Word around Venny McPulitzer this morning was that Executive Ed's display on Friday was some kind of prank to see if he could rile up "the quiet intern" (humph! quiet interns are deadly INTERNS!) INTERN is feeling a little silly for taking the whole thing so seriously. However, INTERN suspects Executive Ed does have some kind of cryptic beef with the MacArthur Foundation—an estranged genius wife, perhaps?—that may have played into his response.
In any event, today is a new day, and INTERN has other things on her mind: notably, the spiritual necessity of occasionally pilfering books.
As a general rule, INTERN is opposed to book-thieving of any sort. Stealing from a bookstore is never justified (even if it's from an "evil chain") because it's like shooting a BB gun at an almost-extinct bird. Stealing from a library isn't cool because it's stealing from Society.
But now and then, when one is at a friend, relative, or acquaintance's house, or in a non-commercial public space where used books are present, one stumbles across a book (an old book! a scrappy book! a book nobody would ever notice was gone and would probably be thrown out anyway!) that suddenly becomes absolutely critical to one's continued existence on the planet.
As INTERN sees it, pilfering such a book is OK if one's spiritual need for the book vastly exceeds the need of the book's real or presumed owner, and if the likelihood of the book's absence being noticed is close to zero.
Example: This weekend, INTERN smuggled home a book about high-yield container gardening from an acquaintance's house, where it was dying a slow death in a cardboard box in the basement. INTERN's spiritual need for information about how many carrots she could grow in a Rubbermaid box was so urgent, INTERN could practically hear angels singing when she fingered its pages. To ask to borrow the neglected book would not be sufficient—like an international kidnapper, INTERN required full custody, and right away.
On another occasion, INTERN's soul was transported by a battered copy of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues she found at a hostel while hitchhiking, and in the space of fifteen seconds had hidden it in the bottom of her sleeping bag.
Sometimes, a certain book feels so necessary to INTERN's life that silly considerations about "ownership" and "not sneaking through other people's basement bookshelves like some kind of weirdo" just don't enter the picture at all.
Techie Boyfriend finds INTERN's mystical justifications for her book-thieving ways outrageous, and has suggested that perhaps INTERN should take the risk of asking for the books she feels she needs so badly.
So INTERN would like to hear from others who share her inclinations. Which books have you acquired through morally dubious means, and what emotions propelled you to do so? Confess, or INTERN will be left feel rather awkward about the whole thing.