No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

by S.C. Torrington on September 21, 2009

42-16022395So I’m volunteering on the last day of the library Book Sale. A dollar a bag, get a second bag free. That kinda Bargain Basement price brings out the frugal, the geeks, the hoarders and me.

In walks a Mom, a little girl, a tween boy, and the oldest child – a taller-than-me, lanky, kinda jumpy teen boy. I can tell by the intensity of the teen’s circling, he’s looking for something. So I ask. He wants some fiction “like The Hardy Boys.”

A few years ago, Morgan read some of the NEW Hardy Boys series and enjoyed them enough that he/we created a board game patterned after Clue but based on Frank and Joe’s adventures. I apologized, knowing there were no Hardy Boys left. But I tell him the series is available for checkout back in the library. He smiles, thanks me and wanders over to the audio table.

Now I can hear the brothers talking as they flip through the CD and DVDs. The teen says, “I’m not allowed to listen to The Beastie Boys.” (Remember You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party! circa 1986?) Ooops. If this kid’s not allowed to listen to old punk rock, maybe the NEW Hardy Boys recommendation needed to be rescinded. You see, these guys are not your mother’s Hardy Boys. More violence, more murder, and even worse, the whole girlfriend/boyfriend thing.

So at checkout, I mention those aspects of the books to the kid’s mother, since given her son’s listening limitations, she’d want a heads-up. I would. Truth is, however, if I’d really looked at the woman BEFORE opening my big mouth, I woulda just taken their dollar, thanked them and let the Hardy Boys books fall where they may. Come on, it’s the Hardy, not the Mitchell, brothers.

The mom, with all her plain, sweet, 30-something smallness, also had those watery eyes and peaceful half-smile of polygamists, Hare Krishnas and Stepford wives. She sincerely appreciated my caveat. I felt better. Unfortunately, it initiated her witnessing to being born-again and she was gonna tell me all about it– no matter what I said– including the fact that I was not. That just spurred her on. Luckily her children pried her, still trying to save me, out the door. Thank you, Jesus!

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