Monday, April 14, 2014

The Shocking Hard-Boiled World Of Librarians!

by Stephen J. Gertz

They take no guff from deadbeats.

Original cover art by Casey Jones for Crackers in Bed
by Vic Fredericks. Pocket Books 1053 (1955)

Books and snacks in the boudoir are their after-hours business - and business is good.

Original cover art by Peff (Sam Peffer) for ?, London: Pan Books.

They're know-it-alls with only one answer - the one that men want!

Original cover art by Darcy (Ernest Chiriaka) for Dearest Mama
by Walewska. Digit Books 393 (1956).

They read trash for breakfast, season it with tawdry filth, chase it with smutty little stories, and reach their bliss multiple times but it's never enough to satisfy their primitive hunger!

Original cover art by Bill George for Haunted Lady
by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Dell 814 (1955).

Though they get creeped-out by wacko stalkers with twisted desires,

Original cover art by Rafael DeSoto for The Girl From Big Pine
by Talmadge Powell. Monarch 483 (1964).

they're always willing to go out on a limb for a sweet daddy-o with dangerous eyes and a savage smirk!

They're merciless with bimbos who avoid books,

Original cover art by Reginald Heade for Plaything of Passion
by Jeanette Revere. Archer Books 57 (1950).

and possess mad, unholy desire and strange diabolical hate and all-consuming love for abbreviations formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word.

Original cover art for The Case of the Rolling Bones
by Erle Stanely Gardner. Pocket Books 2464 (1949).

They play craps with their reputation and gamble away their morals for a chance at the big time - but a good time will do!

They're a strange cult into weird hats and bizarre dining rituals,

Original cover art by Verne Tossey for The Case of the Lonely Heiress
by Erle Stanley Gardner. Pocket Book 922 (1952).

with sensitive janes overcome in the public john by loathsome forces beyond their control!

Original cover art by Rafael DeSoto for Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective
by Agatha Christie. Dell 550 (1951).

But when those sensitive janes detect halitosis and rank B.O. wafting their way they smell trouble and it's pine-scent Mace® for the great unwashed with library cards!

They're no patsies, they ain't like Dr. Jennifer Melfi. Talk therapy don't cut it for some and she knows it.

Dr. Melfi: That Departures magazine out there. Did you give any thought at all to someone else who might wanna read before you tore out the entire page?

Tony Soprano: What?

Dr. Melfi: It's not the first time you've defaced my reading materials.

Tony Soprano: You saw that, huh? People tear shit outta your magazines all the time, they're a mess. I try to read 'em.

Dr. Melfi: I don't think I can help you.

Tony Soprano: Well, change 'em. Bring in some new shit. 

Dr. Melfi: I mean therapeutically.

Tony Soprano: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, OK? Now what the fuck is this? You're, uh, firin' me 'cause I defaced your Departures magazine?

No, when L-Girls are confronted by a chronic defacer of library periodicals they don't mess around. When they say get lost they mean take a long walk off a short pier: they cancel his subscription to life; you won't see him around no more; he sleeps with the fische.

Original cover art by Gerald Gregg for Who's Calling?
by Helen McCloy. Dell 151 (1947).

Silence in the stacks? Tell it to the library card-holding psycho with logorrhia and a Van Gogh fixation!

Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the library book-drop box? Drop-offs, droppings, or rotting, vermin-infested fast-food left-overs? It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it.

And how 'bout that famous writer of L.A.-noir novels who visited his local branch of the LAPL, hit on a married reference librarian I know, wouldn't take no for an answer, kept sending flowers to her, and didn't stop his unwelcome advances until she flipped him an oath and he skulked off and out of the library?

Original cover art by Rudolph Belarski for Don't Ever Love Me
by Octavus Roy Cohen. Popular Library 332 (1951).

The fact that she fought for her intellectual freedom to be left alone while wielding a heater to punctuate her point may have had something to do with it. He had an acute fear of perforation by a stacked n' sultry long tall sally with a MLS, a gripe, and a gat. Yet where had she been all his life?

All images courtesy of Professional Library Literature with special thanks to the anonymous creator of these brilliant book parodies, who, I suspect, may be in fear of losing their job if outed. Additional thanks to B.T. Carver of LISNews for drawing our attention to this delightful webpage. There are more of the same on the site.

The Sopranos dialogue from Episode #85, The Blue Comet (2007), written by David Chase and Matthew Weiner.

Those with knowledge of the unidentified books (or pulp magazines) are encouraged to leave a comment.


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