Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Special Offer: Clear Your Conscience Here! (Plus, Soothe a Suffering Soul!)

My confession of stealing Paul Eluard's collection of poetry, Capital of Pain, has brought forth a fellow sinner.

Verily, our brother in blogging, Manfred Allseasons, hath commented...

"At last, a chance to confess.

I too have stolen (or taken on a long lend as I kept telling myself), three books. Plautus' The Rope and Others (not the Penguin edition, some Victorian hardback), from Hull University Library under the very nose of Philip Larkin, and two very old battered (not first editions) Waugh, Vile Bodies and A Handful of Dust.

I swear I will return them. Well, the Plautus anyway. I was young and stupid and, it appears, slightly criminally inclined, but no more.

I would ask that your other correspondents confess their little crimes, M'lud, in an attempt to, y'know, make me feel better.

I should also say I have comitted no further crimes in the quarter century since these offences were committed..."

[end Manfred's comment]

So, how 'bout it?
Any stolen literature lurking on your bookshelves?
Or other trifling or not so trifling crimes or misdemeanors weighing on your conscience?

Come on, even Captain Kirk "borrowed" a few items in the past. Not to mention stealing starships.

[Answers in COMMENTS} 


ArtSparker said...

I absconded with a small lead reindeer which matched one in my possession when I broke up with the guy I was living with some years ago. He wasn't using it anyway.

ArtSparker said...

Oh...did I mention it had been left by a former occupant of the house?

aleph said...

I worked for 9 months for a wicked and very mean lady who own an English Institute where little children learnt mostly to hate English. I took a very old edition of Dikcken´s "Great Expectations" from her library and then decided I´d never give it back. A sort of proletarian expropriation and an act of poetic justice, an aesthetic crime.

Margaret said...

Oh, boy.

It is William Faulkner's fault I never received my diploma, (graduated, but no shiny paper in the mail). I didn't return "As I Lay Dying" to the school library, and they haven't forgotten it.
In fact, I don't think I've gotten a proper report card since my sophomore year of high school because I perpetually harbor late books.

after a trip to the library with my little brother, I discovered Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flat" tucked in his jacket, (which is absurd because:
a) It's the benevolent library! Ask and ye shall be given.
b) He can't read.)

I haven't returned it. But I will!
After I get around to reading it....

femminismo said...

OK, a book on "How to Watercolor" from the library, who never noticed it was missing. I keep thinking I will take it back since I've never used it. Hmm? Time to look at it again and see?

Celeste Bergin said...

My then partner and I had leased a behemoth xerox photocopy machine together, halving the payment each month. The lease was in her name...but other things were in my name. We got along fine for several years, but when we split up it was ugly. When we "broke up" for sure I decided to even the score about some financial things that had left me feeling cheated by her. I went to our downtown office in the middle of the night and waved down a homeless guy on the street to help me wrestle the copier into my trunk. (I paid him 20 dollars). He was very creative and found some wire to secure the machine to the was sticking half way out of my Toyota car and I nearly lost it going over the Hawthorne bridge. I took it home and used it in my garage for a couple of months. The ex partner would call now and then and leave messages that I had to bring back the xerox. I gleefully and wantonly ignored the messages. Eventually two police detectives showed up AT MY DOOR and I confessed. It's here, I the garage. Well, the detective can't do that. I know. I said.
Well--take it back they said. ok. I said. Therein ended my brush with thievery.

Fresca said...

Good morning, my thieving friends!

What a treat to wake up to these comments.
The captain (and Manfred) is in good company.

ARTS: Aw, even though you broke up, the reindeer got to stay together.
Sort of keeping the universe in balance, there.

ALEPH: How fitting that it was "Great Expectations," as the wicked lady sounds sort of like Miss Haversham!
A very Dickensian theft, indeed.

M'GET: It seems to me they should give you a SPECIAL diploma--anyone who even wants to hang on to Faulkner is surely someone a school would be proud to claim as their own.

As I recall "Tortilla Flat" is all about illiterate, life-loving, larcenous guys... Like Little Bro?

FMNSMO: I'm liking this evolving theme that people don't want to return their stolen library books until they've read them.
Quite right, too, since being read is their purpose in life.

CELESTE: Oh boy, you made me laugh!
It wouldn't be fair to award prizes, because each person's ill deed is (un)worthy in its own way...
But if I did, yours would take the cake!
I especially like the employment, though temporary, of one of our homeless citizens.

It is indeed a naughty world.

Margaret said...

Heh heh! I love the unlikely macro story.

Clowncar said...

I stole a beautiful edition of Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year from your very own Mpls. public library. I was obsessed at the time with doing a production of Ionesco's Killing Game.

It is still on my bookshelf. Still treasured. Glorious woodcuts in it. And some great history.

Thank you. I feel cleansed.

