If you're headed to the Pelham Library soon, you should know they have a number of rules about behavior to observe there. Actually, I counted them and, line-for-line, the whole thing is longer than "American Pie." So, I thought I'd spell them out, so you don't break the rules and risk the punishment.
That's right, those forced Death Marches are back in place Mondays and Fridays. Dress casual.
So, here's what you should know.
You cannot threaten or 'verbally assault' any library patron. Yes, that includes even joking that you're going to read from the new book by Tatum O'Neal.
"Unnecessarily loud, unruly or disruptive" behavior is expressly "forbidden." And just to remind you, so is The Lambada! Let's hope that's the end of that.
You cannot use any "abusive, obscene or profane language." Or whatever else comes to mind when you see there's another new book by Chelsea Handler. Sure, you can say "Drat!" But where is it going to get you?
You cannot do any "soliciting" of other library patrons on the grounds. Apparently, girls, you can't even jokingly ask, 'Hey sailor, you wanna have some fun?' Or, from that point on, you're a marked woman.
No eating, drinking or smoking. And yet, you can play Yahtzee. What's up with that?
You cannot enter the library without shoes or a shirt or displaying "offensive bodily hygiene." But judging from my visit last week, apparently, you can go to Wendy's.
It's also against the rules to bring any animals into the library, unless they're assisting the disabled. A nice attempt was made last week by the kid with the Golden Retriever and the dark glasses. But then the librarian looked closely and saw they had little windshield wipers on them. That kid will be filing books until St. Swithins Day. So, take note.
You cannot destroy any library property. Except, apparently, books by Chelsea Handler. Just as long as there's no profanity involved, you're good to go.
There will be no borrowing of library materials without following standard operating procedure. No, that does not mean the librarian asking you to sing and act out, "Mickey!" She was just feeling frivolous that afternoon. And never thought that guy would go through with it.
But yes, he will be on "America's Got Talent" next week as a result.
You cannot rearrange any library fixtures or furniture. And please, kids, no more of that decorator double-talk. You can't knock over a bunch of chairs and claim you were trying to "create a new traffic pattern."
Anyone who violates these rules, may have their library privileges revoked. Or be forced to read something by Marcel Proust. And if that's not enough to make you behave, there's really nothing else I can say.
Peter Gerstenzang is an award-winning humorist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Spin, The Saturday Evening Post and several other national publications.