Written by: Larry Charles
Directed by: Joshua White
Broadcasted: October 16, 1991 for the first time.
Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards,
Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Philip Baker Hall (as Bookman), and Biff Yeager (as Mr. Heyman).

[Setting: Jerry's apartment]

(Jerry's on the phone with the local library)

JERRY: Let me speak with the head librarian.. Because it's absurd. An overdue book from 1971?... This is a joke right? What are you, from a radio station? (Kramer enters) Ya' got me I fell for it. Alright, OK I can be down there in like, a half hour. Bye. (Hangs up)

KRAMER: What's the problem?

JERRY: This you're not goin' to believe. The NYPL says that I took out "Tropic of Cancer" in 1971 and never returned it.

KRAMER: Do you know how much that comes to? That's a nickel a day for 20 years. It's going to be $50,000.

JERRY: It doesn't work like that.

KRAMER: (Further speculating) If it's a dime a day it could be $100,000.

JERRY: (Thinking nothing of the fine) It's not going to be anything. I returned the book. I remember it very vividly because I was with Sherry Becker. She wore this orange dress. It was the first time I ever saw her in a dress like that. I noticed since ninth grade she was developing this body in secret under these loose clothes for like two years. And then one day.. (Scene flashesback to a beautiful young lady in an orange dress. Then returns to Jerry) That orange dress is burned in my memory.

KRAMER: Oh, memory burn.

JERRY: I wonder what ever happened to her.

KRAMER: How did they ever find you?

JERRY: Oh, computers. They're cracking down now on overdue books. The whole thing is completely ridiculous. (The intercom buzzes) It's George. Wait 'til he hears we're going to the library..

KRAMER: (Talking to no one in particular) You know, I never got a library card.

JERRY: (Through intercom) Coming down.

KRAMER: (Rambling about the library) It's all a bunch of cheapskates in there anyway. People sitting around reading the newspaper attached to huge wooden sticks.. Trying to save a quarter, ooh.

JERRY: I gotta go to the library. You want to go?


(Scene ends)
[Setting: NYC Library]

(Kramer and Jerry enter)

KRAMER: (Still going on about the library) The Dewey Decimal System - what a scam that was. Boy that Dewey guy really cleaned up on that deal..

JERRY: Where's George?

READER: (Annoyed by the talking) Shhh. KRAMER: (To the reader) Tryin' to save a quarter?

JERRY: I kinda like those sticks. I'd like to get them for my house. (Even though they visibly are waiting for assistance, the librarian seems not to notice them) This woman's completely ignoring me.

KRAMER: (Staring at the working librarian) Look at her. This is a lonely woman looking for companionship.. Spinster. ..Maybe a virgin.. Maybe she got hurt a long time ago. She was a schoolgirl. There was a boy - It didn't work out. Now she needs a little tenderness. She needs a little understanding. (Warming up to the idea) She needs a little Kramer.

JERRY: Yeah, and then she'll need a little shot of penicillin.

LIBRARIAN: (Now giving Jerry and Kramer her attention) Yes?

JERRY: Yes, I called before.. I got his notice in the mail.

LIBRARIAN: Oh, "Tropic of Cancer"; Henry Miller. Uh, this case has been turned over to our library investigation officer, Mr. Bookman.

KRAMER: Bookman? The library investigator's name is actually, Bookman?

LIBRARIAN: (Nodding) It's true.

KRAMER: That's amazing. That's like an ice cream man named, Cone.

LIBRARIAN: Lieutenant Bookman has been working here for 25 years, so I think he's heard all the jokes..

JERRY: Can I speak with this Bookman?

LIBRARIAN: Just a second. (Walks off to get Mr. Bookman)

(George enters. He's frantic, tugging at Jerry's jacket to get his attention)

GEORGE: Jerry.

JERRY: What?

GEORGE: I think I saw him. I think it's him.


GEORGE: Did you see the homeless guy on the library steps screaming obscenities and doing some calisthenics routine?

JERRY: (Thinking nothing of it) Yeah.

KRAMER: (Joining in the conversation) Yeah.

GEORGE: I think that's Mr. Hayman.. The gym teacher from our High School.


JERRY: (Whispering) Are you sure?

GEORGE: He's older, completely covered in filth, no whistle.. but I think it's him.

JERRY: (To Kramer, explaining) George got him fired. He squealed on him.

KRAMER: (Finding it interesting) Oooh. (To George) Tattle tale.

GEORGE: (Yelling) I didn't tattle!

READER: Shh Shh!

KRAMER: (Keeping his voice down) What did this guy do? What happened?

GEORGE: There was an incident.. I'd rather not discuss it.

KRAMER: (Prying) Oh come on, You can tell me.

GEORGE: (Waving him off) Some other time.

