As I said:
Again, to reiterate: “Not the hoity toity library in the neighbourhood, the working-class library.”
She makes that distinction. How could you even begin to fault that? Really.
How could you deny it?
To wit: someone’s been ripping recipes out of the new magazines that come every Friday and Saturday at Fran’s library, and Fran is on it.
Forgetting “why” for the moment:
- Most likely a woman. Fran is rather convinced of that, given the apparent gendered nature, as it were, of the evident act, though I have my doubts. But this is Fran’s Thing.
- A fellow library patron; one lives in the neighbourhood, given the frequency of the crime, the opportunity afforded by it (this is not an offence committed from a distance).
- Someone who must come to Fran’s library on New Magazine Day because Fran goes to the library on New Magazine Day. That person, whomever they are, has thus far managed to somehow get to the new magazines before Fran (the magazines arrive Fridays and Saturdays, but the timing of their arrival varies greatly).
Who knows? Someone quite inconsiderate. Someone desperate? Someone.
My suggestions (which Fran took into serious consideration): A collector. Someone who wants material proof of their proclivities. Evidence of taste, action, deed.
“Really?” said Fran.
“Really,” I said.
Someone who had it in, personally, for Fran – who knows her habits, her routines, her likes and dislikes, and is making some kind of point about it. A point of contention!
“Unlikely,” said Fran.
“But not impossible,” I said.
They, whomever they are, must be taking the magazines home, ripping out the relevant pages and returning the magazines before anyone gets wise (again supporting the proximity theory).
To avoid suspicion, they are ripping the pages out within the library itself. The magazines NEVER LEAVE THE PREMISES, are never checked out in that person’s account. There’s no paper trail.
The perfect crime.
To this, Fran brought up a good counterpoint: her library is small; you’d hear the ripping (these being quality magazines with good, glossy thick pages).
“The bathroom?” I suggested.
“Single stalls. I’m watching,” was Fran’s response. “And I’d still hear it.”
I showed Fran the tiny pair of folded scissors on my keychain.
“Where did you say you lived again?” asked Fran.
I asked what the staff at her home library thought of the whole sordid affair. The state of things.
(I wonder how the hoity toity library would handle something like this. Or is this a hoity toity library problem?)
“It’s like they don’t care,” said Fran. “They do, the staff there do care, but there’s nothing they can do about it.”
Ah. But they’re not Fran, are they?
So to them I will only say this: You are not alone. Fran is on it!
Our own working-class hero. Really.