Malex, Linus, and Snufflefungus go to the library! Give it a listen and let us know what you think.
You should know that this episode is based (loosely, but unexaggeratedly) on a real interaction I had with a real woman at the library.
She clearly had issues. The sort of issues that would make the average man or woman scurry away in fear. I, however, thought it had the potential to be one of the more entertaining interactions I’d had in quite a while, so I stuck around and ‘chatted’ with her for about forty minutes.
Now, I’ve never been officially schooled in the dark arts of psychology, but I do have enough of a morbid curiosity about the ailments of the mind that I have studied many of them. Schizophrenia and various neurological disorders, primarily. (Don’t get me started on aphasia, seriously. And read, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.”)
I might even say that I am an armchair psychologist. But then you would ask, voice dripping with amused cynicism, what other kind of psychologist there is. I would then be forced to retreat from your verbal lashing like an emasculated dog.
So I won’t say that… Kennedy forbid.
This library woman isn’t the first schizophrenic I’ve encountered, either. I’m pretty sure I worked for one as a consultant when I was 15.
But that’s another story!
“When they sound the alarming rate of growth into that new pair of suction cups they got for such a rainy day, wasn’t it?”
Snufflefungus: I like the library!
Linus: Well nobody likes you liking the library. It’s bad for the universe.
Malex: Oh hush, Linus. It’s good for Snufflefungus to enjoy reading.
Snufflefungus: Can I have this book too?
Malex: Sure, Snufflefungus.
Linus: Don’t they have a limit? Of, say, fifty?
Snufflefungus: This book too!
Snufflefungus: And this one!
Linus: Good grief!
Malex: Snufflefungus, this is getting a bit extreme. Do you really expect to have time to read all these books before it’s time to return them?
Snufflefungus: Wait, what?
Linus: You know, return? It’s what happens after you borrow. Unless you’re evil.
Snufflefungus: But I thought you said the library is where you go to get free books!
Malex: It is! Er, well, I mean…
Linus: He means that he lied to you.
Malex: No, what I meant is that you can borrow the books for free.
Snufflefungus: Okay, so…. What’s the point?
Malex: Well that’s how they make it free. See, any individual book can be read by hundreds or thousands of people, and the operating costs of the library itself are offset by fines, book sales, fund raisers–
Linus: Also, Malex’s taxes. So, you know, go wild.
Snufflefungus: So it’s a good idea after all! Yay!
Malex: Yes, Snufflefungus. Yes it is. Now we just need to go check out.
Linus: Well, this is odd.
Malex: Yeah, you don’t see that every day…
Malex: See how there are two lines to check out? One is stretching back toward the non-fiction section, and the other is completely empty.
Snufflefungus: So let’s go with the empty one!
Linus: Yeah, it’s a no-brainer, Malex…
Malex: Well… Surely we’re not the only ones to notice the available check-out lady… I wonder why nobody is going to her?
Snufflefungus: Excuse me, ma’am. Can we check out our books here?
Woman: Books? Those are books.
Linus: Right, can we check them out?
Woman: This is not Ohioville anymore!
Malex: I’m sorry?
Woman: This is not Ohioville! This is not Ohioville, and it hasn’t been since Kennedy died!
Linus: Could have fooled me…
Woman: And you’re all killers, too! You love to kill! You love to kill!
Snufflefungus: (Skeptical) I don’t think so. (Slightly despondent.) I just want to check out some free books…
Woman: Freedom isn’t free! You pay for freedom with the blood of other mothers’s sons!
Malex: Ma’am, I’m not sure what exactly you’re trying to accomplish, but complaining is about the most unproductive option I can think of.
Woman: I’ve gotta do something! I’ve been living under the– What do you know?! I’ve been living under the boot of oppression my entire life!
Linus: This is just taking “Hire the Handicapped” too far…
Woman: You didn’t see the way things were before! Now we’ve got wars and homeless wandering the street and obesity and disease and for what? It all ended when Kennedy died! You didn’t see the way things were before.
Malex: That may be true, but blaming the government for society’s problems is never the answer.
Malex: Yes, right. Look, if you want to do some good, why don’t you do what I do? Instead of complaining and waiting for a top-down solution, why don’t you take individual responsibility for caring and loving everyone around you? Everyone in your community? That’s the only real solution to society’s problems.
Linus: Hey, Malex? I’m glad you found a new friend, but can we get out of here? People are starting to stare.
Malex: Right. Ma’am, please just check our books out.
Woman: Check them out of the way to the supermarket is a great place to buy another sofa because the cat scratches hurt–
Malex: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
Woman: Then don’t interrupt!
Linus: Look, see these books? It would be great if we could just check them out and leave you to your careening train of thought.
Woman: Oh, but there are too many books here. Simply too many. We can’t defeat them all unless we starve them out.
Linus: Is it too late to go back to the long line?
Woman: Starve them out. Starve them out of their holes, so they won’t compromise the foundation of the– Oh my goodness!
Malex: See? I have a library card here and everything. Just check out however many books you can, and we’ll come back for the rest next week.
Woman: Oh, but your card is too old. Old and cold. Cold and old.
Malex: Then let’s just renew it.
Woman: Sold! Just fill out the paperwork, it’ll only take a second.
Linus: What in the world?
Malex: But ma’am, this sheet of paper just has “Yin-yang / Boomerang” written on it in ballpoint ink.
Woman: Kennedy says to fill it out anyway.
Snufflefungus: How much longer is this going to take?
Malex: Look, I’ll circle ‘Boomerang’ okay?
Woman: Nobody has ever gotten that right before! Your generation is going to save Ohioville! You’re going to save Ohioville!
Malex: I’m going to try. Can we go?
Woman: I wanna shake your hand!
Malex: Ah… Okay…
Woman: Kennedy says to go. Take your books and go with his blessing.
Snufflefungus: Ah, books! I love books!
Linus: Malex, let’s never come here again.
Malex: I agree wholeheartedly.
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writer: Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers, with a guest appearance from Leela as the schizophrenic woman.
Post-processing director: Gabriel Markley
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Leela
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.