A letter I included in a recently returned pile of library books…yes, they were overdue. I am a horrible person. I think that is well-established public knowledge. Some of this might even be true. I can’t remember.
“Dear Library People,
I borrowed this book and unfortunately it had a bit of a mishap. My water bottle came open in my bag of library books and “Green Eggs and Ham” appears to have gotten the worst of it. I know what you’re thinking; “What kind of idiot puts a water bottle in a bag of books?” and I am here to assure you that I am just that kind of idiot. I have my moments….where I make “good decisions” (I am making sarcastic air quotes with my hand right now but you can’t see that because this is just a letter and not a video message or a hologram message like they have in Star Wars) or “do the right thing” but I’ll be honest, those moments are few and far between. Most of the time I make poor choices, usually motivated by my magnificent laziness. That’s probably how the water bottle ended up in the book bag. I was probably just sick of carrying it and thought “What the heck, I’ll just throw it in this bag. It’ll totally be fine”. Well, it was not fine and now “Green Eggs and Ham” as all soggy and has started to mold. Yes, mold. It went unnoticed for several days because I am also the kind of person who would not notice a mess like that because I am surrounded by messes. I am the person who could probably survive for 3 weeks with the food that is currently on the floor of my car. I regularly use the underside of my skirt or the inside of my sleeve to clean off my eyelash curler. I once found a bunch of grapes under the passenger seat of my car that had been there so long they, through some miracle of forced dehydration from the footsie heater, had become actual honest-to-god raisins…not just rotten grapes, but raisins! I ate them. They tasted like the inside of a a jelly sandal. That being said I think it stands to reason that a little spilled water would fly under the radar, so to speak, for a few days.
Once I discovered the that the book had been utterly saturated I decided that I would try to dry it off. This was a fool’s errand….which is exactly the kind of errand on which I will, apparently, go eagerly and willingly. First I set the book on the coffee table, turned the gas fireplace on and fanned out the pages as best I could but even as best I could was not enough in this particular case because the pages were mostly stuck together in 3 or 4 sodden clumps. I then tried all my best tricks to remove the mold from the pages (i.e. bleach, rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid [this is a real thing! I swear! I used lighter fluid all the time to clean books at the shop….just not in front of the fireplace] etc.). As I alluded to in my parenthetical citation just now, it turns out that lighter fluid, paper and fireplaces do strange bedfellows make and by “strange” I mean one giant fireball engulfing the better part of my forearm so, if the book has a little light singing and smells peculiarly of burnt human hair…well, that’s my bad.
The upshot of all this is that rubber-banded to the plastic bag which held this letter as well as the vanquished “Green Eggs and Ham” is a brand new copy of “Green Eggs and Ham”. With that I was hoping we could consider this matter closed and, without further censure, move on with our book borrowing/lending relationship.
Dacia L. Hanson
P.S. PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY LIBRARY CARD AWAY!!!!!”