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The Breast

The posting by smallutensils about pilfering Forrest Gump from the public library put me in mind of a library misadventure from my own youth.

I was 14 or 15, and Philip Roth had just published a novel called The Breast. It was patterned after Kafka's Metamorphosis, except that instead of turning into a giant cockroach, the protagonist was turned into a giant female breast. I was a young teenage boy. This was a book about a gigantic breast. Granted, a book about two gigantic breasts would have been better, but any port in a storm will do. I had heard enough murmurings about Portnoy's Complaint to know that Philip Roth wrote dirty books. So of course I checked it out from the library.

I managed to do this without my mother finding out. I felt so clever. Of course, after I brought it home, I still had to keep it secret from her. So I hid it. I hid it really good. She didn't find it. Neither did I. I had forgotten the last hiding place. (Fortunately, I finished reading it before I hid it there.)

We got some calls from the library after it was due. My mother asked me if I had a book checked out from the library. Who me? Well, maybe. I mean I could have. Who knows these things? I'll look around.

I looked for it and continued to use delaying tactics. Then one day my mother came home from the library. She got out of the car, gave me that mother look, and said "Doc, was the book you checked out from the library called 'The Breast'?"

Busted. I don't remember if I answered or if she just knew from looking at my face. I know a verbal confession would have been redundant.

Later on I actually found the book. It was under some sofa cushions. Someone I told this story to asked me if I had hidden it under a mattress. I told her she wasn't far off and asked her how she got so close to the answer. "That's where boys always hide dirty books" she said.

Maybe if I had  just fessed up and told my mother I had checked out a dirty book, she would have found it. Moms are always good at finding porno stashes