Scenes from a Library

The Donnell Library Center on West 53rd Street (which offers sweet, sweet free WiFi), just moments ago:

Setting: The entrance turnstile.
Dramatis personae: Upper-middle-aged Patron, in jacket and tie and sporting both a briefcase and a distinct — and, dare we say, distinctly Jewish — New York accent; Security Guard, a young Latino, in powder-blue shirt and clip-on tie; Cop, white, burly, presumably Irish, in regulation NYPD blues; Branch Manager, our Godot.

Patron has filed through the line and reached the Security Guard. Like everyone else, he is asked to open his bag. Mumbling ensues, and then the volume grows.

Patron: I need to use the computer. Let me use the computer.
Security Guard: Sir.
Patron: It's just a bottle of water. Let me in.
Security Guard: Please, sir.
Patron: This is harassment. Personal harassment!
Security Guard: I'm just doing my job.
Patron: You're harassing me. This is ridiculous.
Security Guard: You're going to have to leave.
Patron: Because of your stupidity, I have to leave?
Cop: OK. Let's go.
Patron: I demand to see the manager!
Security Guard: Why you have to start things?
Patron: I didn't start anything!
Cop: Yeah, well, I'm gonna finish it.

The curtain falls.

Serves us right for leaving the house.