Monday, February 13, 2023



When I am feeling particularly irritable at the front desk of my library I take issue with the library patrons' use of the word "just".

"I just need to get a library card." The library patron says, little realizing that issuing a new library card is like losing the lottery- one understands the sheer power of its statistical inevitability, but nevertheless takes no joy in it.

Or, one is stoned to death by all one's fellow villagers, although I think that's a different lottery story.

"I just need to get a library card." They say to me.

I am polite. I am professional. I can only play the game fairly. So how to exact my revenge for having to issue a library card?

"I just need a picture I.D. with your current address." I say brightly.

One might not think there would be anything in that, but, surprisingly, for most patrons who are getting a new library card this opens a world of hurt. Soon the content of every one of their bags, pockets, and wallets is scattered across the floors and desks all around us.

And is this revenge sweet, you may ask.

No. It makes me suspect that to experience the satisfaction of revenge one must have been wronged in the first place.

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