Anonymous said...

Ach du lieber! Hey! I wasn't gonna check gugeo again today, but I had to reward myself for doing some mundane chore...and how life imitates art! I did my mega-walk today from here to downtown via Seward Co-op, using the greenway/riverwalk paths with Judith. We were talkin' books and politix and dreams and ecology and jokes the whole way. Of course, I ended up at the "new" Minneapolis Library, (which is now Central Library for Hennepin County Libraries, for those who need/want to know)--ending up spending a few bucks buying used books and a CD--(Youssou N'Dour!)-- from the Friends of the Library shop. Thought of this: can't remember, Fresca, if the way I got this book was through you or you from me, but I'm pretty sure we shared it at the big red house: (Russian/Ukrainian sci-fi/fantasy) Lydia Ubhkhova's (sp?) DAUGHTER OF NIGHT--a trilogy on the Lilith myth. A little paperback, that I never returned to the library. Think I read it during or just after Wlad's fantasy lit. course. I still reread it. Thought of that book and the interconnections last Saturday after the Polish plane crash, too. Great tales, all, and how Dickens would approve, Aleph, of your avenging theft of GE from the evil teachers' library! Say, Fresca, could the soldier/officer with his back to us in the first ST frame here possibly be Lev Mailer?

What "brasts" (veriword) have we committed?

Love and Happy Reading!


Manfred Allseasons said...

If I had managed to swipe a photocopying machine (!!!), I would put that fact on my C.V. In inch high letters! Impressive.

What a scurvy crew! I feel positively saintly now, thank you....

bink said...

This isn't exactly stolen--just taken without asking...
When I worked in an archive, we had boxes of stuff donated from a former sister institution. I sorted through the stuff to find things that were relevant to our collection and found other homes (including the trash can) for the stuff that wasn't.

There were 4 files of old newspaper clippings from 1923-1925 about the finding and opening of King Tut's tomb.

My 8 year old self who loved reading Howard Carter's book on discovering King Tut's tomb was in heaven. The files HAD to be mine!!!

(Truth be told, they probably would have ended up in the trash can if I hadn't taken them... but they felt too precious to me to even ask for them, I just had to TAKE them!)

The files are full of interesting articles with headlines like:

"Egyptian Government Forcibly Opens Tomb of Tut When Howard Carter Refuses to Surrender Keys"

"King Tut's Face Exposed; Glue Cements Mummy to Coffin, Prevents Its Removal"

"New Fangled Folding Bed Found in Egyptian Tomb...Theory Apartment Furniture Is American Invention Refuted by Recent Discovery"

Plus there's all the articles on the back sides of the clippings like the full page feature: "Romance of Lady Ursala and the Steeplechase Jockey: How the Duke of Westminster's Lovely Daughter Suddenly Lost All Interest in the Former Consuelo Vanderbilt's Shy and Poetic Son When She Saw Dashing Jack Anthony Ride Her Favorite Horses to Victory Three Times in a Row".

With such tempting articles you can see why I had to take them...

momo said...

bink, those articles are like ideas for future movies!

Fresca said...

CLOWN: Well, at least you're enjoying it!
Did you ever produce the Ionesco? It's not too late...

I too have stolen from the library--but I was surprised how common that is. No wonder they put in theft detectors.

STEF: You'll have to lend me "Daughter of Night"--I don't recall it.
I like to think I've paid enough in fines, donations, and purchases from the used books store, to make up for my previous thefts.

The cop in the ST episode is a burly Irish-looking guy--I'll send you a picture of Lev.

MANFRED: Yes, you pale in comparison.
It occurred to me that Philip Larkin didn't notice you stealing his books because he was wondering,
"Why does that young man have a dead cat on his head?"

BINK: OMG, those headlines are wild! (I agree with MOMO.)

And speaking of theft, weren't Carter & his kind among the biggest thieves of all? All the explorers and invaders who said,
"It was just lying around in the desert."

Brings up all sorts of questions about what lying is, anyway.

Anonymous said...

In my possession: a coin dish from the Croce di Malta hotel in Florence. I didn't take it but the person who gave it to me might have. Do you think the hotel gave it to him because he's a priest?

Fresca said...

Hm. I don't know, Anonymous... do people give things to priests?
*coughcoughcough... choke*

bink said...

If the priest asked for the coin dish, then yes, I would believe someone gave it to him (people hate to say no to priests). Otherwise... I'd say that priest had light fingers.

Personally, as a good Catholic, I think one should never give things to priests (unless they happen to be close personal friends). It just spoils them and prepares their souls for eternal damnation... which they are bound to get if "the first shall be last and the last first". Ok, I'm being sarcastic about the damnation... but not about priests being spoiled... please!... this guy probably gave up the coin dish cuz he needed a bigger bowl for all his loot!