What Happens in the Library stays in the Library

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I’ve known a few librarians in my time.

From schools I’ve worked at to friends I went to Uni with who went on to join the ranks, the lived research for this write-up/mock-up is, trust me, literally years in the making.

The stereotypical librarian, shushing patrons and glaring evilly from behind the circulation desk, all while sucking us dry of spare change for those late books is definitely still a thing.

These days however the humble book jockey’s job is just as likely to involve teaching on-line literacy to seniors, navigating and helping patrons to navigate what used to be called the ‘book catalogue’ but now standardly goes by the name of an ‘information ecosystem’ or preparing a triple venti soy, no-foam latte for a visiting guest-speaking author.

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This was my local library as a child. I still remember walking up those concrete steps and taking a sharp turn to the left to encamp myself at the children’s fiction section. 

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The several-generations-ago nerdatorium has certainly had a facelift or three in the intervening decades. Some time ago it morphed into one of those post-modern  mallibraries.

These days my local ‘Club Lib’ is in a completely different neck of the woods. The times I go there let’s just say I have my escape exits planned well in advance. It’s one of those libraries in a rougher part of town (Inala) that has its own uniformed security guard and a large proportion of its clientele aren’t want you’d label avid readers. Instead they make the trip for the first-person shooter video games and attaching themselves to the public use computers for hours on end ’cause they don’t have one at home.

This same library is unfortunately also located right next to a public hall that every Saturday and Sunday is used for church gatherings. Someone in that church is pretty partial to using a microphone set to ‘airport runway’ volume to implore people to ‘Give their heart to Jesus’ – for hours on end. When that’s going down you can say goodbye to library quiet and hello to “What in God’s name is that racquet?” Whenever the automatic glass doors of the library open, in pours the puritanical ravings of a holy man who has no off-switch. Comical is but one polite word I can think of to describe what’s supposed to be a holy temple of sorts for book-lovers.

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Lunacy such as that pales into comparison with the goings-on in ABC TV‘s series THE LIBRARIANS.

CaptureThe opening credits sequence of this twenty-episode series features the head librarian, Frances O’Brien (played sublimely by Australian actress Robyn Butler) alone in her private office breathing rhythmically into a brown paper bag. This is her routine to steady herself for the onslaught of the coming apocalypse once the library doors open and the great unwashed (general public) come trolling in.

This series features an uncountable number of memorable one-liners each episode.

Sample: One librarian remarks to the other at the end of her shift – “Oh what a day! They were two deep at the counter at one stage.”

And if that clip doesn’t turn your pages try this one….

If that wasn’t enough to convince you there’s a funny side to libraries and librarians maybe these two pics will –

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Ps. If that failed to get a rise then this definitely stood no chance: today’s post came within mere precarious inches of being named THE HIDDEN TRUTH ABOUT ‘LIE-BRARIES’. Cheese like that could gain lose me followers faster than this feebleness – Did you hear about the librarian who handed the blind man a cheese grater? The blind man said “That’s the most violent book I’ve ever read.” Better stop there.

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Pss. The library-themed shenanigans aren’t over just yet folks. Those crazy folk over at EVERYDAY P-12 SCHOOL have had a serial prankster on the loose in amongst their library for some weeks now. You can read the whole twisted tale HERE

 

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The Sting (Part 3)

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If you’ve come late to the party or just need a refresher here’s  PART 1  and PART 2 .

My fun-filled (for me) quest to scam the scammer who emailed me with the promise of unlocking a metal trunk containing $4 million endured for a total of 26 emails exchanged across 9 days.

We rejoin the frolicks beginning with email number 15 –

Ok, but we will take it slowly until you get your money Glen.

I will give you my personal number sooner.

Have a wonderful day dear. 

Kate. 

Playing the part of a love-starved tragic for all it was worth, I shot back with –

Your ‘personal’ number Katie?

Now you’re talking dirty!

Since we are getting to know each other better, could we start using pet names for each other?

If you feel comfortable doing it, I like to be called ‘Bumpkins’.

May I call you ‘Sweet Pea’?

Glen

Now it was time to get my first dressing down from ‘Kate’. Because if it’s one thing a true scam artist insists on at all times and that’s keeping it professional.

