Note: This column appears in the 7/3 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 7/4 issue of the Peoria Times
Have you ever wanted to go to the library, but didn’t want to actually get out of your car?
I know. Me neither. However, this is an issue facing thousands of potential local library goers throughout the area, and it is one that has prevented -- by my own non-research -- millions of books from being checked out. No, billions. What is a person who is lazy but who also likes to occasionally read supposed to do?
Foothills Library, on the northern edge of Glendale near Peoria on 57th Ave, has an answer. A drive-up window. Also, I am not kidding.
I am not exactly sure how this drive-up window works -- I imagine I could have done more research for this column, but I am, apparently, lazier than a person who will not walk into the library. Besides, it is more fun for me to make up what I think this drive-up window is like.
First, you make the decision that you are not getting out of your car. This is the first step. (It should also be mentioned right now that, contrary to my earlier digs, not getting out of your car in July in Arizona is not lazy, it’s smart. Unless you don’t have A/C, in which case you are already dead.) Then, you pull up to the library menu, which is either the size of a football field, or a small sign that says “Books.” Fyi: If it is a popular reading day, like, ummm, a Tuesday, or National Reading Day, you may have to wait in line, and that could mean waiting behind some moron who can’t decide between Joyce and Hemingway. Argh!
You have now made your decision. The pleasant but shaky voice of 100-year old woman comes through the speakers, asking what you’d like to order today. You say, “One ‘Da Vinci Code,’ please. Hold the controversy!” She does not laugh. Also, they are out of “The Da Vinci Code.” You settle for Volume XII of a “Hardy Boys” mystery. “Okay,” she says, “That will be zero dollars.” Unless, of course, you have neglected to return the previous 17 books you checked out from the drive-thru window at Foothills Library, in which case you owe $10,000. Please drive to the next window.
Well I got a flash for you, joy-boy: Party time is over. You got seven days, Kenny. The drive-thru is open.
You are almost finished. You get to the last window, and you flash your library card. “That doesn’t look like you,” the librarian says. That’s because it’s your wife’s card. You accidentally left your own card in the shorts that just went through the washing machine last week. They have to call your wife to confirm. The cars are backing up behind you. People are yelling. Beep beep! You wonder if you’re going to have to get out of the car, ruining your trip to the library. But just as you’re about to lose hope, success! You have just checked out a book from the drive-up window of a library, and you feel awesome.
Before you drive away, you astutely make sure you got what you ordered. Whew! It’s “The Hardy Boys” all right. Time to go home and read. Your cell phone rings. It’s your wife. Don’t forget -- dinner tonight at her boss’ house! Maybe you can pick up some wine. Luckily, you have just the plan: the drive-up window at the liquor store. You’ll read next week.
As you can see from the above scenario, the convenience of the library drive-up window will -- or possible, already has -- revolutionized the way people check out books. Luckily for us, Foothills is just a start. The new West Branch Library in Glendale, when completed, will also feature a drive-up window. Pretty soon, we will never have to get out of our cars ever again, which is good, because it’s pretty friggin’ hot out there.
Thank you for this autobiography of KRS-One. Now let go, bitch!