THE LIBRARY RAID
Not Necessarily the News
Not Necessarily the News has learned that a scandal has broken out at the Wireland Public Library. A library administrator, whose name the Library has asked us not to mention, put in an order for the new Britney Spears book and instructed branch librarians to do the same. This has many branch librarians outraged.
"We don’t have a book on the Beatles", complained one branch librarian in an exclusive interview with Not Necessarily the News. "We don’t have Flanagan’s book about U2. Now we’re being told to order this trash! Look, I know we’re trying to get kids to read more. But why do we have to teach them with trash? I just may break ranks and order some more Dr. Seuss. Now he was cool. His originality was just awesome. We’re going to revolt against this garbage order."
"This is a sad day in Wireland", complained another branch librarian in another interview with Not Necessarily the News. "They’re trying to break the spirits of the U2 fan community. The idiots! They don’t know that that’s impossible!"
That night the librarians and their staff met at the home of one of the librarians to map out a protest strategy. They decided to go ahead and order the books. After all, they oppose censorship. But they arranged for a demonstration to take place at every library to protest the new pieces of garbage in their workplaces.
"The Government is going to hear it from the U2 fan community", the organizer told Not Necessarily the News. "They have no idea what they’re in for".
The orders came in just two weeks later. The library workers dutifully processed the books. Then a message came in from the Ministry of Culture. It ordered the librarians to place the books on their front display cases. The librarians were outraged. At this point the head librarian at the Central Library decided more action needed to be taken. She got her Interplanetary Cellular Phone and called her cousin in Popland. "We need to do something drastic. We can’t have these things on the front display shelves! It totally misrepresents us and what we believe in. Let people read the blasted thing if they please, but no, we’re not putting these things anywhere except on the biography shelves."
The librarian’s Popmartian cousin called up the Venus UFO Force and explained the situation. The Commander decided on another strategy. "The Wireland Government is being awfully heavy-handed about this whole thing" he told the librarian’s cousin. "Look let’s do this. Why don’t they put the book on the display shelves and wait a few days for people to completely ignore the stupid things? Oh, my goodness, won’t that be funny. Then we can stage a raid. We’ll go into the library and grab the books. We’ll be vindicated when no one checks them out. And we’ll be able to show the idiot Government we mean business. They don’t know this, but we stole one of the keys to the Saturn UFO Force Storage Unit. That means we can stage a raid on Saturn, get to their UFO’s, and de-activate them in their own place! They’re going to be scared to death."
The message was relayed to the Wireland librarians, and they agreed to the plan. They put the books on their front display shelves. Time and again angry patrons demanded to know why the books had been ordered in a country of U2 fans. And time and again, the librarians told the people that they’d been ordered to do it by the Government.
"I’d quit my job if I found oil in my back yard", fumed a librarian. "There’s nothing worse than being treated like a slave. That’s exactly what this feels like—complete servitude. But just wait. These books won’t be here forever."
Sure enough, after four days no one had checked out any of the books. The only response the librarians had gotten was outrage. It was time for the UFO attacks. Several librarians left work on their lunch breaks and headed for October Square. One of them called the Venus UFO Force and told them that they were ready for the raids.
A half-hour later the Venusians walked into October Square. The librarians gave them maps showing the locations of every library in Wireland. Several of the Venusians headed for the libraries. When they arrived they were greeted enthusiastically by librarians and patrons alike.
"We’re here to grab the Britney Spears books. We’ve heard that there’s been quite a bit of outrage over these books".
"You’re not kidding", said one of the librarians. "We’ve been accused of wasting the taxpayers’ money. We agree, of course. No one has even touched the blasted things. They’ve been treated more like toxic objects than books. After I processed ours I felt like washing my hands in formaldehyde".
"No problem", said the Venusian. "We’re going to make the Government send these to Saturn. If they won’t, well, we’ll tell them we’ve got their key." He picked up the book, put it in a bag, and left the library. He headed towards the Ministry of Culture, where he tossed his copy of the book into a large garbage can which they planned to parade right into the main offices of the Ministry. The guards didn’t dare try to keep the Venusians out, and they proceeded to carry the garbage can full of the books into the Central Offices of the Ministry Building.
"Egads, what have you done?" screamed a Saturnian bureaucrat when he saw the huge garbage can. "What’s in that thing? Let me see…..oh, no! It’s the Britney Spears books! Come on guys, have a look at this! They’ve nabbed our books. This is robbery! Hey, we’re calling the Interplanetary Police on you guys!"
"Oh, that’s hysterical—you guys calling the police! We didn’t steal these things. The patrons were demanding their removal. They’re fans of U2 and REM and Radiohead, people like that. They don’t want their kids to read junk. The librarians didn’t want to order them on the grounds that it was a waste of taxpayers’ money. Do you know how many of these things had been checked out? None! Usually a front-shelf display book gets checked out the first time the day it’s put on the shelves. These had been there four days. People treated them like poison, not books. Now, just to prove we’re not thieves, you can have the things. You can give them to your kids or sell them in Chart Topperland. They’re not wanted here. That’s been made very clear."
"We’ll take the books right back to the libraries", said the Minister of Culture, who had come to investigate the cause of the dispute going on next to his office. "We’re going to…."
"Oh, no you don’t", answered one of the Venusians. "I’ll tell you something. You know that someone stole one of the keys to your UFO Storage Unit on Saturn, right? Guess who has that key? We do! Do you know how easy it’d be for us to de-activate your UFO’s right in their own Storage Unit? We could drop someone off with that key and a de-activator, and let me tell you, you’d be toast. Then we’d get him out of there with one of our UFO’s and that’d be all for you guys. Now you take this garbage can and do something with it or you’ll be flirting with disaster".
The triumphant Venusians left the Ministry Offices. The Saturnians looked at each other. "Why do we keep coming out on the losing end of these disputes? I guess once a U2 fan…. always a U2 fan. We can’t break the spirits of these people."
For once, a Saturnian was right.