KRAMER: What? Tonight? (The librarian walks by, Kramer takes notice, then goes back to the conversation) Y'know I never figured you for a squealer.

JERRY: Oh, he sang like a canary.

LIBRARIAN: Mr. Bookman's not here.

JERRY: Not here? Why was I told to come down here?

LIBRARIAN: He'll be out all afternoon on a case.

KRAMER: He's out on a case? He actually goes out on cases?

JERRY: (At a dead end) Well what am I supposed to do now?

LIBRARIAN: I'll have Mr. Bookman get in touch with you.

JERRY: All right Thanks. (To George and Kramer) Come on, lets go.

GEORGE: Let's see if it's Hayman.

KRAMER: (Staying behind) Hey, uh, I'll see you boys later. (Turns to the librarian) So uh, what's a guy got to do around here to get a library card?

(Scene ends)
[Setting: Pendant Publishing Offices]

ELAINE: (To her secretary) Where's Karen?

SECRETARY: She went to pick up lunch.

ELAINE: She didn't ask me what I wanted.

SECRETARY: She must have forgot.

ELAINE: How could she forget? I've been ordering lunch every day here for 3 and a half years. Is there something you're not telling me, because I'm getting a really weird vibe.. (Speculating) Is Lippman getting rid of me? (Offering confidence) It's OK I won't say anything.

SECRETARY: I don't know anything.

ELAINE: (Pressing on) Ah. You don't know anything. You see, "I don't know anything", means there's something to know. If you really didn't know anything you would have said "You're crazy." (Lippman enters) Oh, hi Mr. Lippman.

LIPPMAN: Elaine.

ELAINE: Um, uh, I was wondering if you got a chance to look at that , um, biography of Columbus, I gave you?

LIPPMAN: Yes I did. Yes I did. (Moves on rather suddenly) ..Maureen this water is still too cold.

ELAINE: (Agreeing with the boss) It's freezing.. Hurts your teeth.

(Scene ends)
[Setting: The coffee shop]

(Elaine is paranoid about her lunch forgotten)

ELAINE: I'm tellin' ya' somethin' is goin' on. He never likes anything I recommend.. And then that lunch thing.

JERRY: (Thinking nothing of it) So they forgot to get your lunch. Big deal!

ELAINE: (Sarcastic, rudely making fun of Jerry) What do you know? You've never worked in an office. (Turns to George) See, you've worked in an office. Jerry thinks I'm over reacting but you understand.. (Notices George is preoccupied, she yells to snap him out of it) LUNCH!

GEORGE: (Waving Elaine and her problem off) I don't understand lunch, I don't know anything about lunch. (To Jerry) Listen, just because I got the guy fired doesn't mean I turned him into a bum - does it?

ELAINE: (Curious) What did he do?

GEORGE: He purposely mispronounced my name. Instead of saying, "Costanza" He'd say, "Can't stand ya!". "Can't stand ya!" ..He made me smell my own gym socks once.

JERRY: I remember he made you wear a jock on your head for a whole class. And the straps were hangin' down by his..

GEORGE: (Stopping Jerry) OK, OK (Reflecting) I never even had him for gym.

JERRY: I had him for hygiene. Remember his teeth? It was like from an exhumed corpse.

GEORGE: Little baked beans.

JERRY: (In disgust) Echh.

ELAINE: Come on, tell me what happened.

GEORGE: Well, OK. As I said the guy had it in for me. He actually failed me in gym. ..ME! (A flashback to a high school locker room happens. George, with a full head of hair, is getting picked on by a Mr. Heyman and some classmates) ..Those spastic Shnitzer twins...

HEYMAN: Can't stand ya.. Can't stand ya!

GEORGE: Yes, Mr. Hayman?

HEYMAN: Your underwear was stick'n out of your shorts during gym class.

GEORGE: (Meek) Well I guess that's because I wear boxer shorts..

HEYMAN: Boxer shorts, ha? Well, what brand?

GEORGE: I'm not really sure, I..

HEYMAN: Well let's take a look!

(Heyman and two students give George a wedgie. The scene flashes back to present day)

GEORGE: He gave me a wedgie.

JERRY: He got fired the next day.

ELAINE: (Questioning) Why do they call it a 'wedgie'?

GEORGE: Because the underwear is pulled up from the back and.. it wedges in.

JERRY: (Explaining) They also have an atomic wedgie. Now, the goal there is to actually get the waistband on top of the head.. Very rare.

ELAINE: Boys are sick.

JERRY: Well what do girls do?

ELAINE: We just tease some one 'til they develop an eating disorder.

(Kramer enters)

KRAMER: (To Jerry) Hey, Babaloo. You better get home. You know this guy Bookman from the library - he's waiting for ya.

