JERRY: Oh, I'm glad you're here, so we can get this all straightened out. Would
you like a cup of tea?
BOOKMAN: You got any coffee?
BOOKMAN: Yeah. Coffee.
JERRY: No, I don't drink coffee.
BOOKMAN: Yeah, you don't drink coffee? How about instant coffee?
JERRY: No, I don't have--
BOOKMAN: You don't have any instant coffee?
JERRY: Well, I don't normally--
BOOKMAN: Who doesn't have instant coffee?
JERRY: I don't.
BOOKMAN: You buy a jar of Folger's Crystals, you put it in the cupboard, you
forget about it. Then later on when you need it, it's there. It lasts
forever. It's freeze-dried. Freeze-dried Crystals.
JERRY: Really? I'll have to remember that.
BOOKMAN: You took this book out in 1971.
JERRY: Yes, and I returned it in 1971.
BOOKMAN: Yeah, '71. That was my first year on the job. Bad year for libraries.
Bad year for America. Hippies burning library cards, Abby Hoffman
telling everybody to steal books. I don't judge a man by the length of
his hair or the kind of music he listens to. Rock was never my bag. But
you put on a pair of shoes when you walk into the New York Public
JERRY: Look, Mr. Bookman. I--I returned that book. I remember it very
BOOKMAN: You're a comedian, you make people laugh.
JERRY: I try.
BOOKMAN: You think this is all a big joke, don't you?
JERRY: No, I don't.
BOOKMAN: I saw you on T.V. once; I remembered your name--from my list. I looked
it up. Sure enough, it checked out. You think because you're a celebrity
that somehow the law doesn't apply to you, that you're above the law?
JERRY: Certainly not.
BOOKMAN: Well, let me tell you something, funny boy. Y'know that little stamp,
the one that says "New York Public Library"? Well that may not mean
anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole hell of a lot.
Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I've seen your type before:
Flashy, making the scene, flaunting convention. Yeah, I know what you're
thinking. What's this guy making such a big stink about old library
books? Well, let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without
libraries, people like you and me. Maybe. Sure, we're too old to change
the world, but what about that kid, sitting down, opening a book, right
now, in a branch at the local library and finding drawings of pee-pees
and wee-wees on the Cat in the Hat and the Five Chinese Brothers?
Doesn't HE deserve better? Look. If you think this is about overdue
fines and missing books, you'd better think again. This is about that
kid's right to read a book without getting his mind warped! Or: maybe
that turns you on, Seinfeld; maybe that's how y'get your kicks. You and
your good-time buddies. Well I got a flash for ya, joy-boy: Party time
is over. Y'got seven days, Seinfeld. That is one week!
door to leave>