black Like Me, or other similar books? Or should I just lie here enjoying the feel of the hard, muscular, etc. etc.

I opt for the latter. Promenading poodles couldn't distract me now, because what I never thought would happen in the library finally did.

I got a man and he's not getting away.

Yanno(tm) Miss Snark has captured more than one love interest this way. Sadly it failed when employed re Mr. Clooney.

Scoring (so to speak) to come


Sal said...

These stories are great fun.

I'm keeping a list of the ones I think are tops. We're up to 24 (less than one quarter of the total, oh my!) (make that 26!) and I already have six entries (including this one) on my list of folks I might vote for as Best of Show.

To tell you the truth, Miss Snark, I was wondering whether the contest was an April Fool's joke when you first posted the rules. How many people could possibly take you seriously and try to rummage up a story using "terrapin," "bunion," and "promenading poodles."

The results are spectacular. Congrats to all the people who pulled it off and submitted an entry.

JLB said...

Great job! I think this is one of the best uses of "drop and give me ten books" so far!!! This story left me with some lovely mental images.

McKoala said...

I like this one - I find I'm liking the ones that are a complete story. Also, this gets points from me for being the most natural use of 'drop and give me ten books' (altho' the ... had to go - was that allowed?!)

Anonymous said...

Tentative score: 58. (I checked it three times, but I'm still not sure which phrase I'm missing! Darn this time change and my recent re-employment!) Plus five for funny!


Sam said...

Really nice, lol!

Maya said...

This is one of my favorites--a complete short story! Way to go.

Sal said...

(I checked it three times, but I'm still not sure which phrase I'm missing!

The story's missing "Bat Segundo" from what I can tell.

"drop everything and give me ten...books" morphed into "drop and give me ten books" so the judges will have to confer.

This one's high on my list.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why I cannot be so clever. These are always a good read and this one has to be a favorite with a bad boy and a hard bod. Thanks for allowing us to share these postings.

rindambyers said...

Oh, please, please don't stop the necessary-to-living pursuit of Mr. Clooney. We, too, secretly ache with deep longing to know what lies behind that gorgeous smile and those charming manners, and we know with utter conviction that only you, dear, dear Ms. Snark, will tell us all the truth.