(Scene ends)
[Setting: A Nightclub]

(Jerry's doing a stand-up comedy bit)

JERRY: What's amazing to me about the library is it's a place where you go in you can take out any book you want they just give it to you and say "Bring it back when you're done." It reminds me of like this pathetic friend that everybody had when they were a little kid who would let you borrow any of his stuff if you would just be his friend. That's what the library is - a government funded pathetic friend. And that's why everybody kinds of bullies the library. I'll bring it back on time.. I'll bring it back late. ..Oh, what are you going to do? Charge me a nickel?

(Scene ends)
[Setting: Jerry's apartment]

JERRY: (Enters his home to find Mr. Bookman waiting for him) 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?

JERRY: 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: (Cutting him off) 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: (Moving on to the main subject) You took this book out in 1971.

JERRY: Yes, and I returned it in 1971.

BOOKMAN: (Strict) 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 Library, fella.

JERRY: Look, Mr. Bookman. I-I returned that book. I remember it very specifically.

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: (Completely serious) 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! (Pauses) 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. (Opens the door to leave. Marion, the librarian, is at Kramer's door. She quickly enters Kramer's apartment and slams the door in fear that Bookman might see her) That is one week!

(Scene cuts to the inside of Kramer's apartment)

KRAMER: What's wrong?

MARION: (Breathing hard) It's Bookman. the library cop.

KRAMER: So? I didn't do anything wrong.

MARION: I'm supposed to be at work. I could get fired. (Having second thoughts) I shouldn't have come here.

KRAMER: Why don't ya' leave?

MARION: (Seductively) I can't.

(Scene cuts back to Jerry's doorway. He's yelling after Mr. Bookman, who has already left)

JERRY: No way I'm payin' that! I returned that book I n 1971. I have a witness - Sherry Becker. (Nodding) She wore an orange dress! She gave me a piece of Black Jack gum.. It's a licorice gum. What'll ya think of next?! I remember it! (Moves over to the phone, and flips through the phone book, thinking aloud) Becker.. Becker..

(Scene ends)
[Setting: The coffee shop]

(Jerry's dining with Sherry Becker)

SHERRY: Kevin went to a public school; he's the 14 year old. We were gonna' send Marsha to a private school.. Cause in some way they don't learn.. enough.. I think.

JERRY: (Obviously doesn't care about her kids) So Sherry, what do you remember about that day at the library?

SHERRY: I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Friday afternoon, I wore a purple dress.

JERRY: Purple? Ya' sure it wasn't orange?

SHERRY: (Nodding) Positive. And I was chewin' Dentine. I always chewed dentine. Remember Jerry? Dentine?

JERRY: No Black Jack?

SHERRY: Licorice gum? Never! We were reading passages to each other from that Henry Miller book..

JERRY: "Tropic of Cancer".

SHERRY: (Correcting) No, "Tropic of Capricorn".

JERRY: Tropic of Capricorn?

SHERRY: Remember? "What holds the world together.. as I have learned from bitter experience is sexual intercourse."

JERRY: Wait a second. Wait a second. You're right. I had both of them! We read from Tropic of Capricorn. I was all set to return Tropic of Cancer. And then..

(A flashback to the very same locker room occurs. Jerry meets up with George) JERRY: (Handing George "Tropic of Cancer") Here's the book. Don't let anybody see it. Don't let anything happen to it.

GEORGE: (Reassuring) Jerry, it's me, George. Don't worry, I'll return it.

JERRY: Ok, I'll see you after school. I'm late for Hayman's hygiene..

(They both make gestures - making fun of Heyman's teeth. Flashback ends as Jerry is getting up from the booth)

SHERRY: Where ya' going?

JERRY: It was nice seeing you again. I just remembered something.. I've got to go. (As he's exiting, an old man enters. Jerry yells out to him in relief) It was George!

(Scene ends)
[Setting: The Library]

KRAMER: (To Marion) Read another poem.

MARION: "Pressed chest, fleshed out west, might be the savior or a garden pest." KRAMER: Wow, that is great. You should be published. (Looks around) You know, the library is kind of a cool place when it's closed..

MARIAN: Oh, yeah. You don't have to be quiet. Listen to the echo: (Yells out) HELLO!





BOOKMAN: (Exiting a back room) Hello!

MARIAN: (Taken by surprise) Mr. Bookman.

BOOKMAN: I remember when the librarian was a much older woman: Kindly, discreet, unattractive. We didn't know anything about her private life.. We didn't want to know anything about her private life. She didn't have a private life. While you're thinking about that, think about this: The library closes at five o'clock, no exceptions. This is your final warning. Got that, kewpie-doll?

(Scene ends)
[Setting: Jerry's apartment]

(Jerry's in his bedroom as Elaine is yelling out to him)

ELAINE: Lippman want's to see me in his office - SEE ME! That can't be good.

