Target Bag Man Returns.

Yesterday one of my least favorite library patrons returned after a two year absence. Target Bag Man.

For many years Target Bag Man came to the library every single day. Every…Single…Day. He carried six to eight plastic Target Shopping Bags filled with dubious belongings. He was very protective of these bags, trying to enlist staff in “watching” them while he did “stuff”. He took off his shoes and made himself at home. Literally. He was homeless. He lived at the library.

I’m reasonably good at the “Live and Let Live” at the library, but at some point he started playing music out loud from his laptop while seated in relatively quiet study areas.

This bothered other library visitors and set me against him.

This repairable animosity wasn’t helped by his churlishness on being politely approached, nor by his refusal to turn off the music or use headphones.

His reasoning: The Librarians talked too loud at the Reference Desk so he didn’t see why he should have to be quiet.


One day Target Bag Man stopped coming. The theory is that he found housing. I think everyone should have housing, I mean, like, there should be a fucking law, but, I’ll admit, I was even more pleased with the side benefit of his not coming to our library.

And yet, yesterday, there he was, at the front desk.

Remembering our ancient enmity, or forgetting it, he chose me to talk to.

He had gotten a WiFi Hotspot Device from a distant (to us) Library System. They told him that he had to return it directly to them and to nowhere else. And what he wanted to know was: Could he return it to me?

Because the question was patently insane I clarified it with him carefully. Then I answered:


He was not satisfied. “Could you call them and see?” He asked.

I told him I was not equipped to do that at the front desk. I sent him upstairs to the librarians because I respect them the least of my co-workers and that was where the issue should go anyway, in as much as it should go anywhere, which it shouldn’t.

“You can go upstairs and talk to the librarians at the reference desk and see if they can help you.”

He pointed up. “The librarians upstairs?” He asked.

“Yes.” I replied.

He then headed into the children’s room to ask them there.

I really, really hope it’s another two years before I see him again.

Hey, did you know that almost no one ever goes from here to Life is a Fountain?

Three or four very special people do each day, but way more of you just read the Newsletter and that’s enough for you.

And that’s okay. You love the newsletter. I get it.

But what if you want to catch up on old newsletters?

The Blog Page of Life is a Fountain has all these newsletters that I ever send, and you can check them out there!

Not that you would.

Because why would you?

I just thought you should know.

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