"DON'T!" Paul shrieked.
On the breakroom table was a rubber duck, one of the prizes for the upcoming Summer of Reading. I had reached out to touch it, being a sensual person, but Paul nearly tackled me as if the duck was an IED.
"That thing is nothing but phaletes and tetratricypsychleketines! Do you want to die a painful death from cancer?"
"Depends. Is the cancer in my butt?"
Paul showed me the book he had placed next to the rubber ducky.
"You should read it. Have your eyes opened to all the plastics that are killing everyone."
"Yes, but aren't we all dying a 'slow death'?"
"Do you want to die peacefully in your sleep at an old age, or die horribly of cancer? Do you?!?"
"Ehn." I shrugged. "Tomato, cancer."
"I don't even use toilet paper anymore."
"You were using plastic toilet paper?"
"All toilet paper is recycled with plastics. The paper is coated in that shit!"
"Seems appropriate, in a way. But..."
"So I just bought family cloths. We're going to use it from now on. It's cloth you use to wipe yourself, and then wash and reuse. Doesn't that sound great?"
"Uh... You use a rag to wipe your ass?"
"Look, imagine your face is covered in shit. What would you rather do--wipe it with chemically-laden paper or a nice soft organic cloth?"
"It's been a while since my face has been covered in shit. But..."
"You're laughing now, but you won't be when you're choking on your own blood doubled over with excruciating pain!"
"Okay, okay. I'll start toweling my ass off. And my face."
Enough of that crap--on to Paul's complete diametric opposite: REGGIE.
One of the other custodians told me that Reggie is still the sexy charlatan we all love and fantasize about. Lately, he borrowed someone's ring and, uh, didn't give it back. The owner of said ring confronted Reggie at the library and asked for it back. Reggie said he was getting it "appraised" and that it was worth two thousand dollars. The owner confronted Reggie a week later, and Reggie asked if he could pay the guy back in installments (= never)? Maybe if he painted a few dog-fighting paintings or naked she-hulks he can raise the necessary funds? Reggie, if you can hear me, you still owe me 27 dollars! Don't make me rub a duck all over your ass!!