Dear Glen, 

What’s that all about “Bumpkins”?

Kindly step it down a notch.

If giving you my personal number makes me dirty then I will not.

I hope you are doing great anyways.

Mr. Badenhorst will be paying the fee today. 

I will keep you posted.

Kate.

Was I going to let a little reprimand from by beloved scamming ‘Kate’ come between us and possibly stop me wasting even more of her/his time. Not on your life! She did say ‘Step it UP a notch’… didn’t she?

Hello Sweet Pea,

I want to take our relationship to the next level Katie.

And the money? Forget it. It is your love I yearn for.

I am in love with you now and I doubt the spell can be broken.

Yours forever,

Glen

Ps. Don’t tell Badenhorst about us. He may be jealous.

This is how I picture ‘Kate’, ‘Katie’ or ‘Catherine’ may actually have looked in real life –

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The person variously calling themselves ‘Kate’, ‘Katie’ and ‘Catherine’ in all likelihood probably came sporting face stubble and chest hair.

The next email that arrived from ‘Katie’ marked a turning point on at least two fronts –

(1) ‘She’ had conceded to my request to use pet names for each other (when this happened I knew I’d truly struck comedy gold)

(2) The scammer had decided the time was right to finally reveal their hand and request payment of $3000 in order that the mythical metal trunk containing the equally non-existent $4 million be released from customs. What a giggle!

Hello Bumpkins,

I appreciate your affection and will never let Mr. Badenhorst know closer now, but you already made it obvious you have something for me with the way you talked to him that you want to deal only with me.

My boss hasn’t time getting jealous, he is much interested in the successful completion of this transaction and he is working very hard on it, so I will advise you to be focused to follow his directives and sooner than later we will meet ourselves.

As earlier stated, he has paid the Non Inspection fees of $3,200 which caused the initial hold up. After making the payment, he was required by the customs to settle the accumulated demurrage fee of $6,640.00 otherwise clearance will not be issue for final delivery to you, and the delivery department will not board the luggage. 

He has been battling this issue with them since early morning after the payment trying to convince the customs to allow the shipment to be made and for him to be held responsible for paying the fee within two days of delivery, but to no avail. 

The extra fund he was able to source was not also accepted as part payment which left us in dilemma since today because no one envisaged this turn of event.

So we are now left with only about $3,600 which the customs refused to accept as part payment and allow the delivery for the balance to be paid later.

It is imperative for you to support us at this point, so that we can make this payment as required to avoid delay and additional demurrage charges.

We have also made frantic efforts to get financial assistance and still waiting for feedback. But I want you to be updated, so that you can add to our effort since so far what is available is $3,600, requiring an additional $3,000. Let me know how much you have so that it will be easier and faster for to source and complete the balance.

Find attached payment receipt for Non inspection.

Regards.

Katie.

Cue me, in classic poker-playing tradition, calling ‘Katie’s’ bluff –

Hi Sweet Pea,

 

If it costs me a few thousand to secure your heart then it will be worth it, my love.

First though, I would like to see what you look like.

I wish to see if my mental picture of you as a ravishing beauty with high cheekbones, full lips and a Hollywood nose matches the real person who’s been sending me these delicious emails.

Are you able to send me through a photo of yourself?

 

Bumpkins

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In this next email, at my request, I’m still being called ‘Bumpkins’ by fraudster ‘Kate’. That’s the good news. But wait! Here ‘she’ goes again trying to remain all professional by insisting business and personal be kept separate. Sorry ‘Kate‘, but with the likes of you, that’s not how I roll…

Hello Bumpkins,

You are really funny and exciting. But I am sorry I can’t send you my picture in order for you to do what you are supposed to do. I will do that in due course. We can get to knowing ourselves better as time goes on but attaching any part of your business condition on our perceived relationship is not what I will do please.

Let me know if you have the needed balance or how much of it you have so that the demurrage could be paid in time for the delivery which I almost certain I will accompany. They you can see me.  I will surely send you my pictures before I set off to make the delivery at Australia.
You can be fast about it because Mr. Badenhorst negotiated for payback of the non inspection fee, so he may call of the transaction and take all his money back if he has no help. He confided this in me. He would have told you directly, but he sees you as a jerk. Sorry about that, but you shouldn’t have talked to him that way in your mail. I am doing my best to manage the bad blood you created with that mail. So you are not helping with the fee, he will definitely call it off. 

