In My Defense, The Librarian Was Probably Out to Ruin My Childhood and Send Me to Juvie at a Young Age

This news story was recently printed in the Chicago Tribune. A woman arrested over unpaid library fines.  Who knew they took that shit so seriously, huh?

Upon reading the article, I immediately broke out into a cold sweat.

You see, when I was in the 4th grade, I "played library" on my front porch, and not all materials *technically* made it back to the actual real library.  If that library is still keeping track, I've been on the lam for about 23 years and there's probably a warrant issued somewhere and does anyone know how much two decades worth of library fines would add up to and how much the bail amount would likely be?  Also, does Dog the Bounty Hunter work the Midwest ever? Hypothetical questions, of course.

By the way, because I feel the need to clarify, while I played librarian and school teacher and veterinarian and astronaut and wife to Jon Bon Jovi and pole dancer to Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard many times, I never "played doctor" on the front porch.  That was reserved for the toy room. Where the toy stethoscope was, obviously.  Common sense people.

Let me render you a photographic replay of the event.  (rendering post idea inspired by, but not nearly as good, as the genius of Hyperbole and a Half.)

 I probably checked out roughly two dozen books.  Hey, I had a library card, and there was no limit to how many we could check out back then.  The 1980s kicked ass on so many levels.  Garbage Pail Kids and Jelly Shoes?  Need I say more?  I promptly lugged all those books home (back when kids exercised by using their goddamn legs) and set up shop on my front porch. 

 I patiently waited for my customers.

YES, our front porch was covered with that ugly green fake turf crap.  Don't judge.  We were renting at the time.....

I may or may not have stood there alone, stupid grin on face, for quite a long period of time.  Eventually, I stormed off the porch and up the street to a friend's house.  I was gonna get an effin customer if it killed me.

The bossypants that I was took friend back to my house and demanded she check out books from my library.  Her response?  That's ALL the books you have??

She was right.  My library collection was looking sparse.  Lame, if you will. Pathetic.  I decided that I needed more books, and friend was gonna help me.  And extra set of arms = more books carried home in one trip. Plus, I exhibited my early genius by bringing along a wagon for even more books in one trip!

Back to the library, and librarian, God bless her, thought we were so cute playing library and let us check out more unlimited quantities of books to our hearts' content.

Back to the Front Porch Public Library to set up some more.
 It was about this time that people started noticing what I was doing, and other neighborhood kids came to check out my library.  Some even wanted to "check out" books!  Kick. Ass.  I quickly made a checkout pad to add to the authenticity of my library operation.
 I checked out so many goddamn books I barely had any left for myself.  But I didn't care.  My venture was a success.  And I felt good.  Damn good.

Until a few days later when I realized no one was bringing back their library books. 
And I couldn't remember who all had them.
Untrustworthy sonsabitches!
Who did they think they were checking out all my books like that and not bothering to bring them back? The hell?  Guess I'd better let them know the consequences of such behavior. 
I made this flyer and showed everyone in the neighborhood the following weekend.

I was serious as a heart attack about it.
No one was at all impressed.

Eventually, many books filtered in.... slowly.  I like to credit by persuasive skills of bribery, threatening to share secrets between friends ("A," you took an actual shit in someone's yard, like that's a secret easily kept.), and crying/temper tantrums for getting back the ones I did.
Some books, however, never made it back.

I avoided the actual public library after that and only checked out books at school.
After a few years of ignoring overdue notices, we moved for my dad's work.  Strangely, no forwarding address made it to the library.

I'd like to think they had a good laugh about the cute little girl playing library.
Probably not though.  
That librarian letting me check out all those godforsaken books?  Bitch probably hated kids and loved getting her revenge against them through library fines and notices.

Well, this post was long, wasn't it?  Better go and gather up all Bossy Girl's library books now.  I think they were due back last Friday.

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