Friday, March 5, 2010

Help stop LARGE PRINT fraud and protect the handicapped!

My wife and I recently had a lively debate about her merciless tendency to rob the handicapped of their rightful large print books at the library. She claims that if she places a large print version on hold, rather than the small print version (the ones we normal people use), she will get the book up to 49% faster.

Is this shameless sin akin to stealing a handicapped parking spot or using the handicapped bathroom stall? I think so, but I rarely read, and when I do it is mostly billboards or other people's diaries. I can not really relate to someone that is so desperate to read a book that they are willing to steal books from the poor, blind and helpless.

Why are visually impaired people doing all this reading anyway? If I were visually impaired, I have the perfect excuse NOT to read. On the contrary, I would have the perfect excuse to get an even BIGGER television. Sometimes I consider sticking sharp things in my eyes so I can apply for a grant.

Anyway, my beautiful wife seems intent on snatching a large print version of "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" from the hands of a wheelchair bound blind woman. And I'm sure she is not the only one.

There are others... perhaps they have an eye condition, perhaps not. But they prey on the weak; using their library card numbers as a literal license to take advantage of the meekly sightless. How are these helpless handicaps supposed to enjoy the latest mega-print James Cameron novel when these heartless thieves are hoarding these books... flip flopping pages like they are crappy candy?! Somethings not right with this picture, and it's not that the picture needs enlarging.

I once was in a crowded public restroom and there were a line of 6 people - all in wheelchairs - waiting to use the handicapped stall. I weaved my way through the web of wheels and knocked loudly on the door. Fortunately, the stall's lock was broken (as is often the case) and the door creaked open to reveal a ruthless non-wheelchaired man, sitting on the toilet while reading a LARGE PRINT library book! I pulled the man off the pot and threw him into the wheeled mob. he was subsequently and justifiably rolled to death by over 26 wheels. It is not a pleasant way to go.

I really have no idea why I attended that wheelchair conference, other than I was in the neighborhood.

Anyway, I know what you're thinking: What can we... ordinary citizens with a conscience do to stop the visually impaired from receiving their much needed large print books in a timely manner. How can we stop the heartless from further ruining their lives? Fortunately, I have been giving it much thought, and I have come up with a fool proof plan:

1. Those that check out a large print book will NOT be able to use the speedy self checkout kiosks at the library. If one makes such an attempt, an alarm will sound and they will be smothered in slime. (AKA - "Double Dare" style)

2. Those that wish to check out a large print book must provide proof of visual impairment to the librarian. Proof may consist of:
  • A seeing eye dog. (Must be fitted with a harness. You can't just bring in any dog and claim that it a seeing eye dog. If there is any question, the librarian may ask the dog to perform a series of dog tricks that only seeing eye dogs can perform)
  • A prescription or doctors note that proves very poor eyesight.
  • A seeing eye monkey. (Same provisions for seeing eye dog apply)
  • A birth certificate proving that you are over 85 years of age.
  • If all else fails (or the dog is misbehaving), each library will be fitted with an eye exam machine, much like they have at the DMV. The eye exam machine will also be hooked to a lie detector... to weed out the liars. Liars will have slime dumped on them, Double Dare style.


Traci said...

Well, as an aforementioned librarian, I can tell you that no old grannies are going to be lined up to check out Large Print Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter... now if it were a grandma-friendly romance by Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts, that's a different story. Carry on, Cathi!

Tammy said...

I like the idea of having to pass an eye exam when checking out. That would be funny!

I'm glad you finally posted something about this fraud. I've told Cathi for years I don't agree with what she's doing . . . for all the reasons you mentioned! She's "stealing" from people like her elderly grandmother who needs a large print volume! I don't know how she sleeps soundly at night.

Unfortunately, I don't think your post is going to change her. She'll still put those large print books on hold and get them before the rest of us.

brermomo said...

There's absolutely no reason someone can't use a handicapped bathroom stall. The handicapped person can wait just as everyone else can. The point is that there IS a stall available that they can use. They don't get the right to cut in front of the line. Sorry!

That's different from a parking spot which is CLOSER to the building.
Likewise, people can wait to read the book they want to read. I have to wait many times for a book to come in when someone else is reading it.
Sorry. Kathy is right.