The Eighties Went By In A Flash

, , , , , , | Right | May 26, 2021

My coworker has been a librarian for going on forty years, and between working at the reference desk, the microfiche room — yes, that long! — and the usual circulation and shelving duties, she has seen it all.

Back in the 1980s, the library was having an issue with a serial flasher. A few times a week, patrons would complain about a man with his penis out standing near them in an aisle or over in the study area, but the librarians couldn’t catch him in the act, and he looked and dressed neutrally enough that no one had been able to give a definite description.

My friend was shelving books near the back of the library, in a section where the shelves were not full, leaving space on each shelf and sometimes a gap between the books on one side and those on the other. As she was walking down an aisle with an armload of books, she looked at a shelf and saw… an erect penis, just lying there. One quick glance showed her that the man was standing on the other side of the bookshelf and had… inserted himself into the gap.

Without missing a beat, she dropped her armload of books on his appendage.

She says he made the most terrible noise, stumbled back and hit his head on the shelf behind him, and just stood there moaning. She ducked around and got a good look at him so she could describe him to the other librarians, then said sweetly:

Librarian: “Oh, I’m sorry, did you leave something on the shelf? I didn’t see anything, but I forgot my glasses today.”

There have been other flashers (always a hazard in libraries), but that one was never seen again, according to her.


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