TO: Unkempt Dolt in Muhlenberg Branch of New York Public Library

FROM: The Girl in Line Behind You

RE: You are overdue … for a beating

When you’re in line, returning eight overdue library books to the tune of $6.00, and your cell phone rings, and you answer it with all the vigor of a dying slug, and three library employees each tell you twice, for a total of six times (one for each dollar you just paid), to kindly take your call outside, please be a sport and heed them. Don’t just stand there like a leaden lump, continuing your muttered, inane conversation. And please note that your concession to courtesy, i.e. pushing through the turnstile and standing four feet away from the check-out counter, just doesn’t cut it.

It would also be really nice if, at the very least, you would provide some sort of indication that their requests didn’t fall on deaf ears — only ignorant ones. Any acknowledgement of their existence on the face of the earth in general and the library in particular, would be greatly appreciated. Please especially be aware that by feigning deafness when everyone within 15 feet of you actually heard you on your phone, you are not accomplishing your goal of giving us all a figurative slap in the face. You are merely causing a desire in all of us to give you one, ever so literally.