At our local library, they’ve got a self checkout thing going.
You scan your library card, then the books that you want to check out, then you go on your way.
Today was different. Today the self checkout was closed because the computers were broken.
This meant that I had to walk up to a clerk who would write down my card number and examine the books to get their barcode numbers.
I was also given a bookmark with the date that the books were due back.
This wasn’t too bad. There wasn’t a line or anything.
The second-worst part was that it took a couple minutes longer for the clerk to write down the information.
The worst part was that of all of the books that I’ve borrowed from the library, today I was checking out “Superman: All Star”
Where were these book inspectors when I was checking out Anthony Burgess’s more obtuse books?
Why didn’t this happen when I was checking out Neil Gaiman’s or Dostoyevsky’s stuff?
The clerk didn’t say anything or give me a funny look.
But I know that she knew.
It may have been my imagination, but I’m sure that I heard peals of laughter as the doors closed.
True to form, the computers started up as the clerk handed me my books.