Library of Conflict

seniorsinlibraryI don’t often get a chance to go to the public library in the middle of the week but I did today. You know what I learned? I learned you don’t try to compete with senior citizens at the “new releases” rack. I haven’t been elbowed that hard or boxed out that aggressively since my last hockey game or ride on the A-train. Those codgers…including the codg-ettes..don’t screw around when searching for stuff to read..for free. Get in their way, and you might find yourself black and blue from a whack with an oxygen tank or sullied by a squashed Depends after you’ve been hip checked into the “New Biographies.”

First, there was the gent guarding the new John Grisham novel he was caressing. He looked like he had a Derringer hidden between the pages in case someone tried to roll him for the tome. I’ve had it on “hold” for weeks so I couldn’t help jealously noticing his copy and while flipping the pages of the freebie weekly paper I took furtive glances at the guy hoping he’d have to run to the can before checking it out and I could scoop it up before he returned. Mea culpa. Yeah, I know it’s junk but it’s perfect for reading on the, um, poop deck…which is why I’m sure he took it with him.

Then there was a lady who must have been, in her earlier life, a moving shooting gallery target or a pendulum, because she never stopped her back and forth striding in front of me, blocking any chance of grabbing a book off the shelf. Every time I reached in, I was stymied by her giant handbag and severely thrashed by her razor sharp poodle brooch.

The man who answered to “Bash” decided he would defend all “Current Mysteries” and held up and spread his arms and legs in front of the stacks in a posture that gave the unmistakable message, “I’m the only one solving any mysteries today, so beat it!”

Finally, there were the nice little old ladies working as a team to make sure they had an exclusive on “Crafts and Hobbies.” Their winsome smiles were only tactical camouflage for the monsters behind them as they closed ranks on a young mom who just wanted some ideas for knitting a chastity belt for her precocious pre-teen daughter. She ran away making sounds that really belonged in the “Horror” section.

So I’m sticking to the weekends for now on when all I have to worry about are little children throwing up and students sleeping on the floor, and the senior citizens are safely away scarfing up free cookies in the hospital lobby.

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