It’s Monday. Again. Wasn’t it just Monday a few days ago? Sad excuse for a day if you ask me.
Today, in an effort to brighten the beginning of your week, we will be reading a lonely post by one DJ Dan of All that comes with it.
Dan is quite the character, and seems like a pretty fun guy, even though he has taken it upon himself to tease me and make me cry. It’s okay. It will make me stronger. I hope.
But I digress. Here is Dan’s story. Please read it quietly.
Originally posted August 25, 2006.
In many respects I’m a very responsible person. I keep to the speed limit, try to shop ethically, and very rarely pull a sickie at work. In other ways, however, I am a raging torrent of heady irresponsibility. I’m forever leaving the margarine out rather than put it back in the fridge, I’ve been known to forget to feed the dog on occasion, and I really don’t brush my teeth as often as I should. However, perhaps the most financially damaging of all my irresponsible traits is my inability to return library books on time.
In my life I have amassed incredibly large fines in the public libraries of at least three major UK cities. Fines, I must add, that remain unpaid to this day. Furthermore this antisocial behaviour has caused two separate universities to threaten to withhold qualifications from me, insisting that I paid them for overdue books before they would even consider granting my degrees. I have even potentially caused a bomb scares by dumping carrier bags full of overdue books in the middle of the reference section, all because I was too much of a coward to face the rather stern woman at the returns desk.
Not only have I racked up fines on my own library cards, I’ve also tarnished the records of friends and relations. My friend Neil regularly reminds me that I owe him money for a fine he incurred because I didn’t return a book I borrowed on his card when we were 18. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a photo fit of my face behind every library counter in the country, emblazoned with warnings of kissing their timely returns targets goodbye should I even be allowed to cross their threshold
Strangely enough the career of librarian has always appealed to me. When I used to collect comics I revelled in the task of categorising, organising, and cataloguing them, using a wide variety of complex systems which changed almost weekly. In fact in a parallel universe somewhere I probably am a librarian; I once was corresponding with the head of the local television station’s archive department about a potential opening for me. In the end I decided to go for my nurse training instead, but you never know what might have been.
There are many wonderful things about being married to Kerry. She is patient, understanding, and brings me diet coke from the shop on her way back from work. One of the many things I value about her is the organisational influence she has on my life. It is this influence that has allowed me to venture through the doors of a library once more without the feeling of impending financial ruin. She does strange and wonderful things like: remember when a book is due back and ring up the library to renew them! Breathtaking.
Because of this steadying impact she has I am now able to regularly take Amy to the library. It saves a fortune in books and stops our brains turning to mush as we read the same bedtime stories to her over and over again. She hasn’t quite grasped the fact that when we return books she no longer owns them yet; and I’ve had a couple of discussions with her recently about the benefit of choosing new books over the ones we’ve just taken back. But overall our visits are a positive experience.
I can now say, with hand on my heart, that I’m a reformed man. I am no longer a library outlaw, and it’s all due to the love of a good woman. I’ve just got to hope that the library doesn’t dust off that photo fit under the counter and realise that I’ve no longer got a beard.