JERRY: (Calling back) Maybe you're getting a raise.

(The intercom buzzes)

ELAINE: (More to herself than Jerry) Maybe I'm getting' a wedgie. (Answers the intercom) What?

GEORGE: It's George.

ELAINE: (Lets him in) George is on his way up.

JERRY: Wait 'til I tell him about the book.

(Reading Marion's poems at Jerry's table, Kramer sobs)

ELAINE: Are you OK? (He gives her a saddened look) What? What?

KRAMER: It's Marion's poetry. I can't take it. (Gets up and leaves, sobbing)

ELAINE: Remember that biography I recommended? (Shouting out as Jerry emerges from his bedroom) MY BOSS HATED IT.

JERRY: I'm right here.

ELAINE: Remember that Columbus book?

JERRY: (To himself) Columbus.. Euro-trash.

(George enters)

GEORGE: Well, it's definitely him.

ELAINE: Him? Him who?

GEORGE: "Him who?"? Hayman him.

ELAINE: Hayman The gym teacher? You found him?

GEORGE: Oh, I found him. He was sitting on the steps of the library. I sat down next to him. He smelled like the locker room after that game against Erasmus..

JERRY: (Remembering) That was double overtime.

GEORGE: (Continuing) So I said, "Mr. Hayman, It's me - George Costanza. JFK (The high school).." He doesn't move, so I said uh, "Can't stand ya!, Can't stand ya!" He turns and smiles.. the little baked bean teeth. I get up to run away, but something was holding me back. It was Heyman. He had my underwear! There I was on the steps of the 42nd St. library, a grown man, getting a wedgie.

ELAINE: At least it wasn't atomic.

GEORGE: (Holding up the waist band) It was.

JERRY: So Georgie Boy, guess what happened to "Tropic of Cancer". GEORGE: How should I know?

JERRY: Because I gave it to you.


JERRY: Yeah, think! Don't you remember you kept begging me to see it then finally I agreed.. You were supposed to return it, I met you in the gym locker room..

GEORGE: The locker room!

(Scene cuts to a flashback in the locker room)

JERRY: Here's the book. Don't let anybody see it. Don't let anything happen to it.

GEORGE: Jerry, it's me, George. Don't worry, I'll return it tomorrow, no problem.

JERRY: All right, I'll see you after school. I'm late for Hayman's hygiene. (They both make gestures - making fun of Heyman's teeth. Then Jerry leaves)

HEYMAN: Can't Stand Ya'!

GEORGE: Yes Mr. Hayman?

HEYMAN: Your underwear was stick'n out of your shorts during gym class.

GEORGE: Well I guess that's because I wear boxer shorts..

HEYMAN: Boxer shorts, ha? Well, what brand?

GEORGE: I'm not really sure, I..

HEYMAN: Well let's take a look!

(Once again, George's getting a wedgie is shown. The book "Tropic Of Cancer" falls to the floor)

(Scene ends)
[Setting: The Library]

(Jerry's writing out a check for "Tropic of Cancer, then hands it to Mr. Bookman)

JERRY: Anyway, I hope there's no hard feelings..

BOOKMAN: Hard feelings? What do you know about hard feelings? Y'ever have a man die in your arms? Y'ever kill somebody?

JERRY: (Finally asking) What is your problem?

BOOKMAN: (Set off) What's my problem? Punks like you, that's my problem. And you better not screw up again Seinfeld, because if you do, I'll be all over you like a pit bull on a poodle. (Exits to a back room)

JERRY: That is one tough monkey! (Turns to Elaine) So, you were saying?

ELAINE: Oh, so, I took your suggestion and I gave my boss Marion's poems.. The ones that affected Kramer so much.

JERRY: Oh, beautiful. Did he like them?

ELAINE: No.. he didn't! No, he didn't!

JERRY: (To George, about Mr. Heyman) Was he out there?

GEORGE: Na, he's gone. I wonder what happened to him.

JERRY: I guess we'll never know..

(Scene cuts to a back alley of the Library. Mr. Heyman is lying in garbage, laughing to himself)

HEYMAN: "Can's stand ya.. (laughing out loud) Can't stand ya."

(The camera pans down to reveal the Henry Miller book, "Tropic of Cancer" lying near Mr. Heyman)

(Scene ends)
[Setting: A Nightclub]

JERRY: It was a weird school day, you know what I mean? Because it kind of like started of kind of normal. You have like English, Geometry, Social Studies and then suddenly you're like in "Lord of The Flies" for 40 minutes, you know, you're hangin' from a rope.. You have hardly any clothes on. Teachers are yellin' at ya' "Where's your jock strap?" Ya' know, and kids are throwin' dodge balls at you. You're tryin' to survive.. Then its History, Science, Language.. There's something off in the entire flow of that day.