I await your prompt response.

Yours Sincerely,
Kate.

Bad blood indeed!

Turns out cranky BADenhorst really knew how to hold a grudge. Who would have guessed such a well-meaning, kind-hearted and downright helpful (he was, after all, going to go to a lot of personal effort to get a metal trunk containing $4 million through customs all for me – a person he’d never personally met) would be that way?

The writing was definitely on the wall by this late stage…

Hi Catherine, (formerly known as Sweet Pea, Katie and Kate),

It seems our love is fading.

You speak only in terms of business and money.

My heart sheds tears of sadness for lost opportunities between us.

And no photo?

When you threaten to “call it off”, I ask in return “Call what off?”

Our blossuming love has barely had a chance to sprout like the geranium seed I spoke of several emails back.

Alas, I am so confused right now.

Bummed out Bumpkins

The final email I ever received from ‘Kate’ came a few hours later. It completed an entertaining  (I thought) nine-day exchange between the two of us –

Stop confusing yourself.

I sent you a mail from my boss about a business and you started getting funny ideas. There are several dating sites if you need a date and not try to pollute business ethics with conceited love affair. 

I never contacted you about a date so why are you changing the business to your pervertted mentality? 

Good bye if that is what you mean. It’s business and can’t be missed with pleasure. Men work to make money before pleasure but you are putting the cat before the horse. 

Me put the CAT before the horse? THAT is something I would definitely never do. And there ‘she’ goes again lecturing me about business ethics without even the tiniest hint of irony. I recognise comedy gold when I see it and this is 24 carat.

There was only one thing left for me to do and that was to say goodbye…

Oh gosh..

I think I’ve really blown it this time.

Love is blind and it appears the cat has indeed been put before the horse and both are pulling a rickety cart with one wheel in the ditch while tumbleweeds blow this way and that (but mostly in a southerly direction). 

It seems what ever we had between us is now lost.

I will slink away silently now into the night like some kind of wounded animal (raccoon? beaver? alleycat?) and alas I shall never darken your email doorstop again.

Your heartbroken Bumpkins.

Ps. Don’t suppose you know any LEGITIMATE business that can mend a broken heart?

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And that, dear readers, was THE GAME.

You may say “You might have succeeded in wasting a lot of the scammers time but you wasted a lot of your OWN time doing it”. Thing is – sad to say – I had the time to waste (six weeks of paid holidays to be exact) and the big difference between myself and ‘Kate’ was I knew from the beginning how it was going to end.

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I was ready to hang up my pranking boots and draw the curtain on the whole caper, when, less than 24 hours later, this email – from a completely unrelated source – landed in my spam folder –

Dear Beloved,

I greet you in the name of the Lord.

Saw your profile on Google and moved to write you believing you are capable to handle this for me and God.

I am Mrs. Beatrice Potters, 65yrs from USA but now undergoing medical treatment in London. I was married to late Mr. Alex Potters.We were married for eleven years without a child.


My late husband deposited the sum of US$7,506,420.00 with British Arab Commercial Bank and that’s the reason my late husband’s relatives hates and wants me dead to claim this fund. I will send you details as soon as you indicate your interest in capable of claiming the funds and use this money to help orphanage homes to fulfil God
words in my life.

I will also issue you a letter of authority that will make you the beneficiary of this fund. I want you to always pray for me because the lord is the only strength I have but my happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. I don’t need any telephone communication as i am in the hospital.

Please assure me that you will act accordingly to my will.

Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.

Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Beatrice Potters

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Ps. There’s always time for one last scam. Right?

A school down in Victoria has been rocked by revelations a parent of one of its students has been running a clandestine Uber-Eats style delivery service at lunchtimes under the noses of teachers and senior staff.

The mother has defended her actions by saying it is a push-back against the enforced ‘healthy eating’ menu recently introduced at the schools tuckshop which has proved  less than popular with many students and parents.

You can feast on the whole story HERE .

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